The simple answer to learning about sexual mindfulness is it will re-ignite the passion in your relationship, even if you’ve been with your partner for 2, 5, 10, 20, or 50 years like me.
If you’re in a long-term sexual relationship you know how easy it is to fall into a sexual rut. After you’ve had sex with your partner thousands of times, it is easy to anticipate how things will play out during any given sexual encounter. Over the years you’ve probably experimented with a variety of different sexual activities and have developed a pattern of behavior that is both satisfying and comfortable for the two of you.
You probably find that when making love with your partner you fall into a kind of groove or pattern in your lovemaking. You may start with a particular form of snuggling, kissing, and warming up and progress into different activities leading to penetration and eventually orgasm.
The upside to this predictable pattern is that it is both comforting and effective. You feel comfortable with the activities, the sequencing, and the time spent, and it achieves whatever desired effect you are looking for (usually orgasm).
The downside of this familiarity and comfort with your partner and your sexual routine is that it is easy for your mind to say “been there, done that” and get distracted. It is almost as if you can perform your ritual on autopilot and get the results you are expecting.
If you really are honest, you’ve probably had countless sexual encounters with your long-term partner while actually being on autopilot.
So, what is the answer?
Some people jump from partner to partner when the newness begins to fade. Others shift into consensual non-monogamy. Still, others use fantasy and autoerotic activities like masturbation while viewing pornography or reading sexy stories and books.
If you like being in a committed, long-term sexual relationship and want to strengthen the sexual bond with your partner, sexual mindfulness is just what you’re looking for.
How to Get Out of Autopilot and Back into the Present Moment
Sexual mindfulness will get you out of sexual autopilot and into the present moment with your partner (or yourself when you practice solo sex). Sexual mindfulness is the application of mindfulness to your sexuality.
To understand this, you’ll need to be clear about what mindfulness really is.
Mindfulness is best described as moment-by-moment awareness. There are four dimensions of mindful moments. They are:
Let me explain…
Present-Centered – Mindful moments always focus on the present moment, never the past or the future. They always exist in the present space and time, a context often referred to as the here and now. Mindfulness revolves around being fully involved in the here and now.
When you start paying attention to your thoughts, you’ll notice that most of them are one step removed from the present moment because they focus on the past or the future. Past moments have already occurred and cannot be resurrected. Future moments haven’t happened yet and can’t be 100% predicted.
Non-Judgmental – Mindful moments do not judge or compare. When you are being non-judgmental you do not judge what is going on by comparing it to some societal standard.
Non-Verbal – Mindful moments are quiet moments. Talking adds another dimension to the experience and takes you out of the present moment by having you focus your thoughts on formulating a response.
Non-Conceptual – Mindful moments are not thinking moments where you try to figure something out or solve some problem. During mindful moments you notice what is going on and accept it.
So how do you apply this to sex???
Let me give you a sexual example:
Imagine that you are making love with your partner. If you were doing it mindfully here is what would be going on:
Present-Centered – You would be fully attentive to what is going on with your partner. This means experiencing your partner with all five senses. Your thoughts would only focus on what is going on with your two bodies as you make love. Your thoughts would not drift to something that happened yesterday or will happen tomorrow.
Non-Judgmental – You would not judge or compare your partner and your lovemaking to another person or experience. You would simply enjoy and accept your partner and your lovemaking for what it was, not for what it could or should be according to some societal standard or past relationship.
Non-Verbal – You wouldn’t be talking. In fact, you wouldn’t need to speak because your body and your spirit would say anything that needed to be communicated.
Non- Conceptual– Instead of thinking about why things are going or where they might lead, you would simply note what was going on and enjoy it. You wouldn’t try to figure out or anticipate anything, you’d just accept it for what it is and allow it to play out however it might.
Imagine what sex could be like if you could approach each sexual encounter in such a mindful way?
Buddhists call this approach having a beginner’s mind. When you adopt a beginner’s mind towards your sexuality you look at each sexual experience as potentially new and fresh. While you are surely not a sexual beginner, you can learn how to view each encounter with your partner as potentially new and exciting.
Think about this…
When was the last time you really gave your partner 100% of your attention?
- How did she smell or taste? How did he feel against your skin or inside of you? How did she moan or groan as you pleased her? How will he look in and out of his clothes?
- Were you able to keep your focus on these kinds of things or did your mind drift to a problem at work earlier in the day or a football game that was scheduled to be on television later in the day?
- Were you able to just lay back and enjoy your partner’s taste, touch, smell, and feel without thinking ahead to what your next move would be?
- Did you appreciate the gentle breeze blowing through your window or were you focused on some problem that had to be solved?
You can learn to be mindful of all of these things and begin to look at each sexual encounter with your partner as something new and different by practicing sexual mindfulness.
In my next article, I’ll talk about how your mind works when thinking about sex.
Reference: Blonne, R., (2019) Sexual Mindfulness: Getting the Most Out of Your Sex Life Through Moment-by-Moment Awareness. Apocryphile Press