As Valentine’s Day approaches–along with the much anticipated release of the steamy 50 Shades of Grey film– sex is on the forefront of our cultural psyche. What is the magic to having better sex? We try exotic herbs, provocative lingerie, expensive meals out, and even prescription medications in our quest for a rocking sex life. But the answer to better sex is deceptively simple and doesn’t require any fancy potions. Here is the big secret:
The path to becoming present is meditation. Yes, meditation. I know it is not as exciting as eating a goat’s penis, but at least it doesn’t have any funky aftertaste.
The sad fact is: we are not present in our lives. Too many of us are enslaved to our devices. iPhones, iPads, e-readers, email, texting, candy crush…the onslaught is endless. We live in a world of distractions. We hardly pick our heads up from our screens for long enough to make eye contact with another human being. When you think about it, it’s amazing we manage to have any sex at all.
When we do find our way into the bedroom, often our body shows up for sex but our mind is elsewhere. We worry incessantly. Is my boss going to like the report that I just finished? I can’t believe that my co-worker tried to take credit for my idea! Is the laundry going to finish soon? I don’t want the clothes to wrinkle in the dryer. Crap, I forgot to pick up the potatoes for dinner tonight. Plus, add in the naked factor and we start to worry about our bodies too. Have my thighs gotten more cellulite since the last time we did this? Maybe I can leave my top on and he won’t notice. I hope that he doesn’t want to do that position where my belly rolls are in full view. No wonder we have a hard time getting excited about sex!
Mindfulness meditation can help center us and bring us out of our anxiety-filled heads and into the present moment. When we are present, we actually get to experience all of the incredible sensations that occur during sex. Rather than worrying about our cankles, we can focus on the delight that comes when your partner caresses your legs. Instead of mentally staying at the office during sex, you get to enjoy every luscious second with your partner. Ready to give it a try? Try these 3 tips to start meditating:
1. Find 3 minutes per day. Meditation does not need to involve a long time commitment. Starting with 3 minutes per day will start you on the path to being more present in your life.
2. Download an app. Technology may be part of the problem, but it can also be part of the solution. There are a bunch of different applications for your smart phone that teach mindfulness meditation. I happen to like The Mindfulness App (I have no vested interest in this app, although I wish I did for the amount of times that I recommend it!). If you prefer, there are also plenty of guided mindfulness meditations on YouTube.
3. Find a meditation time and space. Don’t look for the perfect serene setting. It doesn’t exist and you’ll spend so much time looking for the ideal place that you’ll never get around to meditating. The ideal meditation space is a space in which you’ll meditate. Plain and simple. Choose where and when works best with your schedule. Many of my patients with busy schedules in New York City meditate on the subway. After all, sometimes you are least likely to be disrupted when you are surrounded with strangers. Put on the guided meditation and you are ready to go.