Sex and mindfulness are perhaps not two things that you would most naturally associate with each other – most meditation techniques require stillness, isolation and silence, whereas sex usually involves more movement, noise, and ideally more than one person. However, positioning the two as completely separate would be a missed opportunity. |
Indeed, sex is much more than merely a physical experience; much of our enjoyment depends on our attitude towards the experience and our state of mind. Consequently, investing in sexual mindfulness practices can help us reach a state of much deeper enjoyment, intimacy and satisfaction.
Studies Relating Mindfulness and Libido
A study at the Centre for Sexual Medicine of the University of British Columbia showed that women who participated in mindfulness sessions showed an increase in levels of desire, arousal, lubrication and sexual satisfaction. The women were given standard tests of sexual function before and after they participated in three organised group sessions spaced two weeks apart and carried out regular exercises at home. The programme also included expert advice and guidance from a sex therapist and a gynaecologist. However, in the interviews that were conducted after the experiment, the study’s participants reported that the mindfulness exercises were the most helpful elements in increasing their libido.
If you too would like to delve into the power of presence, here are three tips for using mindfulness and meditation techniques for increasing your pleasure and boosting your sex drive.
Mindfulness Tips for Boosting your Sex Drive
1. Break your Routine
There are certain behaviours that are so engrained into our daily lives that we end up doing them on autopilot – such as checking our mirrors and putting on our seatbelt before driving off in our car; or navigating the same old route by public transport when commuting to work. Unfortunately, over time our sex lives are prone to falling into the same kind of routine: we do the things that used to satisfy each other almost automatically, but without paying attention or putting feeling into the situation. This can be a real passion-killer and can leave both partners feeling dissatisfied without realising why.
The way to get around this problem is to practice tuning back into your – or, in other words: train your “mindfulness muscle”. A simple way to do this is to focus on your breathing whenever you have a moment to spare. Notice your chest rising and falling, and really feel the flow of air going in and out your nostrils. Doing this simple exercise regularly throughout your day makes it easier to come back into your body whenever you’re being intimate with your partner as well.
2. Focus on the Sensations
Most of us are programmed to be in our head a lot, and put judgemental ‘stamps’ onto our sensations in the form of emotions. If, instead, you practice focussing on physical sensations and notice them in a non-judgemental manner, the brain creates neurological pathways which make it easier for you to come back into the here and now at any time – which is exactly what you need to improve your experience of sex.
There are many meditation techniques out there which help you observe and let go of your thoughts whenever they happen at unwanted moments, but on top of that, meditation is known to reduce the level of cortisol in our brains. Cortisol is a hormone which starts up our ‘fight or flight’ response – in physical terms this means that it causes our blood to flow to our muscles leaving other organs (like our genitals) experiencing a reduction in blood flow. If you want to increase your libido, cortisol is very unwanted – which is why it’s worth looking into meditation techniques that work for you so you can start practicing!
These three simple tips can help you build the ability to come back to the present and enjoy your sensations at any time during the day, or indeed between the sheets. If you want to reap the fruits of mindfulness and use them to improve your sex life, the moment to start is… now.
Juliette Karaman-van Schaardenburg is a director at TurnOn Britain and a qualified OneTaste coach and Orgasmic Meditation trainer. She works with both couples and singles, teaching them meditation techniques that help them tune into their body and intuition.
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