Sexual Meditation: Deepened Connection, Deepened Pleasure
Sexual meditation is the practice of being completely present and attuned to yourself, your partner and to the third body you create together when you are coupled. By bringing profound awareness to our most intimate moments, our pleasure deepens, and it can even lead to what we might call a spiritual experience of sex. This kind of connection transcends the bedroom- this co-regulation positively impacts our whole life.
Yet, just like any kind of meditation, staying present sexually can sometimes be surprisingly challenging in the beginning. Also like other forms of meditation, once you do get into a groove, it can feel so exquisite and spacious and connective that it's truly worth every moment of practice.
We always begin a sexual meditation with clear intentions. If you're meditating alone, setting the intention is easy, for example,"I intend to be fully accepting of my experience, moment by moment, as I touch my own body sexually."
When we're meditating with a partner, it helps to get on the same page: how much time we have, what our expectations are for the kind of sexual experience we want, which could be anything from a foot massage or breast massage to a clitoral meditation, an oral sex experience, or full intercourse. Sometimes we focus solely giving or receiving pleasure in one direction, and sometimes it's a mutual exchange. Each session can be different.
In the beginning, it helps to use physical cues to set the tone for sexual meditation, to tell the subconscious mind that it's safe, and that we're entering into a space where relaxing into intimacy is welcome. There's science behind this, of course. For example, warm lighting (2,700 kelvins or less) relaxes the eyes. The temperature matters, too: even if you like to sleep at a crisp 64 degrees Fahrenheit, the naked human body relaxes at 77 degrees. So, while you’re in this practice, try adjusting the thermostat for more pleasure. Think about privacy to the extent it matters to you, so that you can make sounds without self-editing. Textures, colors, scent: these can all create signals for safety and relaxation and make it easier to stay present.
So, now your intentions are clear and the stage is set, then you enter into sexual meditation together. We might bathe (or bathe each other) beforehand, or dance. We settle into a seated posture, facing each other, and start by practicing presence with ourselves- taking deeper slower breaths, observing and synchronizing our own inner state: body, mind and emotions. When we're both ready, we come into a mutual space: really looking at each other, and letting ourselves be seen without masks. This is done quietly. We might talk for a few minutes, appreciating something about each other, and begin to touch each other, moving on from there. When we are complete, we consciously close the session, as well, with appreciations and acknowledgment.
Whatever sensual or sexual practice you are choosing, the key to making it a meditation is to keep breathing, stay in the body, stay with the experience you are having. In the early stage of practicing with another person, it's helpful to narrate and communicate with each other as you move through sensation and emotion, so that when you lose attention, you are tracking that together, and can also come back together.
It's not uncommon for the mind to wander off when we are having sex. That's one reason people crave intense sexual experiences- the kind that you absolutely can't look away from. With sexual meditation, we are developing the subtle capacity to stay present and allow more nuanced experiences to bloom into their own richness and intensity, which is very heart expanding and tender.
The most recognizable forms of absencing are thinking about the past or the future; observing ourselves from a judgmental or anxious place, or disassociating and leaving our bodies by thinking about something else entirely, like the grocery list or our instagram feed. If that happens, don't worry, just keep coming back to the moment.
When you get into a practice like this, where you are really feeling yourself, you might be surprised that it's not all pleasure and light. About one in three women and one in eight men report having had some form of sexual trauma. When you go slow, you might feel pain or sadness or other memories get triggered. You might feel anger. You might want to pull away. Just slow down even more, and keep coming back to the moment. Keep your partner with you. You don't have to hold these experiences alone anymore!
Even here you can narrate. For example, you can say to your partner something like, "when you hold my hips that tightly, I notice I am afraid that you will override my desires, I notice that I get tight inside." And you can make requests that follow on that, such as, "Can you try holding on more loosely, just for now?". In this way, we build trust so that each subsequent practice can go deeper than the last, and we get to true freedom and presence in our sexuality, and in our lives.
Read Reverence: Creating Rituals in Modern Life for more ambient home tips, and partnered rituals.
Try adding Arouse Stimulating Serum to your meditation and pleasure practice.