The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!

#8: Neuroplasticity - Moulding Your Brain for Better Sex

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It’s interesting to observe the participants of a retreat. 

As the days pass there’s an observable change in them, and they all report a significant change within themselves.

This is a great example of neuroplasticity - the brain changing its circuitry.

Given the opportunity for stillness and guided activities and reflection, the circuits of these people change quite rapidly.

This change in the brain allows for definite and continued positive change from that moment on.

I love the fact that brain researchers have proven this plasticity. Many years ago, as an undergraduate biochemistry student studying neuroscience, I was dismayed by the thinking of the day that the brain was simply a computer and the job of the scientist was to figure out what the bits were and how they interacted. I remember being scoffed at for suggesting it might be otherwise. So I didn’t pursue that line of study.

Now we know that the brain is a wonderful organic system that constantly changes and adapts to the inputs coming into it, throughout the whole life. So if your life is stressful and you input negative thoughts, your brain circuitry will reinforce and reflect that reality. That will become the filter through which you experience the world - as negative and stressful. If you have positive thoughts and experiences then your brain will reinforce and reflect that reality - you’ll look at the world through a rose-colored brain!

You have two choices for your feedback loop - either increasingly negative or increasingly positive.

The exciting thing is that you can change your circuitry. Working on your personal growth is essentially about rewiring your brain.

Which brings me to sex.

If you have negative views, expectations and experiences around sex you can change them to positive ones:

  • You don’t have to be stuck in your ‘story’ (brain circuitry) that says that sex is scary/disgusting/sinful/odd/boring/painful/unnecessary/addictive. 
  • You don’t have to be stuck in your story about not being into sex because: you’re a mother/disabled/old/from a repressed background/a victim of abuse/too busy/too tired/too whatever; or, 
  • Your story that you’re entitled to sex because you’re a man/married/a helpless addict/a victim of abuse/stressed/whatever.

Any story can be changed.

One of the wonderful things about sex, is that you can change your neural wiring to more positive circuits while actually having sex - assuming that it’s intimate sex.

Just as the participants on a retreat can make huge changes in a short amount of time - through quietness and concentrated reflection - so you too can make major sexual changes through a more sensual, subtle approach to sex and intimacy.

Making love in a beautiful environment, calm, soft and inviting is a good start.

Then progressing slowly with loving touch - melting hugs, feeling each others' presence as much as your bodies, gazing into each others eyes - gives your brain the time and space to rewire in positive ways. Over time, the wiring in your brain will respond to the thought of sex in a positive way, knowing that it is an enjoyable, positive experience. It will send messages throughout your body to prepare it for pleasure through the release of hormones, muscle relaxation, slowing your heartbeat and other benefits.

When two people’s brains are wired sex-positively, they come together in openness, not anxiety/resignation/annoyance/fear of rejection or other negative energies.

The more you come together in this way, the stronger the wiring becomes and the easier it is to enjoy love-making.

This applies to solo sex too. The more you send positive messages to your brain, the more you experience enjoyable solo sex, the better the brain rewires to reinforce the view that solo sex, and the genitals involved, are good.

It’s important that you reinforce this rewiring in the whole of your life. Surround yourself with things and experiences that heighten your senses and your enjoyment of life. Avoid people with a sex-negative view of the world and reach out and interact with people with a positive view.

Remember it’s a positive feedback loop. The more positivity you put in your life, the more positive it becomes, and due to neuroplasticity, it becomes increasingly easier and easier to be more positive - until you get to the point where it’s your natural state of being and you can’t help but be joyful!

Who’s brain are we talking about? Yours. So it’s up to you to take control of your brain, make the choice to feed it positively. Honour your life and your role in creating it whichever way you choose. Your brain will back you up on that.

Remember, you’re the creator.


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