By Kelly McDonnell-Arnold
“Try this mind-blowing sex trick tonight and blow your partner away!”
“10 porn-star moves to try out tonight.”
“Toe-curling sex is just 3 moves away.”
Do any of these headlines look familiar?
They all pack some hefty promises, and some are simply that — promises.
If you’ve ever gone down the rabbit hole of click-baity articles or been stopped in your tracks by any tabloid titles, you’ve seen the lofty promises. Maybe they’ve even piqued your curiosity and led you to click the headline.
Before we go any further, this is not what this article (or us at Sexology International) is all about.
There’s no one trick, secret move, or magic power or pill that will deliver a completely, perfectly, fulfulling sex life. And that “perfect” sex life — it’s not a thing. Sex is ever-evolving and can be messy, silly, noisy, and even awkward sometimes. And that imperfection is what makes it perfect.
Our relationship with sexuality will ebb, flow, and evolve over our lifetimes. Sensual delight and connection will probably look different for you throughout your life. What you desire and how you desire it will shift and change over time. And that’s great! Who doesn’t love a fresh look, new throw pillow, or a new coat of paint on the walls every now and then? Because it keeps things interesting and through continued dialogue, exploration, and curiosity, it can keep deepening your experience with pleasure.
There’s a practice that as a Sexologist, I love to recommend to all my clients. And that practice is mindfulness.
The more we can purposely engage in a mindfulness practice and pay attention to what we’re feeling, the more we can experience increased sexual arousal, desire, and satisfaction between the sheets. In addition to more fun sexi time, we may also experience better physiological sexual functioning.
A mindfulness practice helps us stay present in our bodies — throughout the day and during sex.
By allowing us to notice the physical sensations of sex more fully and consciously, we can go deeper into the entire experience.
The mindfulness stuff sounds pretty radical, right? The good news is you already have all the tools you need to tune into yourself and make mindfulness your work for you during sex.
Here are 6 simple ways to experience more mindfulness in your sex life:
Let go of self-judgment
It’s all too easy for people to get lost in their thoughts and find themselves preoccupied during sex with everything other than sex. Whether they’re worried about pleasing their partner(s), if they’re sexy enough, or thinking about if they’re taking too long to reach orgasm — whatever the reason, by deliberately focusing our attention on the sounds, sights, and sensations it can take us out of the thoughts in our heads and direct us back toward pleasure-town.
Make it a practice
Whenever you remember to slow down and pay attention to your breath, your partner(s), and what’s happening directly in front of you, it can take hold as a practice. Use it as a practice throughout the day. While you’re enjoying lunch, in the shower, or driving to work. Wherever you are, you can pause to take a moment and focus fully on what you’re doing in the moment.
Most of mindfulness is simply noticing. Paying attention to what’s going on around you instead of losing yourself to daydreams or feeling anxious about something that happened yesterday, or something that may or may not occur in the future. Tune into your body and notice what you see, hear, smell, or taste, wherever you are.
It takes grace and patience
When you’re practicing, it’s normal to find yourself feeling distracted. Suddenly it seems like out of nowhere you look up and realize you’ve been wandering around in your head for an hour worrying about a presentation at work next week instead of looking your dinner date in the eye and hearing what they have to say. This is completely normal and whenever you notice, do so without judgment. Gently move back into the present and move on.
Practice alone first
Deepening your mindfulness practice during your solo sex sessions is a fantastic way to flex your attention muscles to later stay in the moment with a partner. When you’re touching yourself during masturbation, you can play with paying close attention to the physical sensations caused by each touch. This is great to practice when you’re alone because you can take all the time you need and explore what turns you on. Later, when you meet up with your partner(s), you’ll be better able to find that familiar sense of presence and connection.
Write it down
If you’re having a tough time getting out of your head and into your body during sex, it might be helpful to pinpoint what’s causing all the absent-mindedness. Try journaling what comes to mind a few times a day. The beauty of journaling is that no one needs to read what you wrote — it’s just for you. Play with writing some thoughts that come to mind first thing in the morning or in the evening as you wind down from the day. There’s no right or wrong way to journal — and you may even be surprised by what comes up for you! Stay curious and open to what bubbles to the surface and try not to greet your emotions with any expectations or judgment.
With your journaling practice, take some time to acknowledge what excites you about sex. You may find it’s easier to put your worries in their place when you’re more in tune with the reasons you’re really into enjoying sex to begin with.
Remember, mindful sex is a constant practice. You may find days where it’s a breeze to tune into yourself and there may be times where you’re simply feeling too stressed or tired. It’s entirely okay. It takes time and practice and it works best when you give yourself compassion without criticizing.
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