Stop chasing an orgasm and start fully experiencing pleasure.
Often when you have conversations with people about the best sex they’ve ever had they use phrases such as ‘lost in the moment’ or ‘in the zone’. Their minds were clear of all thoughts as they just focused on the pleasurable experience and giving themselves permission to be in the present.
As a Psychosexual Therapist I am working with people that may be experiencing the opposite end of this scale. They struggle to be thought-free during sex; finding it hard to get out of their head and into their body. This inevitably creates anxiety and causes more difficulties with sex than there needs to be, but the anxiety is often negative anticipation about what could go wrong — so their thoughts are in the future rather than in the present. Which is why I thought it might be useful to write about how to be more mindful in sex.
The word mindfulness has got a lot of attention recently with schools running mindfulness classes for children and therapists and groups teaching the art to adults. Perhaps this isn’t a surprise given that we live fast paced lives, and more and more our personal and professional lives merge as we can answer work emails from our bedrooms facilitated by technology. So perhaps the need for mindfulness is even stronger than ever.
To be mindful is to be aware of the experience we find ourselves in. It is immediate — about the here and now. It can feel a bit like tuning out all the background noise and turning up the volume on the moment that you find yourself in. Immersing yourself fully and being appreciative. When this comes to sex, it’s key. It’s hard for us to achieve orgasm when we are focusing on our pleasure, it’s not sexy to be thinking about the jobs you have to do, or feeling distracted or anxious. In fact this detracts from our sexual experience and can even inhibit arousal, desire and even sexual functioning.
So, one key point. Stop chasing an orgasm and start fully experiencing pleasure.
Take every second as it comes. Enjoy the sensations of your bodies together. Notice the warmth, the texture, your breathing. Be aware of the sensations in your body and how you are feeling.
If you find yourself lost in thought about something that is not what you are doing, focus on your body to bring yourself back into the moment.
Take thirty seconds to notice your breath, your heartbeat and the touch of your partner on your body — almost as if you were describing it to yourself in as much detail as possible. If you find it difficult to work out where to start then work your way through the five senses, what can you taste, what can you smell, what can you hear, what can you see, and what can you feel.
People who often report frustration about their inability to orgasm, find that it’s all they are thinking about during sex — but this detracts from what the focus should be (and ironically how we achieve orgasm). Pleasure. Be open to where the sexual situation goes, and enjoy it for the experience that it is — you and whoever you are having sex with, being together.
P.S. And if you are still struggling, try Pillow Play the app that helps couples to playfully combine intimacy and mindfulness. The unique follow along episodes that tap into so much of what makes us feel closer to our partners, are perfect for helping to be being free of thought and focus on the special moments you have together.