Mindfulness. It’s the buzzword of the moment. Although mindfulness has been churned out by the media; it seems impossible to flick through a mag without it featuring somewhere, its benefits are scientifically-proven and it’s endorsed by health professionals and yogis alike. So far, mindfulness has been applied to eating, parenting and might even play a bit-part in your weekly yoga classes. But, it’s getting an exciting upgrade:
In 2017, 2,000 women aged 30 to 80 were surveyed by Ipsos Mori and it turns out that a fifth of us are left unsatisfied by our bumps and grinds. We deserve better, ladies!
Experts believe that unfulfilling sex and the stresses of every day are causally linked. It seems our minds are racing with so many thoughts, notifications, pings and what to binge watch next on Netflix, that our sex lives are suffering big time. This is where mindfulness comes in.
Desire is as much a psychological as a physical thing-it actually begins in your brain before shimmying on down to your bits and bobs. The principle of mindfulness is presentness: being aware and fully immersed in the present moment. Instead of focusing on your sexual performance or an end goal-we all love the big O but it’s not the be all and end all of sex-direct your attention to the sensations both inside and outside your body. How does your partner’s body feel against yours? Can you feel their hot breath on your skin?
According to German Psychologist Dr. Julia Velten, “Sexual response will be triggered only when women pay attention to erotic stimulus and are not distracted by nonsexual thoughts”. Another study, led by Dr. Brotto, explored whether mindfulness could be used to treat female sexual dysfunction. After just eight weeks on a mindfulness programme, participants were reporting an increase of up to 60% when it came to sexual satisfaction. Like building muscle, mindfulness takes a little bit of practice, but it is achievable for all of us.
Your mind will wander the first couple of times you try it but that’s completely normal. If you catch it running off, don’t beat yourself up, just refocus. After a while, you’ll begin to notice that all of the energy you would normally waste on self-criticism will be channeled into arousal. So, why not give mindfulness a go?
This small mental adjustment might just make for the best sex you’ve ever had.
Askham, G. (2018). Get it OM. Women's Health UK, (58), pp.125-129.