Why mindfulness can be the secret to better sex

June 30, 2023 0 Comments

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, ao-button”} }”>

Going out the door? Read this article about the new Outside+ app, now available on member iOS devices! >”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

The sexual health industry is booming. The fact that he was recently valued at over six billion dollars seems to indicate that everyone is having awesome sex. But as Maria Yagoda explores in her new book, Confused and confusedit’s just not the case.

“I would like to see more openness and frank discussions about the fact that sometimes sex is not great,” says Yagoda. “We don’t need to put so much pressure on our sex lives to confirm who we are as people and our identity.”

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work on creating a better — and more satisfying — sex life. For her book, Yagoda embarked on this journey herself, describing her attempts to apply various techniques and trends to improve her sex life. Including attentiveness.

Mindfulness and Your Sex Life (Because, Yes, They Go Together)

It starts with your individual attitude towards your body. Conscious masturbation encourages you to adopt a more conscious attitude to what is happening, Yagoda says. Experts recommend using your senses — hearing, touch, sight, and smell — during this process, which can be helpful for those trying to enjoy sex. That doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Yagoda says she had a hard time integrating conscious masturbation into her sex life. After years of learning not to feel anything in her body and ignoring cues and sensations, she says she had a hard time transitioning to actually touching her body during masturbation. These long-established tendencies cannot be undone by just a few experiences.

However, when she started seeing a sex coach, she learned a lot from the classes that included mindfulness, especially when it came to breathing exercises. Yagoda says her trainer encouraged her to feel the full cycle of her breath, following it throughout her body. “I’ve been practicing yoga for many years,” she says. “But I never felt wind or air past my throat. Now that’s something I know a lot about.” This may seem inconsistent with her attempts to improve her sex life, but it is not.

Increasing your awareness of the internal and external sensations coursing through your body can help you find similar sensations during sex. This is a constant practice, says Yagoda. We are not used to this type of setting – the softness of the sheets, the chirping of birds outside the window or a beach-scented candle. But once you start experiencing these sensations throughout your body, it can help you experience more pleasure (i.e., sexual arousal and orgasm) during solo or partnered sex.

Sex is self-care

Your self-care routine might look like a bubble bath, long walks, and reading. You want to think of sex and masturbation as the same thing. But rethinking this activity can be difficult, especially for men.

Many of the men whom Yagoda interviewed for her book could not accept the concept of masturbation as a practice of conscious self-care. “I haven’t talked to anyone who’s said, ‘Oh, it’s really important for me to prevent masturbation by lighting candles and romancing,'” she says. “I feel like this idea is really unusual.”

However, treating masturbation as another form of self-care, similar to exercise, journaling, or meditation, can help remove the burden of orgasm. It focuses on the experience, not the end result, Yagoda says. “Sometimes we worry so much about orgasm that I think it’s important to put it aside,” she says.

As with most things in your sex life, you’ll need to adjust your approach to work for you. If you have post-traumatic stress disorder or trauma and experience discomfort when practicing traditional meditation, you may also experience discomfort when closing your eyes during sex or masturbation. If so, you may want to keep them open and consider seeking support from someone trained in trauma counseling.

That’s the ethos Yagoda encourages in his book: it should work for you. And like all aspects of health and well-being, your sex life is a process of trial and error.

“I hope my book can be a starting point for people to say, ‘It really doesn’t have to be this way,'” she says. “It doesn’t mean I’m a failure if I have bad sex. There are actually all these little tools that can be really helpful.”

An image of the book Laid and Confused
(Photo: Courtesy of St. Martin’s Press)

Buy this book

When you purchase something using retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. We do not accept money for reviews of editorial equipment. Learn more about our policies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *