You’ve probably heard a lot about how mindfulness can help you everywhere from the office to the gym, but you might not be aware that it also has a lot to offer your sex life. Adding mindful practices like meditation to your daily routine can produce benefits like better sleep and reduced stress that have a positive impact on your sexual health. But beyond that, the skills and concepts that mindfulness teaches you can add a new dimension to both solo and partnered sex.
One of the main goals of mindfulness is trying to focus on the present. Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, just be present in the current moment. Developing this sense of presence and bringing it with you into the bedroom would mean seeing every sexual encounter (including masturbation) with fresh eyes. Instead of worrying about what could go wrong or what has gone wrong in the past, just focus on what’s happening now and what you and your partner are feeling in the moment. Instead of defaulting to the same routine every time (alone or with a partner), consider what you really want right now. Instead of being goal-oriented and just thinking ahead to the orgasm, enjoy the whole experience as it unfolds.
Another mindful practice is developing more awareness, including awareness of sensations that you’re feeling in your body. Applied to sexuality, this skill could help you learn how your body responds to different types of stimulation, and give you a clearer picture of what you like. Pleasure can be heightened when you’re fully experiencing sensation throughout your body.
Once you start to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, most mindful practices recommend trying to accept whatever comes up in a non-judgmental way. This can be a really helpful concept to apply to sexuality, which is affected by so many external factors like sex education, the opinions of partners, and stigmas and stereotypes in society. Approaching your sexual thoughts and feelings in an accepting and non-judgmental way can help you to put less pressure on yourself to perform a certain way and reduce expectations around how things are “supposed to” go so you can focus on what you and your partner actually want. It can create space for desires, fantasies, and feelings to come up that you might want to explore.
Your masturbation routine is a great place to start bringing mindfulness into your sex life. Instead of masturbating the same way you always do or trying to ‘get the job done’ as quickly as possible, adjust your mindset and try taking your time and staying in the moment. See what thoughts and feelings come up without judging or doubting them. Over time, this mindful approach to sexuality can produce a greater sense of calm, confidence, and control that helps you find new levels of pleasure