One the most powerful tools in our sexual toolkit for the most awesome sex ever isn’t the newest sex gadget, erection pills, or sexual positions. Gadgets can be great to enhance our experiences and pills can be great as a temporary treatment to maintain an erection, but they aren’t cures when it comes to the overall quality and long-term satisfaction for individuals and relationships.
Research indicates that that the average American consumes close to 34 gigabytes of data each day or the equivalent of 174 newspapers. With this in mind, we need to ask ourselves a fundamental question. With our compulsion to learn more, to know more, to be current, and to have information readily available at our fingertips, can our brains keep up and synthesize more and more information while at the same time maintain our ability to remain present and focused?
What does this have to do with sex?
When clients come to my office, they are sharing an array of concerns they’re experiencing from low desire, erection problems, orgasm issues and relationship woes. They are incredibly diverse in identities, cultural backgrounds and come from a wide range of professions. What’s clear with the majority of those I see is that they find that being present with themselves and their partners incredibly difficult.
What I mean by being present, is the ability to be fully conscious of the moment free of self-judgement, self-criticism and other distractions that make our minds wander. It’s the ability to pay attention and to be in the moment. And when our minds skip ahead and try to solve the future that hasn’t happened, or when our minds loop memories that play tug-o-war with making clear decisions, when it comes to sex, we place more energy on the worry than on the present. This can have damaging affects on our wellness and our sexual experiences.
Being sexually present allows us to enjoy and savour the experiences of the here and now. It allows us to tune into pleasure and not the pressures of sexual performance. Performance, means to accomplish an action or task which can make us disconnected spectators with ourselves while having sex.
To be present we need to be mindful. And to be mindful begins with our conscious decision to pay attention. With so many distractions around us, paying attention can be incredibly difficult. When we don’t pay attention and tune into pleasure, we can lose our erections, our desire dwindles, we orgasm too quickly or not at all, and we ignore signals to stop or keep going.
Quite frankly if you want to include a sex toy or gadget into the bedroom, awesome as I’m all for it, but ask yourself if you’re not paying attention while using that toy, will you experience the erotic potential within your body and with a partner?
Can being mindful in bed treat or cure our sexual dysfunctions? There is a wealth of data that support that the more mindful we are, the more life satisfaction we experience. Life satisfaction includes satisfaction in our sexual lives. But we do need practice and be consistent. We need to practice mindfulness outside the bedroom for it to cascade into the bedroom and we need to practice mindfulness in the bedroom for it to cascade outside the bedroom.