Let’s face it, sex is not always easy to talk about. It’s deeply personal and very subjective. Yet, it is a vital, intrinsic part of our human nature. Our sexual energy is part of our pure potential itself. It is literally the creative life-force energy which has created all of life around us, including you. Learning how to harness and direct this powerful, life-force energy within you can be a catalyst for self-actualization.
We know mindfulness is all about bringing focus to the present moment, heightening awareness of our internal experiences and the reality occurring around us. That includes observing past hurts or future worries, and acknowledging and accepting what is here now. But what about in the bedroom?
When we are fully present with our sensations as well as the aforementioned psychological effects on our entire system, new dimensions of pleasure and connection are opened in sexual experiences. Our orgasmic experiences are able to register deeper emotional and chemical pathways that become a part of us in positive ways, allowing sex to be a more powerful biochemical reaction that can literally rewire our brains in the direction of our life purpose.
How and why we orgasm has a real impact on our entire mind-body ecosystem, with orgasms being a particularly powerful stimulation that affect the neuroplasticity of our brains. Part of the pleasure we receive during sex comes from the increase in oxytocin and other hormonal releases. In fact, these hormonal changes act as evolutionary mechanisms to ensure sufficient bonding to what was orgasmed to as a means to increase our chances of survival. Mindfulness allows us to engage the powerful stimulation of sex in ways that can intentionally shape and enhance our mind-body ecosystem, from the desire for experiences to how pleasure is interpreted in relation to the rest of our lives.
Ready to start practicing conscious sexuality? Initiating a mindfulness practice can be a challenge for anyone to do on their own, let alone with a partner. So let’s begin with you first.
Mindful Self-Pleasure Techniques
Your self-pleasure routine is a excellent place to begin applying mindfulness techniques. The next time you engage in self-pleasure, take your time. Instead of focusing on achieving orgasm as quickly as possible, focus on your own breathing, body, and sexual energy. Breathe and relax into presence while noticing what is occurring in your body as you breathe deeply and explore yourself. Heightened sensations are typically experienced through this technique and as a result, have been proven to increase the pleasure we experience leading up to, during, and after orgasm.
During this practice, instead of an focusing on a unrealistic fantasy, create a visualization of your future success or self-actualization. Pleasure is heightened relative to how you feel about yourself and can increase the more you embody those feelings. So intentionally focus on how your future success, in whichever arena of life you have chosen to visualize, makes you feel. Yes, visualization techniques are a wonderful first step on the path to realizing one’s true potential.
Allow yourself to let go of expectations around what is “supposed” to happen while intentionally deciding what you want orgasm to move you towards. As other thoughts occur, and they will naturally, simply note them and let them go without judgement. By returning to your visualization at the point of orgasm, you will have strengthened neurological pathways toward the manifestation of your point of desire.
Mindful Sex & Intimacy With Others
Now imagine applying the skills you’ve used during sexual pleasure with a partner.
Sensitivity to your partner’s non-verbal and responsiveness to them are critical components of mindful sex. Bring awareness of your entire self-first is key, then afterwards toward awareness and connection with your partner. You cannot feel exactly what their body is feeling, but you can get attuned to their body language and other expressions, catching a glimpse of their experiences. Instead of becoming distracted by your own gratification or focus on a result, such as a specific way to orgasm, focus on staying present and responsive to non-verbal. Mindful sex is maintaining this shared awareness with your partner, moment to moment, as if it is as important as your own.
That means giving yourselves time to ease into it and keeping a mindful presence that is a shared energetic rhythm. One of the most effective techniques to practice with a partner is synchronized breathing. Remember that mindful, or tantric, sex is about prolonging and transcending your sexual experience. By synchronizing the rhythm of your breath with that of your partner, and then deepening it together, you will amplify your experience of connectedness and pleasure.
Throughout the sexual experience assess whether you’re on the same wavelength or it is time to slow down or pause to reconnect. The International Sex & Tantra Educator, Author of Beyond Cuddle Party, and Interfusion Festival facilitator Monique Darling writes:
“There is a place beyond what most people imagine. A place of intimacy, connection, and pleasure beyond your wildest dreams. This place comes when we place mindfulness on our sexual interactions. Take time to slow down, to feel into what your body wants, giving your partner time to feel into and ask for what they want. The agendas drop away, and instead of a few minutes of orgasm, every touch, every breath, each interaction becomes orgasmic.”
If discovering new desires, feelings, and ways of exploring one another sounds like something you want more of, then start with practicing the art of acceptance through mindfulness with your partner in an open and consensual dialog. When agendas drop away, we are in this beautiful state of acceptance. Finding yourself in this space with your partner will take practice and patience and is worth every single moment you commit to it.
Exploring deep desires together can be an incredibly powerful, intimate, mindful and insightful experience. And by exploring we don’t mean playing them out specifical fantasies to no end, as many may automatically assume, but as a welcomed expose and shared acceptance that allows understanding to expand the possibilities of how sexual desire and stimulation can be enhanced within the limits of your current reality. Higher self fantasies are poet expressions of unexpressed needs and desires and when they can be brought to the surface and shared, a completely new level of authentic connection can be created.
Tips for Mindful Sexuality
- Practice breathing from your lower belly. This will give energy to the lower energy centers of the body and will help circulate your sexual energy throughout your body.
- Take full, belly-expanding inhales. Exhale fully by contracting your abdominal muscles and pulling your belly button toward your spine, pushing out the air from your lungs.
- For a more intuitive presence focus on your “third eye” (centered point just above the eyebrows) then slowly expand awareness to even the tiniest sensations.
- Instead of ‘Spectatoring’ or taking on the role of a complete ‘observer’, allow yourself to relax in your body with a beginner’s mind, allowing the mental chatter as you ease into your body.
- Disengage from shame. See your body and your sexuality, and those of your partner, as gifts to be cherished and enjoyed. This is a time to enjoy the divine perfection of what is already there.
- Notice patterns and how it feels to take a different approach, ever so slightly. What can be softer? How does it feel to engage from the feet? Can you feel touch without the use of hands.
- Let go of expectations and outcomes. Co-create and let go of any need to be in control. Allow yourself to trust yourself, your lover, and the process.
When it comes to intimacy and sexuality, whether you identify as experienced, inexperienced, polyamorous, monogamous, working through trauma, or a seasoned practitioner of the Kama Sutra, mindfulness can enhance your sexual freedom, joy, and elevate pleasure. Mindful sex is something to be cultivated over time, so if you value all of the benefits of this practice, you will discover ways to bring this quality of presence to your partnerships, often and with an open mind. Eventually, it becomes second nature because it is a reflection of our true nature.
About the Authors
Iva Vest’s passion is authentic, conscious living and holistic wellness. She is a dynamic, spirited certified health coach dedicated to the art of conscious life design and inspires others to greatness through assisting them in discovering their courage and true path awareness. Iva’s extensive dance background fostered strong body awareness and a deep love for sacred movement and the arts.
Christian Rodriguez is a hopeless romantic, has some fancy degrees, meditates a lot and founded the largest winter-time transformative event on the East Coast, Interfusion Festival, which bringing together creatives and visionaries from around the US and beyond for a weekend of learning, play, connection and creativity.