What is mindful sex?
The technique isn’t anything technical or complicated.
Like mindfulness, it’s simply the ability not to get overwhelmed by your own thoughts. But unlike mindfulness, Mindful Sex also gives you lots of bonking. Win!
Mindful Sex lets you stay in the moment in bed, fully aware of all the sexy things that are happening.
Instead of worrying about tomorrow’s to-do list, whether your thighs look fat or if your partner’s arm is starting to ache, you can focus on, and enjoy, every sensation — from the feelings right through to the sights and sounds.
When a distracting thought does come into your mind, you notice it without judgment, then use a simple tech- nique to bring your attention back to having sex.
The history of mindful sex
Mindfullness is a modern buzzword, but Mindful Sex has been around for years.
The sexual pioneers Masters and Johnson coined the term “sensate focus” in the 1960s, which described the art of staying in the here and now under the covers, instead of aiming to climax.
They found it was a successful way to treat many sexual problems, including premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and low arousal.
And long before that, Tantric masters used meditation and mindfulness techniques to keep couples focused on each other during lovemaking.
Today, many experts are raving about mindfulness’s benefits in bonking.
Diana Richardson, author of Slow Sex — The Path To Fulfilling And Sustainable Sexuality, did a conference talk in 2018 called “The Power of Mindful Sex” which has racked up more than 650,000 views on YouTube.
How to get into the mindful moment
Schedule Sex. I keep telling you to do this, so do it — OK?
Scheduling relieves so much pressure. Men feel more relaxed when they know when they’re next going to have sex. And women appreciate the chance to prepare for the experience. So book in a bonk.
What normally distracts you during sex? Take a minute to think about that now, before you’re naked, and find a practical way to get those thoughts out of your head.
For example, if you find your mind full of things to do, such as chores or work, write a to-do list for tomorrow to clear your head. If you worry about kids barging in, fit a sturdy lock on your bedroom door.
Turn off your phone.
You can do it. Be strong. The same goes for the TV.
You can play music, but find a neutral playlist that won’t suddenly blast out songs that remind you of your ex. Don’t worry about how your body looks.
Focus on how it feels.
Starting with your head, mentally “scan” yourself and notice any tension, such as a clenched jaw or a tight shoulder. Relax those muscles. Continue all the way down to your feet.
Do this as often as you can during the day.
If you’re likely to stress about how you look during sex, remember — your partner wouldn’t be climbing into your bed unless they thought you were hot.
Find a way to bring your attention back.
Mindfulness isn’t a way to think about nothing — that’s what beer is for!
Mindfulness, and meditation, are a way to notice when you are “thinking”, and bring your attention back to just “being”.
Try this: For two minutes, focus on your breathing.
Follow each breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.
As soon as you notice that your mind has wandered (which it will), think, “Breathe”. Then begin again. That’s meditation. Easy, right? During sex, do the same, but think: “Sex.”
How to stay mindful during sex
An easy technique to kick off shenanigans mindfully is to connect with your partner first.
Kneel or lie on the bed facing each other, place a hand over each other’s heart and match your breathing until it’s at the same pace.
This is a tantric technique, and it connects you as a couple while helping you to focus on each other, your breathing and the present moment. It’s sexier than it sounds.
Keep your eyes open and look at everything that’s happening.
Remember, no judgment.
Just see everything — the look on your partner’s face, your pants swinging from the lampshade — and experience it.
Men often worry they will climax too soon. Remember — stay in the present moment. When you worry, you’re in the past (remembering a bad experience) or the future (stressing about something that might happen).
Take it slowly.
Mindful Sex is easiest when you let yourself become fully immersed in each moment. So don’t rush from foreplay to bonk to climax.
Indulge your senses with long, drawn-out foreplay. Try slowed-down pleasures, such as massage, kissing, teasing each other.
Stay away from positions that are so stimulating you can’t hold back.
Make every move with full awareness. When you begin Mindful Sex, you’ll soon realise how busy your mind usually is with perfectionist thoughts: “Am I doing this right? Are they enjoying this? Should I stop?”
This type of thinking is what psychologists call “spectatoring”, and it’s a total buzzkill.
The best way to avoid spectatoring is to focus deliberately on every move. When you are touching your partner, focus on touching them.
Don’t worry, you’ll still have one. But stop making it your goal. When you think about orgasms, you’re thinking, which is what we’re trying to avoid.
Focus on your senses, what you can feel, see, hear, taste and smell.
Every time you find yourself focusing on climax (yours or your partner’s), think, “Sex”, and bring your attention back to your body.
This post originally appeared in The Sun.