Blissful news: You don’t have to shell out big money for fancy hotels, sexy La Perla lingerie or expensive sex toys to have a great sex life. Nor do you need to have a perfect body. It turns out that what’s happening in your mind can have a delightful impact on your pleasure centres. Here are five ways that meditation and focused-attention training can make you a better lover.
Deadlines, unfinished conversation, bills, appointments, dinner… have any of these un-sexy thoughts come up during sex for you? Our busy minds are constantly swirling around thoughts of things that have happened and future events. As you can imagine, distracting thoughts like this can really limit your ability to stay PRESENT and enjoy all of the amazing benefits of a great sex session with your partner.
One of the best ways to improve intimacy and your ability to stay more present is through mindfulness and meditation. Additionally, according to studies by Emma Seppälä, Ph.D., Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education meditation increases positive emotions and decreases negative emotions. In the article “18 Science-Based Reasons to Try Loving-Kindness Meditation Today.” she reports that recent studies show increased love, joy, contentment, gratitude, pride, hope, interest, amusement, and awe as a result of 7 weeks of loving-kindness meditation. These positive emotions all have a powerful effect on our ability to relax, get intimate, and enjoy sexual pleasure!
Meditation and Sex: 5 Ways Mindfulness Can Get You Off
1. Tune in, turn on. Mindfulness meditation trains you to be more present. And a key component of having better sex is being able to tune into the moment, yourself and your partner, says psychologist Marsha Lucas, author of Rewire Your Brain for Love, on Mindful.org. She adds that studies suggest those who meditate have a thicker anterior insula, a part of the brain that helps you perceive bodily experiences and some emotions. So meditating may help you experience more pleasure and express yourself physically.
2. Enjoy every sweet step. With meditation, you learn to let go and revel in the journey, rather than striving for an end goal. Applying the same approach to sex lets you reach intensely erotic or ecstatic states, writes Pamela Madsen for Psychology Today.
3. Focus on pleasure. When you’re making love, the last thing you want to think about is your to-do list, but these thoughts do pop up given our busy lives. Training your mind with meditation can help you push aside stressful thoughts and worries and focus on mutual bliss. Meditating with Muse, the brain-sensing headband teaches you to tame wandering thoughts and calm your mind.
4. Feel your body. Studies by researcher Lori Brotto at the University of British Columbia found that mindfulness meditation helped women become more aware of their body’s sexual response, enjoy sex more and overcome sexual dysfunction.
5. Savour the sensations. Mindfulness and meditation encourage you to focus on your breath and your sensations, and this same focus can help you revel in sexual moments as well, according to the Kinsey Institute. And in the same way that you set aside time to meditate and unwind, scheduling time for truly connected, mindful sex can really take intimacy to the next level.
So, how do you get started?
A great place to start is simply having a conversation with your partner about how you want to be a more present partner. It can be beneficial for both of you to develop a practice, though you don’t need your partner to join you to benefit your relationship. Simply letting them know that this is something you want to put effort into lets them know you’re invested in putting effort into your relationship.
Starting a new meditation practice can be intimidating and because results are not always instantaneous, many people give up quickly. It’s important to note that, like any other habit, consistency is key but you don’t need an hour a day.