Most people have heard about the use of meditation for relaxation. We first learn to focus on our breath, which grounds us in the present and helps quiet our mind of all other thoughts for the moment. It is a wonderful practice that becomes easier to do with repetition and time. By concentrating on your breath – the way it feels to draw the breath in, the fullness of holding it for that split second, then the feeling of the exhalation and release of tension – all other thoughts are momentarily suspended and cannot affect you. This reduces anxiety and allows the brain to relax.
In sex, we often have a multitude of anxious thoughts running through our mind – “Does my partner think I’m attractive?”, “Am I going to be able to get as excited as I need to?”, “Is my partner going to be happy with me?” Such thoughts are the brain’s attempt to control the experience and achieve success. The paradox, however, is that these attempts of controlling the experience increase our anxiety, which short-circuits our sexual arousal. For some people, this is experienced as difficulty attaining or maintaining an erection, or difficulty lubricating, or excess muscle tension not allowing for penetration. If you are able to quiet these thoughts, and instead focus your attention on the pleasurable physical sensations you are experiencing, or fantasies that excite you, then you allow yourself to continue to have heightened sexual arousal.
This is where concentrations exercises can be of benefit. By practicing exercises in concentration and focus daily, you can enhance your brain’s ability to focus and quiet your anxious, racing thoughts. First, pick a time and place where you will not be disturbed for a few minutes. It should be relatively quiet or have noise that fades in the background. In front of the tv or with music on is not conducive to focusing your attention. Once you have a few minutes free, you can start off by taking a simple object, nothing too complex, and placing all of your attention on it. You can either hold it, or just watch it where it sits. Next, you will notice the color of it, and the texture. You can notice any shadows or changes in reflection. Pay attention to its shape and edges. Continue to focus on this object and breathe normally.
If you notice that your mind wants to wander to something else, just calmly bring it back to focusing on the object. At first, practice doing this for about 3 minutes at a time each day. Once you feel comfortable with that amount of time, increase it to 5 minutes at a time every day. Eventually, you can work up to 10 minutes at a time or more. By doing this, you are retraining your mind to focus and you are improving your ability to concentrate. With practice, your ability becomes stronger and it becomes easier for you to quiet your mind and focus on the present moment. With this ability, you can translate it into increased enjoyment and sexual satisfaction by placing more of your attention on what’s actually happening in the moment, rather than have your brain occupied by past experiences or future worries. Not only does it heighten your sexual pleasure, but it also increases your connection with your partner, really opening the door to great sex.