Most of us have heard of mindfulness: the idea of being in the moment, being aware, getting out of our heads and into our bodies, acknowledging our thoughts and feelings without judgement. Mindfulness has been used to reduce stress, change eating habits and ease pain to name a few. But what about mindful sex?
For many of us, our lives are busy, we are always on the go. We work, we go to school, we take care of others, we work and then we work some more. We feel stress, anxiety and worry. We judge others, we judge ourselves even more. We think about money, our bodies, our things. So many things – cars, clothes, houses, accessories.
And then there is technology. We have phones, computers, laptops, tablets … We are connected 24/7. We can work from home, from the car, while on vacation. We compare ourselves to others we see on social media, knowing they are only posting their best filtered self. We take this technology into the bedroom. Our phone literally sleeps beside us on the bedside table.
So what does this mean for our sex lives? Is sex something to check off our to do lists? There is nothing wrong with a quickie, but are we getting the emotional connection we desire if this is the only type of intimacy we have time for?
And the answer for some is yes.
Some of us do not want intimacy, some of us get it from a quick romp, some of us are not in emotionally connected relationships and some of us do not want to be. However, for others, mindful sex can be something to help us focus in a world full of distractions.
Mindful sex is a way to focus on sensations, explore our senses and put all the distractions aside for a time. It is something that must be intentional. We often think sex should be spontaneous to be good, but it does not. Schedule a time in your Google calendar (careful it is not your work calendar) and give yourself permission to enjoy yourself, your body, others bodies. Make this time your own. Turn off all technology and put it aside, make the space relaxing.
Mindful sex is not goal oriented — meaning orgasm should not be your goal, pleasure should be your goal. If you have an orgasm that’s great, but if you don’t, that is great to. Focus on your entire body, not just your genitals. Learn where you like to be touched, what feels good on your skin. Take your time. Maybe open your eyes and see your body, this helps to stay in the moment.
Mindfulness is used to help many sexual complaints. Complaints and concerns about desire, arousal, orgasm and pain. Our world expects a lot from us, even sexually, and sometimes these expectations are too much. Mindfulness gives us a few moments to slow down, enjoy ourselves and feel pleasure.
Mindfulness can be self-taught, and hopefully along the way, you can find some love and compassion for yourself.
Stacey Jacobs is the sexual health educational manager at SHORE.