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

#301: Sex as Embodied Mindfulness Practice

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, August 23, 2020

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.

So, what are mindfulness practices? We tend to associate mindfulness with solo, sedentary practices such as meditation, prayer and contemplation. And yes, these are great ways to practice mindfulness, to learn to still the mind, relax the body and even have experiences of oneness with the universe. Ideally these practices will also be embodied, so that you are really present and aware of your body, as much as stilling the mind. I tend to think of this as ‘bodyfulness’ as much as ‘mindfulness’.

While you can practice embodied mindfulness in seated positions, more obviously embodiment-focused are the movement-based mindfulness practices. These practices involve movement, such as tai chi and yoga, which have additional benefits of being kinaesthetic, proprioceptive, tactile, spacial and interoceptive (when practiced with focus not just as... read more

#292: Become a Sensual Explorer

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, April 19, 2020

Our five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch are wonderful tools to explore sensuality and eroticism. By suppressing or enhancing the senses you can create and experience all kinds of enchanting pleasures.

Here are some suggestions to inspire you in your own sensual adventures:

Touch your partner with items of different texture and temperature. Try a feather, a piece of silk, a body brush, a loofah. Try things that have been heated or cooled, such as warm oil or ice-blocks. Use everyday items: the end of a belt, a scarf, a fork, the back of a spoon…

Try doing it blindfolded, or with the receiver's hands tied for a different effect (of course with their agreement!) Blocking out the main sense of sight can heighten the other senses, as can being restrained in some way (keeping in mind that not everyone is comfortable with restraint).

Feed your partner: have a selection of unknown items that they can’t see, make them all delicious, or mix them up (gerkins and chocolate!); feed your partner chocolate mousse or rice pudding. Or blindfold both of you and try feeding each other (messy, but fun!)

Arouse the olfactory:... read more

#234: Allow Self-Indulgence

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, June 10, 2018

One of the absolute keys to good sex is the ability to let go, to surrender to the experience.

I'm going to speak directly to female readers here, because I find that women have more trouble in this area. Yet it’s actually more important that the woman let go for the couple to be able to reach heightened states of arousal and pleasure.

Essentially what women need to do is allow for self-indulgence.

Now there are some ‘precious princesses’ out there who are all about self-indulgence: me, me, me. I'm not talking about them. I’m talking about all those women I see in my clinic and at workshops and in the street and in the school playground, etc, who can’t allow themselves to indulge. Especially sexually.

Sex as letting go, opening up, being real, requires self-indulgence. As a woman it requires you to open to the experience, to allow pleasure, wonder and ecstasy.

Yet so many women hold themselves back from experiencing this pleasure. So many women hold back from allowing themselves the indulgence of engaging and receiving pleasure.

Which is such a shame! Because the more a woman lets herself go in this way,... read more

#231: A Multitude of Orgasmic Possibilities

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, April 29, 2018

An orgasm is good, great in fact, but it gets better than that - it gets orgasmic!

Yes, the range of orgasms and orgasmic experiences we can have is mind-blowing. If you think sex is about stimulating your genitals until you have an orgasm and then you’re done, oh boy, have you got a long way to go! And what a journey!

To have a nice clitoral orgasm if you’re a woman, or to have a nice ejaculation if you’re a man, is important. Some women have trouble with this, so I love to help them start to have orgasms. It’s just the start though…

For women in particular, the orgasmic possibilities are vast, but men too can experience a lot more than just an ejaculation, and they can certainly have more than one. Women, well, women can get into an orgasmic state - and stay there a long time!

Let’s start with women. How to achieve this? Well, for a start, don’t think that once you’ve had an orgasm you’re done. Far from it. Often the first orgasm is little more than stress release. Even the second might be a nice build up and small explosion. By then you’ll be... read more

#219: How to Heighten Sensory Pleasure

Jacqueline Hellyer - Saturday, December 09, 2017

Sexual pleasure involves so much more than just what your genitals are doing.

Engaging the senses is a crucial element to heightening sexual pleasure.

Just as the experience is more enjoyable and satisfying the more you engage the senses and make it a whole experience when you eat - think grabbing a bite to eat on the run as opposed to a sit down meal - so it is with sex.

Our whole obsession with ‘food porn’ is so much more than just eating. There’s the ‘plating up’ so that the food is beautifully presented, there is the texture and visual beauty of the tableware, the cutlery. Flowers and candles present more visual beauty and olfactory delights. The right music adds auditory ambience. All these elements combine to create a heightened experience of the eating, much more so than if you scoffed the same food on the run.

Within the food itself, ideally there are wonderful contrasts of texture, tastes, smells.

With sex it’s the same. You change the experience by changing the sensory elements.

Music that is serene versus music that is uplifting, trance dance music is different to elegant classical, silence,... read more

#210: Penises Love A Soft Touch

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, September 17, 2017

Penises love a woman’s softness. Why then, do so many women feel they need to stimulate a man so hard?

A woman is not a masturbation machine, nor is she a vacuum cleaner. Yet so many women act like this in bed with a man.

If he really wants the intensity of a man from his partner, then tell him to explore his bisexual side! Seriously - bisexual men tell me that the pleasure of being with a man is in the intensity and hardness of the encounter.

The problem is that so many men have never even had their penises touched tenderly and softly.

Because men tend to be pretty intense when masturbating, some think that’s the only way to pleasure their penis, and so expect the same from their female partner. But once a man has experienced the sensation of tender stimulation of his penis (given with true erotic desire and connection), well, he won’t turn back. It’s a wonderful sensation.

Which is not to say that there aren’t times when you won’t want to bring in some vigor. Most of the time though, explore the gentler side -  hold and caress and stroke your man’s penis with intense softness and... read more

#207: The Exquisiteness of a Relaxed Vagina

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, August 27, 2017

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.

To do this, you need to approach intercourse slowly, tenderly and gently. You won’t awaken the subtle ecstasy with vigorous stimulation. So follow this general approach:
  • Make sure you are beautifully aroused: be in a lovely environment, take your time with non-genital connection (kissing, touch, hugging, eye gazing, etc.) to become aroused. You are aiming for a soft, warm arousal... read more

#206: The Look of Love - Eye-gazing

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sit facing each other. Cross-legged is ideal, or on straight-backed chairs if your knees aren’t so good. Be close enough that your knees are touching and you can hold hands.

Then simply gaze into each other’s eyes.

Play some luscious chilled music, and hold the gaze for one song. That’s about three minutes.

Allow yourself to sink into the gaze. Feel the connection between you.

You might find yourself giggling, that’s fine, let the giggles pass and let your energy sink, bringing your breath deeper into your belly to centre yourself.

You might find it gets uncomfortable, that the gaze becomes too intense. In this case simply close your eyes for a while and feel into the space between you until you feel ready to open your eyes again.

Simply feel and notice. Avoid analysing as you go, whatever you feel you feel, whatever you notice you notice. It could be blissful, it could be emotional, it could be nothing much at all, just the barest glimmer of an opening into each other.

In this co-created space, without talk or movement, you are left with the pure essence of your... read more

#199: Melting Moments

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, July 02, 2017

There are many melting moments during quality sex.

Moments where there is a sense of melting:

  • melting into relaxation, 
  • melting into bliss,
  • melting away tension,
  • melting into your partner, 
  • pelvic melting, 
  • abdominal melting,
  • heart melting
  • throat melting
  • consciousness melting
Moments of melting leading to moments of rapture.

This is slow sex. Or at least, starting out slow sex.

There is the melting of desire, the yearning, the opening up and into the other.

There is the melting when the genitals join. A release and relaxation in the pelvis as the vagina and penis sit together, in embrace.

There is a softening, a melting of the heart.

The tension drains away with the union. From the face, the throat, the chest, the abdomen.

Eyes meet and melt together.

Lips meet and melt with tenderness: sensing, tasting, touching.

Hands touch skin, melt. Limbs join, entwine, melt.

The joining together leads to motion, rhythm, the dance of bodies together. Merging, melting. Intensity and subtlety creating unique interplays of movement, sensation, feeling. read more

#196: Savour Sex

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, April 09, 2017

I just had a week in private retreat, a time for reflection and contemplation. I was fortunate to stay in a friend’s beautiul beachside house in Sydney’s northern beaches.

It was a time to simply be rather than do, to feel rather than think.

A time to savour life.

Most of us are far too busy doing and pushing to actually be and feel what we’re doing. In life, and in sex.

Sex is not a race to the big ‘O’, it’s not a performance for the benefit of our partner, it’s a shared experience of pleasure, exquisitely felt and perfectly savoured.

Whatever you’re doing.

I know many people make the mistake of thinking that the type of sex I’m advocating, deep Tantric type sex, has to be all soft and sensual. Not at all. As long as it’s between living adult humans who both (or all) consent, then go for it.

But go for it with feeling. A naughty quickie in the bathroom while the kids are having breakfast, a luscious snuggle under the covers on a cold winter’s night, or a swinging fest with the couple you hooked up with on-line. It’s all good, as... read more

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