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What exactly is 'mindful sex'? And how the hell do you do it in the bedroom?

Just picture this. You’re in bed. With a lover. Getting down and dirty under the sheets. All sweaty bodies and hair going everywhere. And while you’re thrashing around on the mattress, relocating limbs into all kinds of positions, your mind suddenly goes:


Or maybe you’re more of a washing girl like me. “I really should get up early and put on that load,” I mentally remind myself. IN THE MIDDLE OF SEX. 

Please, for the love of God, tell me I’m not the only one that has an inner monologue constantly on shuffle for Even when I’m all tied up with someone else. 

But it turns out that I’m not alone, because *mindful sex* is now a thing. And it’s become “really, really popular” in modern sexuality, according to Sydney sex coach Georgia Grace.

“Why do you think that is?” I quizzed her, eagerly, desperate for the details.

“Because it works,” she replied. 

So, what is mindful sex?

Let’s start by getting to the bottom of it (hehe).

“Mindful sex, at its most basic form, is the practice of being present and connected to your own body and/or others during sex,” Georgia told Mamamia.

She explained that its origins date back centuries, drawing on traditional practices of yoga, breathwork, movements and tantra. Now it’s become so trendy because “we have more information about sex than ever before”.

Image: Getty.

“So much of our lives, we are required to be really in our heads, to be productive, to be ‘doing’,” Georgia said. “Of course that helps us do our jobs well and be an efficient member of society, but when it comes to sex, it's really hard to stay present.”

She sees a lot of that with her clients.

“They’re expecting that they'll be able to stay present for a few minutes when they're having sex,” she explained. “But they spend the rest of their lives in their heads.” 

What are the benefits of mindful sex?

It’s all about the connection we have with our partners, says sex and relationship therapist Leslie Scholl, who added that mindfulness is “at the core” of what she preaches. 

“I’m not saying that casual sex can’t be fun, but in terms of why partners have sex is to be connected,” she told Mamamia. “And when our daily life is getting into our head and we’re not able to focus on each other, it becomes less connective and more clinical, when you’re not paying attention.” 

Georgia said it’s also about feeling more connected to your body. 

“People are able to feel more pleasure, they’re able to experience orgasms or intensity, and they’re able to regulate and control or have a choice over when they climax,” she explained. 

Which is crucial for anyone who experiences premature ejaculation.

“The thing with premature ejaculation is often people don’t know they’re coming until they’re actually coming,” she said. “So that’s where mindfulness can really help by bringing awareness to the body of how much arousal is building and they can then regulate it.” 

So, whether you’re working through a sexual concern, or just wanting to ‘feel more’ during sex, trying to be fully present and conscious of what you’re doing can bring an extra layer of enjoyment. 

It’s about being “more in the moment,” said Leslie. And stressing less about what happens next. 

So, how do you do mindful sex?

Just like in the early days of COVID when we all picked up colouring books for the first time (or even paint by numbers which is a whole other kind of hell), Leslie said there is something to be said for noticing one thing at a time. Especially in our world where we’re watching TV, playing on our phone and talking to someone ALL AT THE SAME PRECISE MOMENT.

So, while multi-tasking your brain is definitely not the answer under the sheets, Leslie explained that moments of mindfulness begin away from the bedroom. 

“Just being aware of your responses outside of the bedroom can help you when you’re in the bedroom,” she explained. “Like paying attention to what your body does in certain experiences, like do you notice that you’re clenching your jaw while you’re driving?”

Guilty. So, how do we become more focused on ourselves and our partners during sexy time? Well, again, it starts with a solo activity. A little ‘alone time’ if ya get this girl’s drift. 

*Mindful masturbation.*

“Trying it by yourself when you’re not distracted by someone else and you’re in a safe environment and you can focus on yourself is a lot easier to start with,” Leslie said. “Whereas if you’re just like, alright, go the bedroom, be mindful of each other, you’re just kind of like, what do I do now?

“If both of you understand that kind of depth, that presence in yourself, then bringing it out with a partner will be easier.”

And when you’re ready to head on over to the bedroom, Georgia has five tools to get you there. Breath, movement, sound, touch, and awareness.

“So using your breath, whether that’s speeding your breath up or slowing it down,” she said, “and bringing movement to the whole body, whether that’s hip thrusts or maybe you’re even standing.

“Sound, so that’s sighs, moans, or even listening to something that might help you remain present, and touch, so bringing your awareness to how you’re touching and really slowing down that touch so you can tune in with what kind of sensations feel good.” 

“This is where I encourage people, even in massaging each other, to actually pay attention,” Leslie adds. “Not just to try to make the other person experience something great, but to notice what they’re doing to their actual body.”

She also recommends couples play games with each other in terms of the way they touch. 

“So think tickling, not just tickling all over, but in the way following a fingertip up and down the body is bringing awareness to just that one sensation,” the sex therapist explained. 

Georgia’s final tool is placement of awareness. 

“So anytime your awareness goes to something else, just intend to guide it back to your body and the thing that you’re doing in that moment,” she said.

Go easy on yourself.

The main thing to remember, according to Georgia, is that it takes a lot of practice to achieve mindfulness. So don’t throw in the towel right off the bat.

“What my clients often say is ‘I don’t like meditation’ or ‘I don’t think I can do it’,” she said. “But it’s a really incredible and useful skill set for having better sex, so even if it feels slightly daunting or new or even scary, try focusing on what's happening in the present moment.” 

“There are so many benefits to exploring this with someone else. 

“Or, on your own.”

Image: Canva + Mamamia.

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