The Power of Mindful Sex
**Disclaimer: Oftentimes there are medical disorders, hormonal changes, medications and other important components that are involved with low libido. This article does not address these factors directly but of course honors them. If you are concerned about your libido and suspect it has more to do with physiology than body image and weight, please consult a physician for advice and treatment.. Additionally, if you have experienced or suspect you have sexual trauma in your history please see an expert who deals with trauma and please note that the methods and techniques listed in this article may be triggering for you and/or ineffective.
Sex and body image are inextricably tied. How we feel about our bodies directly affects how comfortable, free and mindful we are about sensuality and sexuality. Many of my clients claim they no longer have a sex drive and they believe it to be because of their weight and struggles with food. I beg to differ. I know many larger women who have a voracious sex drive and women who are 95 pounds and could care less about sex. It’s not about your size. It’s about your perception and ability to fully own and claim the sensations our bodies are capable of without shame and without worry.
In fact, the best way to have a healthy relationship with ourselves as sexual beings is to heal our relationship with our bodies.
How do we do this?
Start with sensuality. Start by taking sex off the table completely. Without the pressure of a sexual component or sexual outcome we can start to tune in to the multiple pathways of pleasure and sensation our bodies are capable of feeling.
Lie in bed and take a few choice items with you. A feather, a piece of silky fabric, something warm like a warm washcloth and something cold like ice.
Notice how the items feel differently on your forehead than they do on your feet. Observe your internal reactions when something warm is placed on your skin than when the ice is on the skin. Tune in to what feels good and what doesn’t, alone, in the comfort of your own space and in the comfort of your own bodies.
There is nothing expected of you. Nothing to achieve or strive for. Just noticing, just tuning in. You’re simply just getting to know you and your sensuality on a deeper level.
Make no mistake that tuning into the vast pathways of our sensual worlds can earn us trust, awe, compassion and pride. This has nothing at all to do with the way our bodies look, but the way they can FEEL on a soul level which changes our emotional space and eventually on on a sexual level.
Here are some to do’s to start to become more mindful around sex and sensuality
1.Stop dieting – dieting puts our bodies in a stress response which will essentially shut down pathways to relaxation and pleasure which is incumbent upon your enjoying sex!
2.Eat luxurious foods and eat them mindfully, slowly and without the burden of morality. Watch this mindful eating exercise meditation with worksheets to find out how
3. Notice which ways your body feel best in terms of movement. Is it dance? Hikes? Walks? Learning about your body mechanics and natural flowing progression of movement in your own unique bodies can also be a precursor to how your body moves and feels during sex.
4. Solo sex: Give that one a go after you do the mindful sensuality exercise
5. During intimacy with a partner: tune into how your body is feeling. Notice when you’re in your head thinking things like “I should really be having an orgasm by now” which takes you out of sensation or “Oh crap, he/she must be thinking my thighs are so huge” which also prevents you from being present, without judgement, and instead allows nagging thought bubbles to get in your way. Obviously this takes time and practice and communication with a trusted partner.
6. Discover other pathways to pleasure. We often have a very conflicted relationship with pleasure. There are negative associations with people who relish in pleasure unabashedly. Words like gluttony, hedonism, and debauchery come to mind and set us up for having some shame or worry around truly enjoying pleasurable things. But pleasure can mean many things. A hike in the woods, a warm bath, a deep conversation with a loved one. Discover all the pathways in your life that spark pleasure and enjoyment in the sensory realm.
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