Consider the best sex you have ever had. Go on let yourself actually relive the experience! Take a moment to bear in mind what it felt like in your body, what feelings were evoked and what was taking place in your mind. Chances are you were truly there while you were having it – completely in your body. You were most likely psychologically and mentally connected to your partner, in addition to the physical connection.
Now recall some average or drab sex you have had. Once again, spend some time remembering the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of the experience. What was different? What is the difference in between sex and great sex?
Having a Mindful Sex Life
At its best, conscious sex is joyful and totally free. When we are able to stay in our bodies during sex, instead of shutting down and tuning out, we have the ability to stay linked to the physical experience of lovemaking.
Throughout conscious sex, we establish what is called interoceptive awareness, which refers to awareness of our physiological and emotional state. Research study reveals that increased interoceptive awareness improves sexual experiences by literally getting us out of our heads, minimizing stress and anxiety, low state of mind and self-judgement.
As we become aware of our own emotion and express this physically through lovemaking, we end up being more attuned to the psychological and physical modifications in our partner. We begin responding to their moans, modifications in breathing, subtle physical modifications or a brief glance. Mindful sex becomes a communication from the deepest parts of us and we can actually get in touch with the deepest parts of our partner. Some people even explain peak experiences of for a little while losing any sense of where they end and their partner begins. They experience a sense of being one organism. The Kama Sutra, along with Buddhist and Taoist sexual handbooks, all point toward this as being the highest kind of lovemaking– undoubtedly, the very point of conscious sex. Most experiential spiritual customs counsel us toward using sex as a lorry for transformation and connection. And all emphasize existence and embodiment as the essential starting point.
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Everything we have actually simply stated might appears obvious, however you have actually most likely found that it is not constantly simple to really attain throughout your mindful sex practice. It is common throughout sex to ignore, dissociate a little and even wander off into thoughts. These ideas might be about our sexual efficiency, thinking of work or playing out adult scenes in our heads. A number of causes can underlie this propensity, including stress, relationship difficulties and viewing too much pornography – all of that make it more likely we will enter our head rather than staying in our bodies.
We are specifically likely to detach when the psychological connection with our partner deepens and we begin to feel vulnerable. We tend to automatically choose partners who show unsettled relational issues from previous relationships (all the way back to birth) and our previous social relationships substantially affect the way we show up in existing relationships, and for that reason affect our conscious sexuality. The anxiety that can arise from the experience of having all of this really seen by someone we appreciate and don’t want to lose can activate the fight/flight/freeze response.
Better Sex with Mindfulness
To counteract this tendency towards stress and anxiety and fight/flight reactivity we must trigger the mammalian tend-and-befriend circuits. These circuits allow us to keep a psychological connection with others, even when under stress. By just remaining present throughout mindful sex we lessen the activation of the fight/flight reaction. And by concentrating on connection and nurturing when stakes are high, we release oxytocin, which helps us to calm down, focus and preserve emotional connection rather than withdrawing or reacting. This action is seen regularly in women than guys, but can be cultivated with practice by either sex.
Exercise: Activating Our Tend-and-befriend Circuits
1. Take a minute to stop briefly and sense your method into your body. Notification what feelings are around? Notice any thoughts and just enable them to come and go. Picture yourself going through this practice during conscious sex. Tune in a little much deeper and become aware of your emotional state, merely keeping in mind any emotions that are around without judgement or considering them. If you can, name the emotional state you are experiencing.
2. Next, offer yourself permission to have the emotion. Recognize that all feelings are regular parts of the human experience and serve a purpose, even in the midst of conscious sexuality. Pleasant emotions like love, pleasure and so forth reveal us that we like what we are experiencing and inspire us to seek experiences like this. On the other hand strong, undesirable emotions like anger and unhappiness provide us really useful information about needs that are not being satisfied and borders that might be being broken.
3. State to yourself calmly, “This is [name whatever emotion you are experiencing] and is a completely regular human feeling. It is totally okay that I am experiencing this today.” Cultivate a mind-set of caring approval to whatever you are experiencing. Throughout conscious love, bring this same unconditionally friendly attitude towards any physical sensations and thoughts you are experiencing too.
4. Now evoke people you love– people you care for and who take care of you. Perhaps your partner or kids, a member of the family, a good friend, even an animal. Take a moment to truly sense them in front of you. See their faces, one by one. If there are lots of people who come to mind, hold each in mind for a short time prior to proceeding to the next. If there are minutes of hurt or dissatisfaction in the relationship with the people you are noticing in front of you (which is normally the case), simply focus here on the sense of mindful love and support.
5. Tune in to the sense of love and care streaming from you to them and them to you. Take a few moments to really enjoy this sensation. Can you notice the sensation of oxytocin being launched? This is what it feels like to be run by our tend-and-befriend circuits.
Practicing this exercise frequently when you are calm and relaxed will reinforce the tend-and-befriend circuits. This will then make it easier to activate them when you require them, such as throughout lovemaking when a button gets pressed and you start to feel vulnerable and reactive. Naturally, you can constantly practice this throughout conscious sex likewise– maybe you and your partner can treat it like a lovemaking meditation. Doing this routinely leads to us ending up being more unwinded during sex. We become significantly able to remain connected with our own emotions– and for that reason our partner’s– and this increases the depth of intimacy during mindful sex.
Making mindful love in this way likewise makes sure the insula stays activated. The insula is the part of the brain most straight associated with functions such as self-awareness, understanding what is occurring interpersonally, and controlling our motion. As such, it is a very useful part of the brain for intimacy and lovemaking. Thanks to neuroplasticity keeping it active by keeping intimacy with ourselves and others results in more powerful connections between the neurons there. Research study reveals that mindfulness meditation likewise enhances the insula, so in a really real sense meditators make better lovers’.
Making conscious sex in intimate, connected ways– activating the insula and other tend-and-befriend circuitry– literally rewires the brain for deeper intimacy. We end up being less important of our (or our partner’s) efficiency, more familiar with our breath and body feelings, and more responsive to our partner’s body. This then ends up being a feedback loop as we then end up being even more gotten in touch with ourselves and our partner. Slowing things down with mindfulness amplifies these benefits. In fact, this is among the primary recommendations that we provide anyone who comes to see us in our therapy practices for conscious sexual issues. You can think of it as practicing meditation in missionary, instead of lotus, position!
Exercise: Slowing Down and Linking During Lovemaking
1. Next time you are having mindful sex, focus on foreplay. And here we are not describing providing remarkable head, like some type of porn star! Instead, we are suggesting you take some time to sense your way into your body, connecting with your physical and emotional state. You might even like to invest some time meditating (maybe with your partner) ahead of time.
2. Maintain awareness of your breath. Feel your body against your partner’s, actually savouring the heat and softness of the contact. Notification the result this has on your own body, and see if you can notice the activation of your tend-and-befriend circuits and the release of oxytocin as you experience each other in conscious sex.
3. If you notice any tension or fight/flight reactivity, focus on breathing and unwinding into the conscious sex. You might lose touch with your partner for a moment while you do this but simply reconnect once again when you start to feel more unwinded. Keep returning, over and over, as you would with any mindfulness practice.
4. If you wish to take this way of making mindful love to the next level you can even experiment with looking into your partner’s eyes during conscious lovemaking. At first this can be challenging and sometimes even lead to dissociation (where you all of a sudden feel numb or ‘out of your body’). If this takes place, you can close your eyes or avoid your gaze.
However keep coming back to this and establish the capability to keep eye contact while in close proximity. When you master this you will open up the possibility of exceptionally intimate– and explosive– mindful sex.
Any time throughout conscious sex you observe that you are responding, closing down or tuning out, decrease (or even stop) and bring your attention back to your body. Tune in to your physical sensations, let go of any tension and notice your breath. When you are ready, tune back in to your partner as soon as again feeling their body touching yours, looking at them (as well as into their eyes) as well as smelling, tasting and hearing them. In this way, lovemaking it ends up being a mindfulness practice.