Having a healthy sex life and a deep and meaningful relationship with your partner can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Sex is a sensitive and intimate part of our lives that can be impacted by money worries, job stress, and a whole host of other anxieties.
Mindfulness can enhance sexual well-being by improving sexual responsiveness and desire, sensuality and pleasure, communication and intimacy.
By focusing on the present moment and physical sensations, couples can increase their awareness and improve sexual experience.
Engaging the senses, such as scent, touch, and sound, can increase relaxation and create a more intimate atmosphere.
Practicing non-judgmental awareness and taking time for non-sexual physical touch, such as cuddling or massaging, can help build intimacy and create a relaxed atmosphere for a more fulfilling sexual experience.
By being mindful of our thoughts, feelings, and needs during sexual activity, we can deepen our intimacy with our partner and find greater joy and satisfaction in our relationships. In this article, we will look at how practicing mindfulness can lead to a more satisfying sexual life.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the meditative practice of being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and actions in order to find balance in our lives.
Mindfulness can be divided into two categories:
- Awareness in the present moment. This is about being aware of what is going on in your experience in the here and now. Your physical sensations, mental or thought sensations, and hearing sensations.
- Not judging. This entails being able to directly observe your experience without being drawn into the whirlwind of emotions (e.g., sadness, frustration, irritation) or judgments (“This is good!”, “This is horrible!!”).
By cultivating mindfulness, we develop the ability to keep our minds in the present, to let go of distracting or distressing thoughts, and to savor all the wonderful aspects of sexual connection.
By bringing mindfulness into the bedroom, you will be fully present and engaged with your partner. During sexual activity, thoughts like performance anxiety, worries about your body image, distractions, negative self-talk, and a fear of intimacy can come up and ruin the moment. With mindfulness, you will be able to let go of distractions, anxiety, and the pressure to perform, so you can just relax and enjoy the experience.
You will find yourself tuning into your own sensations and desires and being able to communicate with your partner about what you want and need. Practicing mindfulness together will enable you to have sex that is not just physical but also emotional, intimate, and satisfying.
Benefits of mindful sex
Here are some of the benefits of practicing mindfulness during sexual activity:
- Increased pleasure and satisfaction;
- Improved communication and intimacy;
- Reduced stress and anxiety;
- Enhanced sexual responsiveness and desire;
- Improved self-awareness and self-exploration;
- Overcoming performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction;
- Greater emotional safety and trust.
Stress reduction and performance anxiety
Mindful sex can be a great way to reduce stress and performance anxiety, including concerns about erectile dysfunction. By focusing on the present moment and letting go of worries and distractions, you can relax and feel more confident in your sexual abilities. This shift in mindset can lead to increased blood flow and reduced muscle tension, making it easier for men to maintain an erection.
Practicing mindfulness during sex can help build a deeper connection with your partner and create a more fulfilling sexual experience, reducing performance-related stress and anxiety.
According to a recent study, mindful sex may be effective in treating sexual issues and even mental health disorders in people of all sexes. It has been found to be helpful in addressing various psychological conditions, including relationship issues, sexual dysfunctions, low sexual desire, body image concerns, anxiety, depression, and trauma.
Tips for mindful sex
If you want to have a more fulfilling sexual experience, below you will find useful tips for mindful sex.
The first step in practicing mindful sex is to talk to your partner about your needs and desires. Cultivating trust and emotional safety is a crucial aspect of a healthy and fulfilling sexual relationship. Communication is key to creating a deeper and more meaningful sexual experience, and it is important, to be honest, and open about what you want and don’t want.
Talking to your partner can help create a safe and comfortable space for both of you to explore your sexuality and create a deeper connection. It can help reduce any stress or anxiety that you may be feeling and make it easier to stay present in the moment.
Make time — set the mood
In order to make time for mindful sex, it can be helpful to set aside a specific time each week. Arrange a babysitter or plan a romantic evening. Before engaging in sexual activity, take some time to create a relaxing and intimate atmosphere. This can involve lighting candles, playing romantic music, and setting aside distractions such as phones or laptops.
Engaging in non-sexual physical touch, such as kissing, cuddling, or massaging, can build intimacy and create a relaxed atmosphere for both partners. Taking a relaxing bath or shower together can also help increase relaxation and enhance the mood for a more fulfilling sexual experience.
Practice deep breathing
Sit together with your partner and engage in a few minutes of deep breathing exercises to calm your minds and bodies. This will prime you both for intimacy and help you focus on the present moment and become more relaxed.
Let thoughts come and go
In the midst of sexual activity, it is normal to have thoughts and distractions that interfere with your enjoyment and pleasure. For example, if you find yourself distracted by a thought or worry, simply acknowledge it and then return your focus to the present moment and your physical sensations.
Practice non-judgmental awareness
This is an important aspect of mindful sex. It involves focusing on the present moment and physical sensations without judgment or criticism.
Engage your senses
Lighting a scented candle, using essential oils for massage, or focusing on your partner's scent or taste can enhance the sensory experience and create a more intimate atmosphere.
Making eye contact and tracing your fingers over each other's bodies can also increase intimacy and pleasure. Experimenting with different textures and sensations, such as sex toys, can add new dimensions of pleasure to sexual experiences.
Can you have mindful sex with alcohol or drugs?
No. Practicing mindful sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not recommended. Substance use can impair cognitive functioning and decision-making abilities, alter perceptions and sensations, and lead to a distorted sense of reality and a reduced ability to focus on the present moment.
Using mindfulness in your sexual life can be playful and fun, increase your desire, and make you feel more sensual. By paying attention to the present moment, you can fully engage your senses and enjoy the physical sensations of touch, taste, and smell. So, the next time you want to have some intimate pleasure, try mindful sex and see how it can heighten your sensuality and desires!
- American Psychological Association. Mindfulness Meditation.
- The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. The role of sexual mindfulness in sexual wellbeing.
- Pub Med.gov. Mindfulness in the treatment of sexual difficulties.