Do you practice meditation? If you don’t, I highly recommend it! Meditation clears out the clutter in your mind and helps you focus on the present (the here and now). That being said I believe intimacy can be the perfect medium to practice meditation.
Our lives are way too full these days and we are stressed out, whether from work, our relationships, kids, money, and a whole host of other reasons. Stress increases cortisol and adrenaline levels, which decrease sexual desire and performance (along with other negative effects). How often do we look at our loved one and say, “It’s been a long day. Not tonight. I’m too tired.” When you practice meditation it can give your body a deeper rest that can energize you, and increase your drive to be intimate with your partner. After a few days of meditation your adrenaline and cortisol levels drop. Your brain can start producing dopamine and serotonin. These happy chemicals are known to increase your sexual appetite and increase the intensity of your pleasure. Focusing on the here and now while having sex results in more attention and awareness. Nobody wants a distracted lover. 😉
So, what aspects of meditation can help you be present and increase mindfulness during intimacy?
First, become aware of you. Before connecting with another, start with yourself. Be mindful of your own body first. Feel your feet on the ground. Notice your breath. Feel the air on your face and hands—maybe even the sensation of your heart beating. Your happiness comes from the beauty inside you! If you are hoping and waiting for someone else to “complete you” (emotionally, physically, spiritually) then you will always be frustrated because nothing outside of you can magically “make” you happy. Happiness comes from within. If you feel like you are 3/4 of the way to happy, your relationship is a place to share your happiness and fulfillment with your partner, not a place to discover that final 1/4 of happiness that you’ve been searching for.
Second, notice your partner. Really observe them. Take their hands, feel their fingers, touch their face, touch their lips… truly appreciate their beauty. This is how we pay attention and arrive, slowly. Just like we recognized our own breathing, we can begin to hear their breath. When you are distracted, come back to the hear and now, and really be present in the moment. Being completely present while being intimate with your partner can turn a routine interaction into something special and sacred. It is beautiful. As you heighten your awareness of yourself and your partner, it’s an opportunity for you and your partner to be together, be present and truly see one another.
If you’ve always wanted to try meditation, Calm is a great resource. It talks you through the basics. “7 days of calm” is a great place to start.