Why Mindfulness During Sex Is Linked to Greater Satisfaction, More Orgasms
“When people say they’ve had the best sex and you ask them what they were thinking about, they can’t tell you, because they weren’t thinking about anything, they were just enjoying the moment. That’s mindfulness,” Kate Moyle, a psychosexual and couples therapist, told The Guardian in 2018.
Mindfulness involves being aware of something — be it our surroundings, our own emotions or those of others, our bodies, or simply, our body’s reactions to any external stimulus — but non-judgmentally so. It allows the brain to be one with the rest of the body.
Moss believes that in a world teeming with distractions — from constant chirping, blinking smartphones to TV screens playing the movie you forgot to pause before you started having sex to your neighbor’s dog barking every time anyone’s phone in their house rings — mindfulness is a useful technique to ensure one stays in the moment.
“Whenever you’re concentrating on being in the moment, that always heightens whatever it is you’re focusing on… When you feel pain, you can maneuver it and make it stronger or less intense. It’s the same for pleasure. If touch is pleasure, and you’re focusing on it, you can accentuate it,” Jessica Boston, a cognitive hypnotherapist, told Refinery29 in 2019. “It’s about getting in the right space while having sex.”
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Perhaps, the aspect of non-judgment, which mindfulness entails, also allows people to look past perceived flaws in their body while being mindful of its desires. “The more she critically views her body, the more anxiety she will feel about being seen and touched — and the less able she’ll be to lose herself in the moment and become aroused,” Laurie Watson, a certified sex therapist, wrote in Psychology Today.
Watson noted that often, people’s insecurities about their bodies eclipse their ability to enjoy sex. Alternatively, body image issues can also lead people to dissociate during intercourse, preventing them from experiencing sexual pleasure. Finding one’s body “unattractive… leads to lower sexual self-esteem, which then often leads to avoidance of sexual activity. Once one area of the sexual cycle is interrupted often several areas of the sexual cycle are disrupted — desire, arousal, and orgasm,” Watson added.
So, greater awareness of one’s body and its desires — combined with the absence of judgment towards it — makes mindfulness a technique that can, perhaps, help people living with body image issues derive greater pleasure in bed.
A 2021 study on 1,473 mixed-sex couples — aged 30, on average — found a link between greater mindfulness during sex and better sexual wellbeing.
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“Additionally, this study provides initial evidence that not only is a woman’s sexual mindfulness linked to her own orgasm consistency, but her husband’s sexual mindfulness is linked to her orgasm consistency,” its authors wrote. This suggests that both parties being present in the moment translates into greater pleasure for everyone involved. Then again, that applies to almost everything, right? It’s difficult to enjoy a conversation with a friend who is distracted, a dinner with your colleague who is constantly texting her boyfriend, or a movie with your partner when they’re more focused on work emails than on the shared experience of watching something together.
A 2016 study had also found that mindfulness improved the association between sexual arousal and genital response — facilitating greater sexual pleasure.
Moreover, the simple choice of being mindful might actually increase our chances of orgasming. “Research suggests that the part of your conscious brain that shuts off right before orgasm is the same part that shuts off when you’re meditating, concentrating intensely, or otherwise being mindful,” said Laurie Mintz, a professor of psychology at the University of Florida.
Well, next time you’re about to dive into a night of passion, remember Mintz’s words, “When your mind wanders, bring it back to the sensations.”