By Jessica Graham
I’ve always been a very sexual person. I’m the one who finds a way to work sex into pretty much any conversation. I like great sex scenes in movies, erotic photography and graphic novels, songs with sexual lyrics, and occasionally a little porn. My sex life has always been very important to me, but for most of my sexually active years I was selling myself (and my partners) short. I was not I touch with my body, therefore, I was experiencing only a small percentage of how amazing sex can be. Once I started to learn to really feel the sensations of sex, however, I discovered a whole new me.
The first thing I recommend for anyone looking to enhance their sex life is to take up a daily mindfulness meditation practice. If you don’t have a meditation practice yet, you can start today! Sit down in a comfortable upright position and set a timer for 10 minutes. Turn off the phone and all other distractions; makes sure you won’t be disturbed. Focus your attention on your body. As sensations arise, pleasant or unpleasant, really feel them. Notice any tingling, expansion, contraction, throbbing, warmth or coldness. If you find yourself pulled into thoughts, gently bring your attention back to your body. Don’t try to stop the thoughts, just keep coming back to the body. Meditating on bodily sensations like this is very good for investigating sexual sensations in particular.
When I started practicing meditation, I didn’t set out to have better sex. In fact I didn’t actually know what I was missing. I set out to process years of emotional build up and hopefully to grow spiritually. And yes, in the beginning I wanted to have cool trippy experiences and maybe get enlightened. I didn’t know that by sitting quietly each day and exploring the sensations in my body, I would start having mind-blowing sex. It makes sense though. The more we get to know our body the more it can offer us.
Focusing on sensations of pleasure is a great way to become more mindful during sex. I wrote about this in my previous Mindful Sex article. All you need to do is to really feel the pleasure of sex. You can focus your attention in just one spot, move from sensation to sensation, or expand your awareness over your whole body. Deeply tune into what pleasure actually feels like. Get present with each throb, each rush of heat, and each tingle. Focus on the sensations of touching your partner. Experience the movement of your hands on their skin, the feeling of their hair in your hands, the wetness of the sweat on their body. If you love the way your partner tastes and smells, take that in as completely as possible. You can start to experience not only your own pleasure more fully, but also the pleasure of making your partner feel good more fully. There have been times when it seems like I can actually feel what my partner is feeling. It’s double the pleasure, double the fun!
Once you are really feeling the sensations of sex, start noticing the movement and change in the sensations. There is the movement of your breath and heart beat. There are all the tingles, throbs and rushes of heat. There is the movement of your partner’s body against yours. Start to soak into this flow of changing sensations. During oral sex is a good time to practice this concentration. Focus on the flow of pleasure in your body and on the movement of your partner’s mouth. Merge those sensations together in your awareness for a really connected experience with your lover. There is an endless flow of sensations in your body and in your partner’s. Feeling into that flow is a way to enhance your pleasure and your intimacy with your partner.
Getting in touch with body sensations during sex can also help you let go of having a goal of just getting off. Orgasms are great, but there is more to sex than climax. As you learn to soak into pleasure and find deeper connection with your partner through the flow of sensation, an end result seems less important. You may find there are other kinds of sexual satisfaction when you are less attached to one particular outcome. It’s completely possible that you could find yourself sprawled out; sweaty, vibrating with afterglow, exhausted, and totally satisfied—without ever having a traditional orgasm. By practicing mindfulness with sensations during sex you open the door to this possibility and many others. Just to be clear: I love getting off and I’m not at all promoting orgasm-free sex. This is just another adventure in Mindful Sex that is worth exploring.
If you don’t have a partner right now, try this stuff on your own. If you have a partner but they are not interested in exploring in this way, that don’t have to keep you from getting more mindful with sex. Hopefully this will rub off on them, if not you may end up moving on or coming up with a new model for commitment in your relationship.
Mediation will make you grow and this can create change. In my experience that change has always been good, even when it’s uncomfortable at first. The best thing you can do for your relationship is to continue to grow. I’ve seen many people who stifle their own sexual evolution because of an unwilling partner. If you want to give your relationship a chance, then keep growing. In the best-case your partner starts to grow with you and you form a deeper more satisfying relationship. Worst case? You move on to a relationship that meets your needs, with someone who is willing to join you on the journey.
Image credit: Dani Prokisch