Mindfulness is a good thing. From scientific research to the personal experience of increasing numbers of people, there is proof of so many benefits from practicing mindfulness in life – better health, calmer, more self-aware, more engaged with life.
There’s also been more research on sex and mindfulness, although the focus tends to be on how mindfulness practices can make sex better. I’m just as interested in how sex itself can be a mindfulness practice.
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To have great sex you need to be able to switch off and focus at the same time: switch off from the rest of the world and focus on what's happening right here and right now. You need to be able to lose yourself into the experience.
One of the main reasons I hear that people have trouble getting in to sex or getting around to sex is that they can't switch off and become present to the connection, so clearly this is a skill that modern people are in need of. Even if you are having decent sex, improving your ability to let go and be present in the experience will make the sex better and better.
So how to learn that skill? Learn to meditate! The better you get at meditating, the easier it is for you to sink in to sex. read more...
There is so much pressure on penises. The poor things are supposed to rise to attention on command, stay hard for hours, only ejaculate when desired - and if they can’t do that, then the sex is considered poor, he has 'failed'.
I often say that all the dysfunctions we have around sex are more to do with society's dysfunctional model of sex, rather than the people doing it. I've written elsewhere how the model of 'normal' sex is based on solo masturbation rather than partnered love-making. This makes it structured and linear, with success measured by action and performance, rather than being free-flowing and non-linear, with success measured by feeling and connectedness.
Since 'sex' is seen as having key KPIs of penis-in-vagina activity (god only knows what lesbians do) with requisite orgasms, all of which happens in a set linear way, it means that out of fear/awkwardness/confusion/distaste people avoid any kind of love-making or even affection so as avoid what they see as ‘sex’ - and then feel really bad about not having sex!
It’s a bit of a catch-22 type of situation.
As I pointed out to a client caught in this dilemma on her first visit recently: you can make love with just a kiss. When she returned on her next visit she looked quite different.
“So how have the last two weeks been,” I asked, my standard first question. read more...
So many people who come to me are wanting more from their sexuality, but are at a loss as to what that ‘more’ might be.
These people might already have done their own research or seen other professional helpers. They've made sure their genitals are functioning, have given themselves permission to try different sexual activities, learned the importance of consent – and yes, these are all important parts of a healthy sex life – yet something is still missing…
The answer to the ‘more’ in sex is not a doing more, it’s a being more.
It is about moving away from sex as an ‘act’ or a ‘performance’ and engaging with another with openness and transparency. Rather than ‘doing’ each other or ‘getting each other off’, it’s about both surrendering to the experience. When two people engage in this way you are allowing yourself to explore, express and be known at the deepest levels of your being. read more...
Over my years of clinical and academic involvement in sexuality (not to mention countless hours of personal ‘research’) I have identified seven underlying elements to our sexuality.
These elements are all essential to having a strong, healthy, integrated sexuality. If you are weak in any of them, your sexuality will be out of balance.
These elements are also developmental, each element includes and transcends the ones before. If you jump ahead before you’ve developed and integrated the earlier elements, that too will cause your sexuality to be out of balance. read more...
Sex within intimate relationships can be an extraordinary place to grow spiritually, to deepen in love, expand conscious awareness, to feel more peace, bliss, ease. But it’s also very easy to fall into what’s called spiritual bypassing, thinking that you’re becoming more spiritual but actually doing some or all of the following:
In the Tantric yogic traditions they talk about ‘actionless action’ or inaction through action. This is part of the karma-yoga tradition, developing spiritually through right action. Rather than renouncing the world and avoiding actions, karma yoga is about engaging in the world - cultivating wordly life and spiritual life simultaneously.
In the Taoist tradition there is the concept of wu-wei ‘action through non-action’ or action without intent, which leads to a life of harmony, aligned with the Way or the Tao. read more...
It's Autumn, the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” to quote Keats - a time of ripening and reaching fulfillment. Mmm, doesn’t that sound so sexual!
It’s not an intense, fiery time of year though and I don’t advocate an overly intense approach to sex.
Too many people go too far too quick, rushing into it, without allowing the time for the ‘ripening’ in order to achieve real sexual fulfillment.
Truly awesome sex always takes connection, a 'sinking in' within oneself and with each other. It’s different from the rapid-fire approach to sexual excitation, which is the more “normal” mode in this society. With this sinking in comes a ‘syncing in’, where you can let go and really feel each other, really tune in - and for a while the two can indeed become 'one'.
When your vagina is relaxed and receptive it becomes the most amazingly sensitive organ, capable of experiencing subtle energies and generating beautifully exquisite sensations. Unfortunately, as the standard model of sex is for vigorous thrusting into the vagina, our vaginas tend to become “hardened” to subtlety.
Also, because of the focus on the clitoris, the vagina can get neglected. To the extent that some people feel that the clitoris is the only important sex organ for a woman and that the vagina is simply a vessel for the man’s penis to enjoy. So most of the attention goes on to the clitoris, with strong stimulation there to the point of orgasm, followed by intercourse until he comes. The clitoris is very wonderful, of course! But so is the vagina. I’d like you to reclaim your vagina as the wonderful, sensitive organ that it can be. read more...
- #306: Sex as Embodied Mindfulness Practice
- #305: So Many Ways to Eat, So Many Ways to…
- #304: Date Night or Date Day?
- #303: Teenage Love-Making
- #302: Turning Sex Lives Upside-Down - It’s My Life’s Work!
- #301: Don't Spend a Fortune on Toys - There’s A Sex Store in Your Pantry!
- #300: Do You PIV or VEP When You Have Sex?
- #299: Take Your Penis for a Walk!
- #298: It's Time to Let Our Souls Catch-Up
- #297: Become a Sensual Explorer
- #296: Q&A: My Wife Won't Pleasure Herself in Front of Me
- #295: Subtle Shifts to Great Sex
- #294: Q&A: My Husband Can't Keep an Erection, and He Smokes Lots of Marajuana
- #293: Love in the Time of COVID-19
- #292: Q&A: My Partner Doesn't Climax from Oral Sex and I'm Worried
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