Is Mindful Sex Actually Achievable

I discussed what so many women experience right in the middle of having sex in a piece I wrote last month. I refer to it as “List Syndrome.” While many of you may already be aware of what List Syndrome is, for those of you who are not, the following situation may be recognizable to you:

You and your partner are having a great time together; everything is hot and steamy and everything is going according to plan. Suddenly, lists of things you need to do, places you need to be, and things like dog food and pimple patches you forgot at Target the night before start to pop into your head. Your thinking has stopped, my friend, and you feel as though you’ve been benched by some sex referee goblin that’s decided you’re too preoccupied to carry on.

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While some individuals with List Syndrome are able to move over this and carry on with their relationships, others find it extremely difficult to get their lives back on track. How can this be resolved? I’m glad you inquired:

  1. Despite our best efforts at mindfulness, nobody can consistently have an open and clear mind since our minds are made to have thoughts. It’s simply not feasible. Give yourself a break if that is your objective since you will never achieve it. You have a lot going on and are a person after all. Our goal is to learn how to better regulate our ideas, not to totally eliminate undesired or inappropriate thoughts.
  • It makes sense to investigate general methods if you wish to understand how to become more conscious when it comes to sexuality. These days, mindfulness is a term that we hear a lot, but what exactly is it? You might be taken aback. The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center’s Director of Mindfulness Education, Diana Winston, describes mindfulness as the act of “paying attention to present moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is.” Since mindfulness practices vary from person to person, it’s crucial to figure out what works best for you.
  • Speaking of practice, if consistency isn’t your first priority, mindfulness won’t be all that useful. This doesn’t imply you have to spend three hours a day; even a few minutes done consistently might have a positive impact. However, as with anything, you won’t be able to benefit if you don’t commit.
  • 4. Of course, you’ll want to put your newfound proficiency to use during sex once you’ve mastered general practice! We learn to accept that we will always experience thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations through mindfulness practice. Therefore, when you’re able to accept everything that’s going in your thoughts rather than resisting, you’ll be able to course-correct more quickly if you suddenly get hit with list syndrome. You’ll discover how to center yourself in the current moment and return to the enjoyable here and now.

Although it’s not a simple ability, you can definitely get better at it. Psychotherapist Lorraine Brotto’s excellent books, “Better Sex Through Mindfulness” and “The Better Sex Through Mindfulness Workbook: A Guide to Cultivating Desire,” offer some great beginning ideas as well as a structured program.

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