We all know sex is better when we are relaxed. But lots of things can keep us tense before and during intimate encounters:
- Time shortages
- Past experiences
- Guilt or shame
- Poor body image
- Unrealistic performance expectations
Because of these and other reasons, many of us often have trouble letting go and being mindful with our sexual partners.
Meditation to the Rescue
One method of getting in the right frame of mind for uninhibited pleasure is meditation. Taking a few minutes to calm your mind and body on a daily basis, or even just prior to sex, can increase your ability to focus, connect and enjoy.
New research by Lori Brotto is making a strong connection between regular meditation, meditating just before sex, and higher rates of desire, arousal, orgasm and satisfaction.
Sex is a mental game. By intentionally slowing down through meditation, we can let go of emotions (or at least put them aside for a while) that won’t serve us between the sheets.
By slowing our breathing, quieting our mind and moving into the here and now, we prepare to connect more fully, pay attention to each other’s needs, and be in the moment with our partners.
Author Michael Castleman explains the sex-meditation connection like this:
“Both sex and meditation involve taking breaks from daily routines and responsibilities. Both include deep diaphragmatic breathing. Both encourage emptying the mind of extraneous thoughts and focusing attention on the present moment. And both help free the mind from daily hassles.
Meditators accomplish this by sitting quietly and focusing intently on their breath, or on a word or phrase (mantra), or on a simple activity (walking, slowly chewing one bite of food). Lovers free their minds by engaging in mutual erotic touch while focusing intently on one another (though they may fantasize about other partners). Both expand spiritual connections—meditators to the world around them; lovers to their partners…”
Emptying Your Mind
Clearing your mind to engage fully with your partner takes practice. During both meditation and lovemaking, random thoughts dart in and out of our brains. The key is to accept these thoughts without judgment. Thoughts are like dreams: you can’t control them and are not responsible for them. Instead of judging your thoughts, simply observe them, let them go, and then return to your breath, mantra or mindfulness activity.”
In the same way, I encouraging clients to observe their erotic thoughts and fantasies during lovemaking non-judgmentally, gently let go of them and return to focusing on giving and receiving pleasure.
Calming the Body
When we meditate, everything relaxes, creating the opposite effect of the “fight or flight” stress response. Our heart rate slows, our blood vessels relax and open, and our blood pressure goes down, along with our stress hormones.
Best of all, blood flow is boosted, increasing our ability to experience pleasure and enjoy it longer.
Getting Hormones Back in Balance
The delicate balance between our brains and the hormones that regulate mood and libido can easily be thrown off. Medications, stress, lack of sleep and many other factors can put it out of sync. When one part of the brain gets out of kilter, it affects others, including the sex drive.
Mindfulness created by meditation has been shown to improve women’s libido by potentially altering and reaffirming the delicate hormonal balance necessary for arousal.
Enjoying the Journey
When we slow down, we become aware of each touch, stroke, and kiss, rather than just the end goal of sex. The entire process–from foreplay to orgasm—is more gratifying.
Need more help? Consult a sex therapist in Charlotte, NC.