The world around us is filled with advice on better sex.
In fact, we’re practically bombarded with mandates to have it. Magazine covers announce the secrets to kinkier, more exciting and “mind-blowing” sex regularly.
But new research suggests that if you want better sex, the secret isn’t in parlor tricks and new stunts. What you really need to do all happens in your mind.
Studies show that women who underwent mindfulness training enabled them to respond faster and to be more aware of their own sexual response. The result? Better sex!
Being able to more consciously register your own responses permits you to think about your own sensations and pleasure during sex, instead of thinking about your to-do list. Or, worse yet, focusing on your perceived body flaws—a sin so many women are guilty of during sex! Thinking about either thing literally robs you of pleasure. New studies show that activating that part of the brain also helps women unlock their ability to orgasm, and improves orgasm.
How do you get started?
Start setting aside time during the day to be mindful of your breath. Start by paying attention as you pull air into your body through your nose. Notice as it winds down into your chest. Pay attention as your chest expands and the air expands your belly during your inhale. Now watch your body at work during the exhale.
Sounds simple, and it is. But so powerful.
Now part of you is thinking: breathing isn’t sex. What’s that got to do with what happens during sex? Well, in short: everything.
By paying attention to your breath, you are in essence practicing being aware of the experience of your body. And being tuned into your body is good for you and good for sex.
How much time does this take? Turns out, not very long. The ideal would be spending 20 minutes daily in mindful meditation. But many of us can’t fit that into our lives. No worries! You can break that into two sessions of 10 minutes and reap the same benefits. But even starting with two minutes every day will help. The consistency is really what you want to concern yourself with rather than the length of meditation. A little every day is better than a long session once a week.
*Also, it’s best to receive instruction and guidance in person by a qualified instructor.
Redirect Wandering Thoughts
It is normal for your mind to wander as you attempt this—especially in the beginning. But the key to success is to realize that has happened and refocus your mind.
In fact, research shows that in the moment that you notice and redirect you are making important changes in your brain. So, feel good about that!
Graduate to Mindfulness Moments Everywhere
Once you’ve developed a mindful practice in your quiet space with no distractions, start trying to take your practice to the outside world. That formal practice you’re doing at home is creating new pathways in the brain so that you can pull up those skills on command throughout the day.
Find moments to bring out those skills and use them. Waiting in a long line? Take that time to be mindful. Sitting in the waiting room with no end in sight? Break out the mindfulness.
You are no longer wasting time. You’re training yourself to be more mindful, more awake, and you’re breaking the habit of rushing through life without actually living.
More importantly, you’re making it easier to be mindful during sex.
Other strategies to up the ante between the sheets?
Once you are comfortable with being mindful, focus on your own body. Imagine your mind is doing a full body scan. Let your mind move over your body, being aware of each part. If there are parts of your body you struggle to tune into, then that’s a red flag. Your mind may be closed off from that part.
Developing awareness of all parts of your body helps improve sex.
Bring on the Metta
This is a common technique, which loosely translated means “loving kindness.” As you practice mindfulness, focus your attention on different people in your life. Begin with yourself, and then think of other people in your life. Send each person—including you—loving thoughts and good wishes. Then end with yourself as well.
Pay attention to your own emotions as your mind travels over the people in your life. Doing so helps your develop your sense of empathy. Empathy is important because it helps us to feel more connected to our lives and to other people. Connection reduces anxiety, and gives us a greater capacity for feeling. All of this increases your awareness during sex.
All of this brings you to mindful sex. Your goal is for your mind to stop wandering during sex and start being present. You have now taught yourself to redirect your mind when it wanders. So when you start thinking about your thighs, redirect yourself to thinking about how it feels to have your partner touch your skin, and how it feels when you touch his.
Being present and focused on the experience will increase the likelihood that your lovemaking will result in an orgasm. By contrast, when you’re focused on the goal of an orgasm, you are less likely to have one.
Mindful lovemaking will improve your orgasms, but it will also improve your experience. And by extension, it will likely improve your relationship.
All of that just from a few minutes a day of paying attention. It sure beats buying new lingerie and hanging from the chandelier.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Sarah Williams
Editor: Travis May