Q. I constantly read articles telling me how to have better sex or mindblowing orgasms. It gets frustrating because more often than not they end up being click bait and not even very good click bait. I read your article on your best sex tip - touch and thought I would ask you what one other thing you would recommend for a better sex life. Life is so busy and my sex life is important to me, to my partner and I don’t want to waste any more time on clickbait.
A. Thankyou for asking your question. I need to start by saying there is no magic wand or pill, no one article or course that will deliver the perfect sex life for everyone, or even the same person through their entire life. If you read the article on silly sex being bliss you would know that we don’t think that there is a perfect sex life. Sex is ever-evolving and can be messy, silly, noisy, and even awkward sometimes. The silliness and the imperfection is part of being human and is actually what makes it perfect.
There is no magic wand or pill, no one article or course that will deliver the perfect sex life for everyone, or even the same person through their entire life
Our relationship with sexuality evolves through our lifetimes.
What works for you or brings you pleasure in your 20’s may look different or evolve in your 40’s. What brings you pleasure and what you desire will change over time. And that’s totally normal and great news because we grow as individuals as we age so variety in our desire and pleasure grows with us - variety is the spice of life after all.
Mindfulness gets thrown around a lot today so it is almost cliche but it is the best word I can think of to describe my second best great sex tip. Being resent could be an alternative if you prefer. All it means is that you pay attention to what you are feeling. It allows you to experience increased sexual arousal, desire, and satisfaction, it can also mean that you may also experience better physiological sexual functioning.
Mindfulness practice helps us stay present in our bodies.
I will be honest I find it very difficult to meditate so let me assure you that this is not what sexual mindfulness is about. Being a person that has a brain that has 50 tabs open, 4 are frozen and at times I am not sure where the music is coming from (like your computer I am guessing) I can tell you that you already have all the tools you need to tune into yourself and make mindfulness work for you during sex.
Here are 7 simple ways to experience more mindfulness in your sex life:
1. Be kind to you.
Remember the multiple tabs open brain well I am not going to tell you to only have one open because I know from personal experience and from working with clients that does not work. It is so easy to get lost in your thoughts or to-do list and find yourself preoccupied during sex. Whether you are worried about pleasing your partner(s), if your body is sexy enough, tummy flat enough, or thinking that you need to hurry up and orgasm, make your priority to be kind to yourself. Whatever is going through your head, try to only focus on one tab, don’t jump from tab to tab that is open in your brain, focus on one, no multitasking. By deliberately focusing attention on the sounds, sights, and sensations in the moment or on that tab it can take you out of your spiral of thoughts and back to our bodies and toward pleasure.
If your thoughts start to spiral or negative self-talk creeps in remember to slow down and pay attention to your breath, your partner, and what’s happening directly in front of you, and in this case, practice does help so be patient. You can do this practice during your busy day as well, practice helps even when it is not related to sex. Wherever you are, you can pause to take a moment and focus fully on what you’re doing in the moment. You will feel the difference in your body, your stress levels and it may even help improve your focus. If you practice in your normal day it will help you when you need to use this technique during sex.
3. Pay attention
Most of the mindfulness is simply noticing. Paying attention to what’s going on around you instead of losing yourself to the multiple tabs or spiraling thoughts. Tune into your body and notice what you see, hear, smell, or taste, wherever you are. If you are not adverse to blindfolds during sex they can be useful to help you focus in the moment. Light bondage may also help. The restriction of one sense can heighten other senses and restricting movement can also help you bring your focus into your body and the moment. These are only suggestions and they are not going to be a fit for everyone. Ensure anything you do along these lines is safe - sane and consensual and remember communication is key in these moments.
When you’re practicing, it’s normal to find yourself feeling distracted. Suddenly it seems like out of nowhere those tabs are popping up and demanding your attention. This is completely normal and whenever you notice this happening, do so without judgment. Focus on your breath and gently move back into the present and move on.
5. Practice alone first
A great starting point with sexual mindfulness is to practice during your solo sex sessions. It is a fantastic way to flex your attention muscles to later stay in the moment before trying it with a partner. It can be a naturally evolving process when you are touching yourself during self-pleasure, you can play with paying close attention to the physical sensations caused by each touch. Or if you want a little more guidance on how to do this you can access the pleasure mapping download. It also explains how to do it as a couple if you would prefer to practice with your partner.
6. Reflect and write
If you’re having a tough time getting out of your head and into your body during sex, you are not alone. One great tip is to it try journaling what comes to mind a few times a day. The beauty of journaling is that no one needs to read what you wrote — it’s just for you. There’s no right or wrong way to journal and it is ok to write about sex and pleasure, what works and what doesn’t - in this instance, it may be very helpful to do that. This can be hard for some and that is ok. If you need help with this point there are professionals that can help you.
7. Ask for help
There are trained professionals that can help you with this. A sexologist is a person who has studied human sexuality. Sexologists have studied the science of sex, which means they have studied human anatomy and physiology (how the body works and why) and psychology (how our minds work) regarding sexuality.
Sexologists follow a set of rules called a Code of Ethics. This means that sexologists must be professional and competent and follow a set of values, being respectful of everybody and their diversity, and holding up the sexual rights of all the people who come to see them.
In Australia, sexologists are members of the Society of Australian Sexologists. You can see the Clinical and Provisional Members listed there. General members also exist and we are trained and many (including myself) are working towards Provisional or Clinical status. I am a sexologist, a sexuality educator. I am more than happy to work through the process of mindfulness and journaling with you. Get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a time.
Remember, mindful sex is a constant practice.
Some days it will be easier to practice mindful sex or to be present at the moment. Other days it may be hard and that is OK. It takes time and practice and it works best when you are kind to yourself and keeps the self-criticism to a minimum.