Three Ways in Which Mindfulness Improves Your Sex Life
Guest Post – By Daniel Sher
Sex and mindfulness. When was the last time you heard these two words mentioned in the same sentence? While sex and mindfulness might not sound like they have anything to do with one another, you shouldn’t let this fool you. Science tells us that mindfulness, in fact, can go a long way toward improving your sex life.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that involves focusing on and accepting here-and-now experiences. Read on to learn about the top three ways in which mindfulness meditation can improve your sex life:
- Mindfulness Can Reduce Performance Anxiety and Improve Confidence
For men who experience issues such as performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, the stress, fear and shame that arise can cause massive issues for their sex lives and relationships. Fortunately, these sorts of common sexual dysfunctions can be treated – and it seems that mindfulness is an effective way of taking back control.
A recent study done by Dr. Lori Brotto and colleagues found that, in the men she studied, a month of mindfulness practice helped them to improve their erectile issues and the overall quality of their sex lives. Although we still need more research, it certainly seems that mindfulness gives men a powerful way to take back control.
This is likely to be true even for men who have erectile dysfunction caused by physical, rather than psychological factors. Why? The brain-body connection means that even when the root cause is physical, addressing emotional factors such as stress and anxiety can help empower you to improve your sexual functioning further. You can learn more about how mindfulness for erectile dysfunction works here.
- Mindfulness Can Increase Sexual Desire
During these times of stress and uncertainty, it’s no surprise that many people feel less sexual desire. Think about it: fear, lockdown, social isolation, sickness, separation from family, and financial worries. These sorts of matters don’t exactly make a person feel sexy, right? Certainly, the stress caused by these, and related issues have led many patients to walk through my doors, looking for treatment for lowered levels of sexual desire.
What does science say? It should come as no surprise that stress was identified as a common culprit underlying low libido in a group of 399 couples. This makes sense, given that stress interrupts electrical and chemical communication between the brain and the genitals.
Can mindfulness help us get our mojo back? According to recent literature, the answer is yes. For example, a 2018 paper published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy sampled 105 adult men. The research found that those who tend to be naturally more mindful were less likely to have low sexual desire; and this was thought to be in part because they tended to experience less anxiety.
Research has also found mindfulness interventions to help women who struggle with low levels of sexual desire. In other words, it seems that practicing mindfulness is an excellent way for people to limit the effect of stress and anxiety, thereby increasing their levels of sexual desire.
- Mindfulness Can Increase Sexual Enjoyment and Satisfaction
Think back to the last time you went to the movies. Perhaps you, like many, chose to indulge in popcorn or some other variation of a sweet or salty snack? Now, try to think back to the taste of that meal: what was it like and how much did you enjoy it?
If you’re struggling to answer these questions, you’re not alone. Why? Quite simply when we eat in while watching a film, we are eating mindlessly – our focus is on the movie. This also means that we are depriving ourselves of an opportunity to fully immerse ourselves in the experiences of tasting and savoring that popcorn.
The same metaphor holds for sex: if we’re doing so mindlessly, we’re depriving ourselves of an opportunity to truly savor and enjoy the moment-by-moment sensations that arise. Often, people tend to have mindless sex if they are lost in their thoughts about broader stressors, or worries about their own sexual functioning. Being more mindful during sex can help improve your sex life by connecting you to the experience of sexual intimacy.
Not only this: being mindful during sex can make you a better lover. When you’re attuned to the experience, you’re also more likely to pick-up on your partner’s likes and dislikes. You’ll be better equipped to communicate and respond to their needs in the bedroom, as well as your own.
Mindfulness is a form of Buddhist meditation that has recently been embraced by the West and used in a variety of healthcare contexts as a brain training tool that can, quite simply, help people to live better. We also now know that mindfulness can have huge benefits for a person’s sex. From addressing erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, to increasing sexual desire and boosting satisfaction, mindfulness can really help you get where you need to be.
Bossio, J. A., Basson, R., Driscoll, M., Correia, S., & Brotto, L. A. (2018). Mindfulness-based group therapy for men with situational erectile dysfunction: A mixed-methods feasibility analysis and pilot study. The journal of sexual medicine, 15(10), 1478-1490.
Træen, B., Martinussen, M., Öberg, K., & Kavli, H. (2007). Reduced sexual desire in a random sample of Norwegian couples. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 22(3), 303-322.
Déziel, J., Godbout, N., & Hébert, M. (2018). Anxiety, dispositional mindfulness, and sexual desire in men consulting in clinical sexology: A mediational model. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 44(5), 513-520.
Zippan, N., Stephenson, K. R., & Brotto, L. A. (2020). Feasibility of a brief online psychoeducational intervention for women with sexual interest/arousal disorder. The journal of sexual medicine, 17(11), 2208-2219.