Sexual Meditation: A Path to Improved Intimacy and Sexual Wellness
When you think of mindfulness, sex probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind… Is it? In our culture, sex is often portrayed as hot, fast, and quick—with a goal of instant gratification. It’s not uncommon to approach sex feeling tired and impatient. Or how about appeasing our partner rather than for our own depth of pleasure?
But what if sex was a pathway to deeper connection and intimacy with ourselves and others? Through sexual meditations, sex becomes an opportunity for much more than quick satisfaction. When we start a solo sexual meditation practice, the skills and heightened awareness we gain translate over to our intimate experiences with a partner.
The best part? It works whether your partner incorporates the mindfulness practice or not.
Mindfulness and sex can sometimes feel contradictory. But merging the two greatly supports well-being and your intimate relationships. Sexual meditations deepen intimacy and allow us to feel more connected with our bodies. It heightens our ability to experience pleasure—both in and outside the bedroom.
What Is Sexual Meditation?
Sexual meditation is the application of mindfulness practices to the realm of sex.
Many global traditions teach that sex is a gateway to expanding consciousness. Kama Sutra, Tantra, and dozens of other traditions harness sexual energy as a path to enhanced presence.
Experts in the field, like Lori Brotto, Ph.D., director of the University of British Columbia Sexual Health Laboratory and author of Better Sex Through Mindfulness, study how building awareness and incorporating mindfulness impacts the experience of sex in relationships.
This pathway of awareness consists of three main components:
Your presence in sex is a question of whether you can show up in sexual interactions and be present with “what is.”
The intention aspect of sexual meditation is about increasing self-awareness. What is your approach to sex and how do you show up in sexual experiences?
Your attention is on the metacognition experience. This is the practice of watching the mind in action. What thoughts come up? What stories does it tell you? How do those thoughts and stories make you feel? Is that a feeling you desire? The first step is to become aware of your internal experience. Then, you gain power to choose perspectives or actions that better serve you. Ultimately, this leads to increased awareness and satisfaction with sexual experiences.
A Guided Sexual Meditation Step by Step
There are many ways to experiment with sexual meditations. It may take some time to find what works best for you. Below is a guided sexual meditation to use as a starting point for your exploration journey.
You'll notice many similarities between this sexual meditation and other forms of meditation. The difference comes from applying your awareness to different aspects of your experience. The process of sexual meditation requires consistent, slow practice over time. It’s best to release expectations and simply commit to being present with whatever arises, however, it arises.
Solo Sexual Meditation Practice
Benefits of Sexual Meditation
Set a goal to consistently apply mindfulness to self-touch and sexual sensation, alone. This makes it easier and more intuitive to hold the same depth of awareness when engaging with a partner. There are many benefits to this practice. Here are a few:
Less Distraction = More Connection
Lack of distraction creates more intimacy. It deepens the level of presence you’re able to offer and the sensation you’re able to hold. More intimacy creates a deeper connection, a sense of fulfillment, and happiness. As you know, the stronger our relationships, the happier we are.
Studies show mindfulness practices reduce stress. From a relaxed state, you'll be more receptive to positive sensations stress would otherwise mask. This study specifically demonstrated the impact of mindfulness on increased libido in women.
Improved Communication with your Partner(s)
As you increase awareness of what’s happening in each moment, you become able to feel what you really want and need. Sexual meditation invites you to get to know your inner world. Knowing yourself better translates directly to better communication between you and your partner.
Heightened Sexual Satisfaction
It’s one thing to have sex, and it’s another to feel fulfilled by our sexual experiences. Just as in life, it often takes a conscious effort to enjoy the experience we are having. According to this study, sexually mindful people have higher self-esteem and satisfaction.
Effortless to Incorporate
If you’re already sexually active, sexual meditation simply adds a deeper layer to the experience. It's a way to expand and integrate your awareness in an area that’s already relevant in your day-to-day life. It's not always possible to add hours of extra practice to our already-packed days. But adding a new layer onto experiences we’re already engaging in is both fun and accessible.
Increased Energy and Inspiration
Mindfulness increases our energy levels. With sexual meditation, you can apply that energy for a deeper connection with yourself and others.
Common Misconceptions About Sexual Meditation
The idea of sexual meditation brings up a range of perceptions in different people. Culture, personal experience, and other factors may cause unrealistic expectations of sexual meditation. Or, it could deter you from the practice altogether. But then you'd miss out on all the wonderful benefits it can offer! Let's clear the air.
Here are a few misconceptions about sexual meditation:
Sexual meditation will “fix” sexual issues immediately
It’s not uncommon to seek out meditation to resolve challenges in life. While there’s nothing wrong with this intention, the greater purpose of meditation is to be with “what is.” When you’re able to be truly present in this way, you open up a world of possibilities that weren’t available prior. More choice ultimately creates the freedom we all desire. When you seek to solve an issue, you limit your awareness of what is happening in the here and now. While meditation may improve or resolve certain issues, the expectation may be unrealistic. Don't let a mentally predetermined outcome limit your experience of success.
You need a partner for sexual meditation
Sexuality begins in a relationship with ourselves. You can gain a lot of awareness through self-practice. So too, bringing awareness into your partnerships brings a depth of intimacy and enrichment. As an added benefit, your personal mindfulness practice will have a positive effect on your partner. Both have a place, but you don’t need a partner to start enjoying the benefits of this mindfulness practice.
Sexual meditation should lead to orgasm
Orgasm has become the mark of successful sex, yet pleasure reaches more territory. Honing awareness of sexual practices deepens our capacity for sensation. Feeling more sensation enhances our experience of life in general, not only in sex. A growing body of work shows that a non-goal oriented sexual meditation practice can alter your brain structure for the better.
Tips to Beginners For Effective Sexual Meditation
Anyone can begin a sexual meditation practice. Here are a few tips on how to get started today:
Before you begin, take a few grounding breaths. Even if you do nothing else, this immediately sets you up for a more connected experience. Sexual meditation doesn’t have to be complex or elaborate to be effective.
Center into your body
When you notice your mind wandering, come back to the body. Start by practicing basic body awareness throughout the day. It begins before the bedroom. Try focusing on the sensations when you drink a glass of water or are in an intense exercise. If the sensation intensifies so much that your thinking mind takes over, slow the breath to the point where you can feel it again. This will come in handy during sex as well.
Practice sexual energy meditation alone first
Exploring your own sexuality can create pathways of deep self-connection. By knowing your own body, you can enhance your personal and partnered experiences. The journey begins within.
Focus less on orgasm or the outcome of sex, and more on the sensations. Expand your definition of what sex and pleasure is. Be willing to become mindful of ALL sensations that arise in your experience. Not just the ones you find preferable or pleasurable.
Take the pressure off
If you’re experiencing active challenges or issues in your sex life, try taking the pressure off. Turn your focus to your own experience. Deepening your relationship with your own body will illuminate the path to a stronger connection with your partner too.
Unlearn that sex equals intimacy
Engaging in sex doesn’t automatically equate to true intimacy. Intimacy during sex depends on your ability to stay present in the connection. You may also want to explore mindful communication in support of practicing sexual meditation. Check out this Mindfulness Exercises Podcast episode with Oren Jay Sofer on mindful communication.
Sexual Meditation FAQs
Can I practice sexual meditation if I don’t have a partner, or if my partner doesn’t meditate?
You can practice sexual meditation regardless of whether you have a partner. Ultimately, mindfulness is a choice we make internally. It's a choice to focus our attention on a particular aspect of our own experience. Bringing mindfulness to your sex life is your decision, regardless of external factors.
Is the goal of sexual meditation to orgasm or to have a particular experience?
Not at all. There is no particular goal of this practice. The intention is to train our awareness to follow the sexual sensation in our bodies.
Is sexual meditation safe?
If engaging in sexual activity is safe for you, adding the element of mindfulness should only enhance your experience. If you have unique circumstances or specific questions about whether sexual meditation is safe for you, please consult your licensed physician.
Is sexual meditation only for couples?
Sexual meditation is for everyone. As humans, we are sexual creatures and we can each choose to deepen our relationship with our own sexuality with or without an outside relationship.
How can I get started with sexual meditation?
The goal of sexual meditation is to ground into the present moment, increasing awareness of sensation. The guided sexual meditation included in this article is a great place to start. If that feels like too much at first, try bringing awareness to your breath and body during your normal sex life until you’re ready to deepen your practice.
What’s the difference between sexual and orgasmic meditation?
Orgasmic meditation is a partnered practice that specifically incorporates the sexual touch of the female by the partner. Sexual meditation, on the other hand, can be experienced with a partner but doesn’t require one. In fact, it’s best to start with a solo practice so the skills and heightened awareness gained can easily translate to a coupled practice. Unlike orgasmic meditation, in sexual meditation, orgasm or pleasure isn’t the goal. The goal is to simply become aware of all sensations occurring during sexual interactions.
Sexual meditation is a mindfulness-based practice that deepens satisfaction and well-being. It increases your capacity for fulfillment in both your own sexuality and partnerships. Like most worthwhile things in life, this may not happen overnight. It requires nurturing and a commitment to the practice of becoming aware. With consistency and mindful intention, you can experience the nuanced layers of pleasure and sensation that sex can offer.
Kaci Sage is a Guided Meditation Creator and experienced Professional Copywriter specializing in the spirituality and holistic wellness fields. Along with her intentionally curated team of Conscious Copywriters, she helps conscious companies, brands, and entrepreneurs eloquently share their voice from a heart-centered space so they can expand their reach and amplify their impact. When she's not writing, you'll find her working with plants, teaching yoga, or leading ceremonies in her Northwest Montana community.