Mindful Sex

I was recently discussing the fact that nowadays while we all have our heads permanently fixated on our phones, we spend less time than ever before actually enjoying life as it is. We are obsessed with what others are doing, what just happened or what is about to happen. We can’t be without our phones for more than a short time without feeling like we are missing something, when the real truth is, while we are on them, we are missing absolutely everything. We even choose to view visual extravaganzas that we are actually present for via the the device we film it on. We are becoming far less able to enjoy life on life’s terms than ever before. We want to edit it and filter it. It got me thinking about how that holds true with a lot of people’s sex lives. It seems to me the happiest people are those that really experience life in the moment without nostalgia or regret of the past or fears for the future. I would argue that truly great sex is experienced in the moment too,without the filters of our unrelated thoughts such as how we are looking or performing.

In today’s busy world ‘mindfulness’ is something I practice in my life daily. it is a practice that is becoming ever more popular and personally speaking it is a skill that has become a necessary and truly rewarding part of my life. Mindfulness, in case you don’t know is the exact opposite of what I described in the first paragraph. Almost every week I meet women who are having problems with arousal in their sex lives, and some who have lost the ability to orgasm all together. I always give the same advice that sex for women is a very cerebral business and it is usually the woman’s feelings about herself and her life that preclude her from cumming, not her age or body malfunctions. It was only when I was thinking about people on their phones missing out on life that I had an epiphany. Perhaps if women and men had mindful sex, there would be no room for the ‘head stuff” that is the root cause of a lot of people’s problems.

 

Mindful Meditation

I googled it and unsurprisingly I am not the only person who has come to this conclusion. What was surprising though were the successes some studies were reporting. Recently research has begun into mindfulness and it’s effects on sexual healing. Mindfulness has been shown to improve the sexual responses of cancer patients. Women who have been training in mindfulness were shown to have improved awareness of their own arousal signs and reduced anxiety and self judgement. They were all much faster at recognising their own body responses to being sexually stimulated than the women who had had no training.

Mindfulness is a skill. It can’t just be turned on and off at will until you have practiced it for quite a while. It is the psychological process of bringing your attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, this can be developed through the practice of meditation or other mindful exercises. Don’t mistake a meditative state for zoning out and relaxing, it is more a state of ultra awareness. I am not offering a training course on mindfulness. as Buddha will tell you, you could practice all your life and never even scratch the surface. I will however attempt to explain how you could introduce its principals in your sex lives.

The aim of the game is for you both to focus entirely on each other and what is happening in regard to your five senses. only thinking about what you are experiencing, the smells, the sounds, the touch and taste, focusing on the sensations in the minutest detail. You have to focus on these details without creating a judgement on the senses. Mindful sex is a communication from the innermost parts of us and we can literally connect with the deepest parts of our partner. As we become aware of our own emotional state and express this physically through sex, we become more attuned to the emotional and physical changes in our partner. We start responding to their moans, changes in breathing, subtle physical changes or eye contact, even momentarily losing any sense of where we end and they begin. The sense of being ‘as one’.

It is silly to even attempt this if you haven’t cleared away the days clutter . Practically It is really important to create a relaxing comfortable space . Mentally it can help to write down all the things that are on your mind and locking them away in a drawer for the time being. The hardest part about all of this, once you begin to make love, is trying not to be distracted by other thoughts. This becomes a lot easier once you begin to practice mindfulness in your everyday life. Trying not to think never works, and usually just intensifies the distraction. You’ve got to figure out a way to let the thoughts just be. You need to acknowledge the things that pop into your brain and let them go, like a passing cloud. If you cant let a thought go, try naming it. Naming the thought will take the emotion out of it. It is common during sex to tune out, dissociate a bit and even wander off into thoughts. These thoughts might be about the way you look, sexual performance, thinking about work or playing out pornographic fantasy scenes in our heads. We disassociate because of life stresses or relationship stresses, all of which make it harder to stay with our bodies and ignore our heads.

The next step is a bit harder. It is about accepting the emotions that come up during sex. Knowing it is normal to feel human emotions like fear and joy but accepting the feelings, almost as the chemical process that they are rather than letting them consume you and distract. Ideally you need to cultivate a loving acceptance of the things you feel. This makes you much less judgemental of yourself and your partner. Slow your sex down, especially when you are starting. Any time during mindful sex you notice that you are reacting, closing down or tuning out, slow down (or even stop) just bring all your attention back to your body. Tune in to the physical sensations, let go of your thoughts and focus on your breath. Then, once you feel better, connect back into your partner again by feeling their body touching yours, look at them don’t forget smelling, tasting and hearing them. In time you maybe able to maintain eye contact but that is really hard to do with out feeling vulnerable. This way the sex is really in the moment.

If you are suffering from arousal or performance issues then you don’t have to make orgasm the goal, make the practicing of the skill the sole purpose instead. Why not commit to having sex everyday for a month. It might be a fun experiment to intentionally manage your priorities during your sexual connection in your daily life for a short time.. It won’t be long before you start to reap the benefits in and out of bed. Don’t forget It is also important to realise that you don’t need to have a partner to enjoy mindful sexuality. Single people can practice mindful masturbation too, Just try it.

Article written by Emily a Consultant from Oh Zone Caringbah

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