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Mindfulness can be good for your orgasm

Mindfulness can be good for your orgasm

If your to-do list leaves you in a panic — to the point it even infiltrates your thoughts during sex— your body is going to have a tough time getting in the mood. Making a mental grocery list is fine when you’re bored at work, but getting caught up in your schedule while getting it on is probably going to hijack your orgasm.

“For women, (arousal) is all about the mental aspect,” says Dr. Kathleen Green, an OBGYN who specializes in sexual wellness at the University of Florida Health Women’s Center. “That’s why we don’t have any medications for female libido that work. It’s so much more complicated than the act of sex.”

Dr. Green says practicing self-care and taking mindfulness breaks are musts for the overly stressed. She tells her patients to do something every day that makes them happy and to make a habit of giving their minds some freedom to relax.

So whether you take a solo coffee break or a bubble bath, try to set aside some quiet time to give yourself a break. It could translate into a more focused experience in the bedroom. If you have trouble pausing your planning, here are a few of Dr. Green’s tips that have helped her patients wind down.

Meditation


If you can’t wrangle your focus, try meditating. Dr. Green touts the benefits of even five or ten minutes of mindfulness. For help learning the practice, Dr. Green recommends the Headspace app. Users are guided through focused meditation by the program’s co-founder Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk with a British accent. (I’m a loyal Headspace user, but anxiety-laden friends have also raved about the Calm app.)  

Make a physical to-do list


This means actually writing down everything you can think of that needs to get done. Since I tend to start thinking about the next day while attempting to drift off to sleep, I keep a notebook at my bedside to jot down any nagging thoughts. Dr. Green tells her patients to do the same and make a note of every responsibility they can think up. Then she tells them they  have to close the book and put those thoughts away for the night.

If keeping a running list isn’t enough, Dr. Green has her patients try a visualization technique to interrupt their rumination. She tells them to picture a literal giant stop sign that acts as a signal to stop whatever they’re thinking about and get back to focusing on the moment.

Masturbate


Don’t feel like writing? Try masturbating before sex. This can increase blood flow and jumpstart arousal. If you’re embarrassed to do this in front of your partner, try a little self-pleasure while they’re out of the room, suggests Dr. Green.

“They can tell their partner or not tell their partner. But if they masturbate while their partner is in the shower, by the time they come out, all those hormones are going to be released,” says Dr. Green. “Their blood pressure is going to be down, and they’re going to be more relaxed.”

Speaking of talking to your partner


While having arousal issues is frustrating for the person not having an orgasm, telling your partner can be another source of anxiety. If you’re worried about making them feel inadequate, don’t bring it up during the act.

“I think the biggest thing is having these conversations not in the heat of the moment of sex,” says Dr. Green. “That’s when everybody’s guard is a little bit up.”

Above all, try to relax. You want to get to a mindstate where you feel comfortable and safe with your partner. “Because becoming aroused, you have to let your wall down,” says Dr. Green. “You have to be ok letting go of that control.”   

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  • I love that you all are talking about these things. Not enough people do, but what if you’re a person not thinking about to do lists and stressed out about work? I hit a pillow and am asleep in minutes but for some reason having an orgasm is extremely tough. I need music to keep my mind occupied or I constantly think about relaxing and then I end up never finishing, even with music. My husband is more than patient and definitely is all about me, so it’s not that he isn’t attentive to my needs. We are even trying the 101 nights of great sex book for the second time with our own rules to take the stress off of it. We didn’t finish it the first time because it was too intense and felt pressured so we made it fit our needs a little more. But no matter what I do, or my husband tries to do, I struggle to finish. I definitely had more issues when on my IUD and in March removed it so now I’m not on birth control, which is new since I’ve been on birth control since 2002, so I wonder if it is just my hormones figuring themselves out. But it’s often been a struggle on and off for me over the years. Any suggestions? I’m extremely mindful and great at relaxation, just apparently not when it comes to sex.

    • I appreciate the open discussions about this topic too. I know for myself that my emotions have a lot to do with my arousal levels. I could not have anything on my mind but getting in the mood and to orgasm is still difficult! Not all the time but sometimes. I too have a very attentive husband so that’s not the issue. I have found that it’s more about the emotional state I’m in rather than anyone or anything else or my anxiety levels. Those are factors too but if I’ve had an emotionally taxing day or I’m feeling down for some reason or I’ve been neglecting my own self care needs, pleasure and joy…. it will directly effect my sex drive and ability to be turned on and reach orgasm. The more I meet my own daily needs, the better I feel overall which usually translates to the bedroom 🙂 Not sure this will resonate with anyone else but hopefully something about me sharing will be helpful.

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