mindfulness2You might be asking yourself – Are you kidding me? Is this a ploy to get me to read your blog? No. Mindfulness training can really be useful in gaining more pleasure from sex (and other aspects of life, of course).

First, what is mindfulness? In a nutshell, mindfulness is a way of training your brain to be here, now. To keep your brain in the moment as much as possible, and notice where you are and what you are doing, thinking, feeling, sensing in the moment, without judgment. It is not about shutting off the brain, but intentionally noticing the brain’s activity.

We are often floating away from the current moment in our minds. We are thinking about what just happened in our spin class an hour ago, or running through our to-do list to make sure we don’t forget something. We are rarely here, in the moment, right now. By training our brains, we can find more moments of here-ness.

The ability to be present, aware, and in the moment, can certainly be useful when it comes to sex. Many people, especially women, have trouble staying connected and present during sex. Not only do women find it difficult to get turned on, at times, because they are thinking so much about past and future, but they also struggle to stay focused on the pleasurable experience while in the throws of passion.

Here are a few things to consider when practicing mindfulness for better sex:

1 – Engage all your senses – touch, smell, taste, sight, sound – and really notice each and every one of them as fully as possible. When engaging the senses, it helps us stay present and aware. It will be a little harder for your mind to wander off to your to-do list, though it can still happen. When your mind wanders, simply bring it back to one or all of your senses. Immerse yourself in the sensations.

2 – Breathe. Notice the natural rhythms of your breath and surrender to them as much as possible. Breathe deeply and consciously when you notice your mind wandering off to the past or future. When we use our breath to relax and release rather than control and withhold, sex is more powerful and can really help relieve tension and stress.

3 – Practice non-judgment and acceptance. If your inner dialogue distracts you, it’s okay. Try to be gentle with yourself; no need to beat yourself up about it. Just gently return to the sensations in the moment. If this happens over and over (and it will in the beginning), let it go and keep practicing. You are not bad or wrong, just distracted. Mindfulness actually rewires the brain to focus more on the present moment, and rewiring takes time.

4 – Remove distractions. Turn off the TV. Silence the phone or other electronics.

Go forth and practice, practice, practice…


Kimberly Atwood is a psychotherapist in private practice with offices in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and Midtown Manhattan, NYC. She specializes in working with people in their 20’s and 30’s dealing with eating disorders, intimacy issues, and related anxiety. Visit Kimberly’s ‘Finding Your Voice’ blog at http://wp.me/p2H9sB-1F