Multitasking Has No Place In Beautiful Sex

Posted on Jan 27, 2014

The work I do with all my clients is based on the newest research in various fields, including sexology, psychology and medicine. I enjoy seeing the results of controlled experiments. It lends a clear perspective to issues and scenarios that are often anything but clear. I am an enthusiastic supporter of research, especially about the long and continually neglected subject of sexual experience. There is one subject, however, that I feel the research has shed enough light on to warrant a consistent, specific response from sexuality helping professionals: cognitive distraction during sex.

The experience that people are thinking about things other than having sex while they are having sex is epidemic. This phenomenon is not new, but has risen to the level of ubiquity in research. Different researchers have made divergent discoveries while focusing on various age groups, genders and relationship statuses. One theme that has arisen is the idea that women tend to be more focused on body image in their cognitive distraction. While men tend to be more focused on performance.

This type of information can assist professionals in being prepared for the types of cognitive distractions people may experience. However, it is important to allow for each individual to bring their own experience to coaching or therapy and not make assumptions based on research results when considering skill-building or other interventions.

The operative theme this research illuminates for me in light of my practice is the common experience of being distracted during sex, regardless of gender. Examining that phenomenon and its impact on sexual satisfaction has become a significant area for intervention within my practice. What I have found profound is less about what a person is preoccupied with and more about the state of being preoccupied itself.

Certainly, addressing the core of the concern that leads to the preoccupation can be useful in alleviating the distraction. But simply the state of being distracted and distractible is a habit pattern strongly reinforced by the culture in which many of us live and often thrive. The singularity of focus our culture trains us to eschew is exactly the necessary condition for exceptionally satisfactory sex.

Wonderfully, that is a common goal for every client: exceptionally satisfactory sex…even life-changing sex! Beautiful sex is an experience we all deserve. On the path to beautiful sex, the first gateway is tuning into your desires and your sensual experience. I often use the term mindful sex. Mindful sex is essential in supporting a satisfactory experience.

If you aren’t even fully present in mind, body and spirit, how can you savor the nuance each of your senses bring to awareness? Indeed, affording yourself singularity of focus on your sexual experiences allows you to embrace the fullness of being. The delight, the depth, the ecstasy and even the challenges are all an integral part of reveling in beautiful sex. Only in truly tuning into your experience and response can you push your edge and continue to create satisfaction as an ever-evolving person.

In my practice, I have observed diverse and effective strategies work for many people. Of those, I have gathered applicable wisdom as first steps toward more mindful sexual experiences.

  • Breathe. Connecting with your breath is a simple and efficient method for reminding yourself that you have a body and are a part of a constant flow of energy…in and out always with consciousness. Feeling your breath. Playing with it. Experimenting with nose breathing or mouth breathing, deep breathing or shallow breathing all gives you feedback. Even that experimenting can begin your sensual experience.
  • Pause. Finding a relaxed and lovely place to stop moving sets the stage for cultivating singularity of focus on pleasure and sensation. Set yourself up for the best-case scenario for no interruptions or distractions. Turn the ringer off, hide the laundry or even spend some time before your pause to create your own sanctuary. Remember that doing the best you can is the best you can do and go with it.
  • Prepare. Gather what you wish to include for your mindful experience. Remember this may or may not include a partner. Mindful sexual experiences are first and foremost for you. If you are solo, you may wish to have your favorite pleasure objects at hand, often called sex toys. Hands alone are also well suited as pleasure objects. If you are engaging with a partner, communicate and negotiate. Share your needs and be prepared to be generous with each other. Commit to giving your undivided attention knowing that it may lapse. Also give one another permission to gently bring each other’s attention back if you become distracted or to draw things to a close at any time. Know that mindful sex is a practice and revel in the fact that the more you practice the more satisfactory the result.
  • Feel. When you engage, tune into and feel sensation from every one of your senses. Move through methodically and notice what you are feeling. Sink into that experience. Extract any judgments or expectations and only feel. Give yourself and each other permission to share authentic communication about how experiences feel. Focus on clear requests for more of what you do want. Follow your pleasure and bliss. Soak in all the sensation.
  • Notice. After the experience, ask yourself questions about every facet of what you felt. What did feel amazing? When did my mind wander? What did I do to bring my attention back to the pleasure? When did I experience judgment from within? What did it feel like to let go of expectations? What did my partner do that supported my mindfulness? When did I experience restless or resistance? Remember no judgment and no expectation. Just receive the answers to those questions as resources. All of this feedback is wisdom. Your own wisdom is surfacing and available to cultivate a more refined mindful experience during your next practice.

Know that this practice of cultivating mindful sexual experiences is a practice. Every time you tune in you gather more of your own wisdom. Recognize that each experience is beautiful in its own way and happens just as it will to draw attention to the areas where you can dive deep into your own resistance. Your willingness, courage and persistence are irresistible. Beautiful sex is there for you when you truly want it.