Patricia Lynn Belkowitz, M.Msc., C.Ht., EFT


Are your thoughts affecting your pleasure? Do you feel anxious and frustrated? Are you getting in the way of your sexual satisfaction? A recent study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine shows that mindfulness meditation can not only improve sexual satisfaction and arousal but it can “increase self-compassion, decrease anxiety and improve attention” according to Gina Silverstein of Brown University.

Often self-judgmental thoughts run through a women’s mind when they are having sex. They criticize their body and their abilities as a lover. Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, a urologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, said anecdotal evidence is abundant. “The best part of this study is that it validates that the biggest part of sexuality in women is emotional and mental,” Kavaler said.

The Brown University study included 44 college students, 30 of whom were women, and about half of whom took a 12-week meditation course. All were shown a series of photos to gauge their reaction time in feeling “calm,” “excited” or “aroused.” The participants also completed questionnaires that reported aspects such as self-acceptance and psychological well-being.

It was noted that women who took the mindful meditation course became significantly faster at identifying their body’s responses to sexual stimuli. This increase in interoceptive awareness was also linked to improvements in self-reported measures of attention, self-judgment, anxiety and depression . The study found that women who took longer to register feelings of sexual arousal were also those who were harshest in their self-judgment.

As for mental chatter during sex, Silverstein said “a huge range” exists, from women who think of other things while having sex without effecting arousal, to others who are unable to function sexually if any stray thought comes to mind.

Mindfulness meditation which teaches how to bring one’s thoughts into the present moment, can quiet negative and distracting mental chatter. It can help one to focus on the experience with all senses fully engaged. Letting go of self-judgment is the first step. Choosing to think of your connection to your partner and the sensuality of touch brings you into the moment and allows you to experience the pleasure.

Rediscover the body as friend and companion and learn to experience healthy pleasure. Recognize that pleasure is the way the physical body expresses wellbeing and know that the body’s impulse for pleasure is never wrong. Our desire is a physical form of yearning for the divine connection of body, mind and spirit. It’s available to us if we allow it.

Sometimes we need a little help to get into balance and to get a clear focus on how we want to experience our life. Hypnotherapy is a form of directed mindful meditation which allows you to be present and focus on what you want. It would be my pleasure to help you to achieve comfort and contentment through the power of your own thoughts. It is our natural state to feel at home living in the incredible temple of the physical body. Be mindful of it!