Let’s talk about sex. What hasn’t been said so far? It seems like everything that can be said about sex has been said. It only seems so. On the off-chance that like me you had not heard about mindful sex, here’s a brief on what it is and how to have more mindful sex with your partner.
What is mindful sex?
Mindfulness is about being present, being aware of and fully attending to what’s happening, what you’re doing and the space you’re moving through. Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment through a gentle nurturing lens.
Mindful sex is making the conscious decision to be engaged and present during your sexual encounters. No letting your wonder, drifting in and out of sex as you worry about your justifiably endless to-do list. For couples who have been together for a while, it is easy to drift and just go through the motions because you already know what your partner likes. With mindful sex, you set out to ground yourself and be present in the moment. It is about being fully present physically, emotionally and mentally during all parts of sex.
Mindful sex is more intimate and stands to strengthen your bond as a couple beyond sex. Awareness also has the benefit of heightening your senses so that all those sensations result in mind-blowing sex. Explosive orgasm anyone?
Ways to have more mindful sex
1. Only have sex when you want to
It should go without saying that you should only have sex when you want to, never as a chore or out of obligation. If you don’t want to have sex, don’t. Be conscious of your thoughts and feelings as you go into it and only do it because you want to and because that is what you truly desire.
2. Talk about it – before, after and during sex
This is by all means not easy certainly in cultures where talking about sex is largely frowned upon. But it’s one of those situations where you just must. It takes two to tango. Use plain speech, clear language, no euphemisms and fables to tell your partner what you need. It may not be sexy but vocalizing your needs is not only empowering but also makes the experience good for both of you. Talk about what you want, what feels good to you, what doesn’t. Win-win.
The idea here is to be in tune with each other’s needs and also to personalize it without assuming that what has worked with other people in the past will work here too. Everyone is unique. Their bodies and desires are unique and it helps to know that so that you can make it extra personal and special for both of you.
There is a time for a quickie. This is not it. Mindful sex will take some time. Do some breathing exercises together just before. Your breath is able to tell you everything that is going on in your body and mind and breathing exercises help calm you and release whatever tension is present.
Carrying on breathing exercises while being intimate binds you together and prolongs your sexual experience while also making sex more intense. If you’re able to synchronize your breathing it makes it even more deep and romantic. A sex therapist says that with proper breathing an orgasm can come quicker than you’d expect it.
4. Eliminate distractions and refocus your attention
There are so many demands on our attention from moment to moment. One of the best ways to stay present is to eliminate distractions. This is amplified for people who have children. Get a baby sitter or take your children elsewhere for the night or the weekend. Turn off electronics, consider putting them in a separate room or maybe put your cellphone on silent.
If and when your attention justifiably drifts away for one reason or another, actively refocus and bring it back to the present. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it happens. Just refocus.
5. Don’t obsess over achieving orgasm
One of the keys to having mindful sex is letting go of the goal of orgasm. Our bodies respond differently on different days and different periods. Free yourself from this pressure. Focus instead not on thinking but on feeling all the sensations as you immerse yourselves in each other. Don’t allow yourself to worry about how your bodies look and finishing etc. focus on your partner and all the sensations at the present moment. Try and relax and have fun with it.
Mindfulness helps you pay attention to your lover and all your feelings which has the benefit of making you respond more to your lover and be more conscious of your own orgasm. Pay attention to body language. Listen to the sounds your partner is making, the movements they are making and perhaps what they’re saying they like if they’re vocal. Pay attention to what is doing it for you as well. This continuous awareness can lead to mind-blowing orgasms for both of you.
It takes time to achieve this level of intimacy. Talking about what you need and listening to your partner’s needs as well requires a level of vulnerability that is just not present in a quickie. Now go forth and have some mindful sex.
In the interest of being more conscious and aware, here’s a great piece on 6 things women worry about during sex.