Sex is a magical and transformative journey that is multidimensional. It brings forth a mind and body connection along with our heart and soul.
Gina Ogden elaborates on these concepts through her book, The Heart and Soul of Sex. Rich with surveys and studies, Ogden presents the different layers of sexual exploration through this work.
From this, we can understand that there is a close relationship between sex and our mind. Besides that, sexuality and sensuality also have a deeper connection. For instance, when our senses stay disconnected from our bodies, we might find it challenging to experience sexual pleasure or attain orgasm.
The best example is when we think about our to-do list or worry about our presentation at work. At that time, our mind would find it a hurdle to be present at the moment. The reason behind this is the mind and body connection that play a crucial role in curating sexual pleasure. (You can find out more about mindfulness and sexual relationships by becoming a part of our workshop- Light My Fire).
What is Sexual Mindfulness?
Sexual mindfulness is a practice where one remains mindful during the act of sex. In a nutshell, mindfulness refers to observing thoughts and feelings, which would help in bringing satisfaction. As per research, trait mindfulness is different from sexual mindfulness that we would feel while having sex. With sexual mindfulness, we would be giving importance to sexual sensations, emotions, behavior, and other aspects. When we are mindful while having sex, it can craft magic. Through this, we can enjoy the moment to the fullest.
In our discussions with Jermisha Frazier, M.Ed, sexuality educator, and sex coach, she spoke about the relationship of mind and body in providing sexual pleasure. Frazier said:
I can go on for days with hypothetical situations that cause us to wonder about what counts as sex, but I’ll spare you. Just know that the mind is truly one of the most powerful tools an individual can use to pursue sexual pleasure. There are even people that have cloud sex (ecosexuality is a thing)! My point is, mental stimulation can sometimes trigger a sexual response. Have you ever thought about a pleasurable sexual experience only to find yourself somewhat aroused? Or have you ever experienced a form of contact that sent your mind on a sexual spiral? Both the body and mind can initiate or halt sexual response, therefore they can aid in sexual pleasure.Jermisha Frazier said to Tickle.Life
By being mindful and bringing in a connection between our mind and body, we can enhance the pleasure principle. When we are in a stressful situation, we would be in the “fight or flight mode.” It will adversely affect our sexual wellness and could tamper with our mood. We can overcome these issues by bringing in sexual mindfulness, where we set aside other thoughts, fears, and apprehensions. Here, the focus will be on the moment and the sexual sensation.
What is the Significance of Mind and Body Connection in Providing Sexual Pleasure?
One thing I like to highlight is the inseparability of the varying identities and experiences a person goes through. Just like I cannot separate the queer part of me from the Black part of me, I cannot separate the mind and body. We navigate the psychological and physiological components of life as a unit. For example, some people get so depressed that they no longer have an appetite, while others get so stressed out over work that sex isn’t a priority. The relationship between the mind and the body is a constant negotiation that definitely has implications on sexual pleasure.
As Fraiser has stated, mind and body have a close link in building sexual pleasure. Since the discussions by Sigmund Freud on mind and body, there have been many debates over the years. For instance, Celia Harding in Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Perspective brings forth the relation of sex and power. Harding states how there can be anxiety about one’s partner’s power, which can impact the relationship.
When we consider the importance of mind and body connection in enhancing sex, it can assist in numerous ways. They can assist in reducing stress and depression. By incorporating mindful practices, we can promote sexual and mental health. According to a study, it shows that we would be able to treat problems associated with addiction as well. ‘
Besides that, working on the connection between mind and body can also assist in building sexual empathy and awareness. For instance, including breathing meditation into our routine can help us in bringing the connection. It would assist in enhancing our sexual experiences, eventually.
How can We Build the Connection with Our Mind and Body?
As part of building a mind-body connection, we can seek help from the concepts put forward by Eastern and Western philosophies. One of the best ways for us is to stay present at the moment. Here is what Frazier had to add to staying present and building connections with ourselves or our partner(s).
Staying present during sexual experiences can prove to be somewhat difficult especially for individuals that battle anxiety, self-consciousness, ADHD, or ADD (of course, it is not limited to those communities).A strategy I share with clients to support them in staying present in the moment is to focus on the feelings that arise. If you find your thoughts trailing off while your partner/s is caressing your leg, try to zone in on describing their touch. Is it soft? Is it strong? Does it cause chills? Do you like it? If you are engaged in penetrative sex and find yourself focused on something irrelevant like laundry, try leaning into the rhythmic experience. Treat it like a dance and change positions if you aren’t fond of the “music.”
By looking into these aspects, we can always work on our mind and body connection while engaging in sex. Apart from that, we have to work on ourselves and stay mindful. If you are someone who is struggling to work on these issues, don’t hesitate. Connect with our experts through Light My Fire!
Cover image from Unsplash
Special mention to our contributor Jermisha (Misha) Frazier, M. Ed. (She/Her), sex coach and educator, Doctoral Student, Human Sexuality, California Institute of Integral Studies