By Amy Freier, LCPC, CST
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last several years, you already know that practicing mindfulness does wonders to your emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing. But did you also know the benefits to your sexual wellbeing?
To begin, let’s quickly refresh your memory as to what exactly mindfulness entails, because there are a lot of shame-inducing, performance anxiety-laden, judgmental descriptions out there that I’d like to get rid of. Here’s the truth: A mindfulness practice is whatever the heck you want and need it to be. It does not have to be deep breathing in silence for thirty minutes. In fact, it does not need to include silence, at all! It does, however, need to be intentional, with the purpose of creating heightened awareness of whatever the heck your mind and body is feeling and experiencing at any given moment.
I regularly use mindfulness with clients in sex therapy as well as general therapy, in individual therapy and couples therapy, because it creates a different type of dialogue about thoughts, feelings, and physicality that simply talking through issues and concerns offers. As the high functioning professionals that many of us are, we have a tendency to intellectualize these thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. We experience them in our thoughts, but fail to connect them to the experience in our body, which can significantly reduce our experience of pleasure and enjoyment.
Enter: sexual mindfulness. If you ever found you mind wandering during sex to your grocery list, wondering if your facial expressions look “weird” or if your partner thinks you’re doing it right (whatever that means…), you would benefit from practicing mindfulness. The idea is to practice a non-judgmental way of staying present, in the moment, and allowing your mind and body to be immersed in the sexual experience.
How do you practice sexual mindfulness? There’s an app for that. Seriously. Simple Habit is an app that offers guided meditations that you can surely squeeze into your busy day—most of the modules are about 5 minutes! And even better, there are specific modules that focus on sexual mindfulness, including:
Overcome Orgasm Anxiety for Women
Mindfulness During Sex
Sex Drive Boost
This is the best thing to happen to busy people wanting to improve their sex lives since the dawn of time. Or at least since apps became a thing. I highly recommend you check them out. Simple Habit offers a free trial period before it becomes a paid subscription, so you have some time to decide if you love it.
Want to learn more about sexual mindfulness? Stay tuned for more tips from Amy Stewart, LMFT, next week! She will be sharing more guidance around ways to stay connected to your body during sex.
Each of our clinicians here at Spark Chicago Therapy incorporate mindfulness in one way or another in our work with clients. Inquire more, here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!