Sex

Over­think­ing killing the mood? Get mind­ful in bed – here’s how.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Contents -

Sex­train your brain

Think sex, think gen­i­tals. But new re­search lo­cates the source of sex­ual plea­sure and frus­tra­tion about 90cm higher – in our minds. “Dur­ing the day we train our minds to be in mul­ti­ple places at once. But sex re­quires full brain­body com­mu­ni­ca­tion, not dis­trac­tions, which ham­per re­sponse,” says psy­chol­o­gist Dr Lori Brotto. Read on for ways to keep your brain and body or­gas­mi­cally aligned.

Think bed­room yoga

Won­der what yoga and sex have in com­mon, be­sides bendy legs? Well, like reach­ing dancer pose, reach­ing or­gasm is eas­ier when you’re 100% present-mo­ment fo­cused.

In a study of women seek­ing treat­ment for low de­sire, Dr Brotto found that just four ses­sions of mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion im­proved arousal, be­cause it stops self-judge­ment. “When we fo­cus on the sen­sa­tions un­fold­ing in the mo­ment, we don’t eval­u­ate, over­think or worry about them,” she says.

How to do it? The most ba­sic method is to fol­low your breath (in, out, in) or ask your­self, ‘What do I feel?’ “Root your fo­cus in phys­i­cal sen­sa­tions: your part­ner’s breath­ing, the sounds of bod­ies mov­ing.”

Lose task men­tal­ity

What­ever great things are hap­pen­ing, ur­gency can trump eroti­cism: Am I close? Will it hap­pen? “Set­ting up or­gasm as a goal is a sure way not to have one,” says Dr Vivi­enne Cass, au­thor of The Elu­sive Or­gasm (Mar­lowe & Co; R292). “The minute you start tens­ing to work at it, you’re dis­tracted. The closer you get, the stronger the anx­i­ety and the more likely you are to switch off sex­ual feel­ings.”

If you catch your­self on the Im­pa­tience Ex­press, Dr Cass rec­om­mends stop­ping other thoughts by re­peat­ing, ‘It’s good for me to sim­ply en­joy what’s hap­pen­ing.’ If ‘must’ or ‘have to’ en­ter your in­ter­nal di­a­logue, ask your­self, ‘Is there real pres­sure on me to or­gasm or is it imag­ined?’ Lift­ing that weight could get you there.

Be your own nar­ra­tor

Some­times the so­lu­tion is let­ting a wan­der­ing mind run wild rather than rein­ing it in. “Fan­tasy isn’t mind­ful­ness, but it can keep you ‘on topic’. It’s about mov­ing to an­other place – an im­age, mem­ory or story – to boost sex­ual re­sponse,” says Dr Brotto.

Nar­rate what your part­ner’s do­ing to you – the more you flesh out the fan­tasy, the more you im­merse your­self in it.

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