So meditation can help you become aroused more easily, right? Simple math, this - but now there’s some science behind the idea.

Mic recently talked to clinical psychologist and sex therapist Megan Fleming about how she uses meditation and breathing exercises to help clients get more in touch with their own bodies - something some sexuality professionals refer to as conscious embodiment and something that can lead to a better sex life.

Conscious embodiment is essentially really experiencing your bodies - when we’re intimate, we’re often bombarded with all sorts of negative thoughts ranging from “I don’t feel unattractive” to “I feel ashamed” depending on our upbringing. Socially, we have a lot of problems with sex, and this often manifests in loud, shaming thoughts disrupting our intimacy - and worse, keeping us from really connecting with the sensations happening in our bodies. Our brains are too busy shouting at themselves.

That’s not just an analogy either - for those of us who are anxious or under consistent stress, our dorsolateral prefontal cortex is busy barraging us with anxious thoughts; the present moment can’t get a word in sideways. As Emily Nagoski recently outlined in her book Come As You Are, sex is all about context - and when you’re stressed, whether it’s because you had a bad day at work, you’re pressuring yourself to perform, or a sex-shame-y voice from your past is whispering into your brain - you’re not going to be able to savor sex.

 

That’s where meditation and breathing exercises come in


There isn’t really any right way to do it - Dr. Nagoski recommends a daily practice where you set aside two minutes to pay attention to your breathing: breathe in. breathe out. breathe in. breathe out. and so on. During this process, other thoughts will come up; you don’t have to ignore them, but simply notice them and put them aside for later before going back to breathing.

can-meditation-lead-to-better-sex-2

 

According to Dr. Nagoski, “Noticing that your mind wandered and then returning your attention to your breath is the real work of mindfulness. It’s not so much about paying attention to your breath as it is about noticing what you’re paying attention to without judgement, and making a choice about whether you want to pay attention to it. What you’re “mindful” of is both your breath and your attention to your breath. By practicing this skill of noticing what you’re paying attention to, you’re teaching yourself to be in control of your brain, so that your brain is not in control of you.”

But stress’ effect on arousal and orgasm doesn’t stop with the mental chatter. With stress, we have fight or flight reactions - Dr. Nagoski would argue that we also have a ‘freeze’ reaction to stressors - and these come with hormones that can actually prevent us from getting it on. Our brain’s answer to stress comes in the form of cortisol - which helps reduce it, but at high levels it can also prevent orgasm in women. When our brain says, “fight!” we react with adrenaline, which creates constricted energy and reducing bloodflow - it’s a boner killer, metaphorical or not.

The lesson? Physical activity that helps you gain that zen, whether it’s spin class or yoga, and some meditation regularly can help you brain de-stress and stop shouting so much. The result paves the way for you to have more connected and conscious experiences, where you’re able to feel more of what’s going on. And that translates into better sex. That seems pretty worthwhile to me.

Caitlin is a writer, sex educator, consultant, and product reviewer who focuses primarily on issues of sex toy and accessory safety, pleasure, sexuality, gender, and more. You can learn more, or ask any questions, at their website- www.sex-ational.com.

Images by Hartwig HKD and Sebastian Wirtz via Flickr with CC BY 2.0 license

 


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

0 comments

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



There are no comments to display.

Similar articles