Mindful Masturbation Rewires Your Brain For Better Sex
A couple weeks ago, I appeared on Secular Sexuality to talk about one of my favorite topics: masturbation!
One thing that came up quite a few times was how easy it is for anyone to improve their sex life by setting aside time for intentional self-pleasure.
In particular, an exercise called mindful masturbation has had powerful outcomes for many practitioners.
However, for the truly curious, it’s natural to want more in-depth information. I suspect this is why spots are filling up fast for my virtual guided mindful masturbation sessions. After my appearance on Secular Sexuality, more and more people want to know how they can add this practice to their sexual repertoire.
I’ll outline below what to expect in a session, as well as ways you can incorporate mindful masturbation into your own self-pleasure routine.
But first: what makes mindful masturbation so effective, and how does it work?
Mindfulness + Pleasure: A Powerful Combination
But what is mindfulness? In a nutshell, it’s focusing your attention completely on the present moment. For some people, this comes easily. For others, it takes a bit of practice. That’s why many people call mindfulness exercises part of a ‘mindfulness practice’: because you get better at it the more often you do it.
For people who struggle with distracting thoughts during sex, mindfulness can completely change their sexual experience. When we practice being in the moment, particularly while experiencing pleasure, it’s much easier to set distractions aside so that we can more thoroughly enjoy sex—alone or with a partner.
Contrary to what influencers proclaim, mindfulness is also not an inherently spiritual experience. Spiritual people may incorporate mindfulness into their spirituality, and some people may have spiritual experiences when practicing mindfulness, but these are not given or expected characteristics of it.
In fact, mindfulness has deep roots in scientific inquiry and plenty of modern research backing up its psychological benefits.
In summary: don’t scoff at mindfulness or write it off as ‘woo-woo’. Rather, see it as similar to cognitive behavioral therapy or other psychological practices that shape the way we think and experience life.
What’s Wrong With the Way I Already Masturbate?
Hey now, nobody said anything is wrong with the way you currently masturbate. You do you!
Full disclosure: even I don’t mindfully masturbate every time I want to get off on my own. More often than not, I just want to rub one out and get to sleep! For me, mindful masturbation is a special treat for when I have a little extra time and energy and really want to love on myself…in all senses.
‘Maintenance masturbation’, the kind that relieves tension, helps us get to bed, or is part of our personal pleasure habit, is totally fine. You don’t have to change the way you masturbate every time you do to enjoy the benefits of bringing mindfulness into the picture.
Even just one mindful masturbation session every week or two can do wonders for broadening your sexual experience spectrum.
What if I don’t masturbate often…or at all?
Sometimes I have clients who don’t masturbate much. For them, it can be daunting to imagine not only adding masturbation to their routine, but also being mindful in this unfamiliar territory.
There’s no reason to fear: mindful masturbation is a great way to introduce yourself to, well, yourself! Mindful masturbation has the wonderful benefits of being completely pleasure-focused, self-paced, and free of the expectation of orgasm.
That’s right—orgasm isn’t guaranteed when it comes to mindful masturbation.
Wait! Don’t go!
I know a lot of people seek mindful masturbation out because they want more powerful orgasms, or to increase how many orgasms they can have, or to even orgasm at all!
These are certainly possible outcomes of a regular mindful masturbation practice. However, in order to get there, you’ll have to de-prioritize orgasm to begin the journey. Focus too hard on that destination, and you’ll miss all the lessons along the way. Lessons like:
- the parts of your body you didn’t realize are erotically responsive
- new ways to touch the erotically responsive areas you already know about
- what it feels like to sit with desire, arousal, and pre-orgasm sensations
- what it feels like to prolong pleasure in each of these states
- how to channel your attention and breathing in ways that increase pleasure
If all you’re thinking about is orgasm, you’ll be too distracted to absorb these lessons. So come on a pressure-free pleasure adventure with me, and we’ll worry about orgasms down the line.
I’m Ready. How do I mindfully masturbate?
Setting aside time for pleasure is a fairly radical act these days. With so much pressure to constantly perform and be productive, it takes a lot to say, “Hey, I’m gonna just do me today.”
So good for you! I’m proud of you for being interested in this self-lovin’ journey.
Here’s what to do:
- Set the tone. Reduce distractions. Set aside your to-do list and tidy the space you’ll be masturbating in. Use instrumental music and/or scented products if they help set the mood. Silence your electronic devices or mute notifications.
- Mindful touch. Explore your body with your hands. This isn’t just about your genitals, but every square inch of your body. Touch each area gently, then firmly. Experiment with what feels pleasurable. Your “goal”, if you must have one, is simple to feel good.
- Erotic touch. After 5-10 minutes, incorporate genital touch. Try to touch yourself in new ways rather than defaulting to your usual masturbation routine. Spend time sitting with pleasurable sensations for at least ten minutes before attempting orgasm, or don’t attempt to orgasm at all.
- Cool down. Whether you orgasm or not, take time to transition out of the experience. Move back to non-erotic mindful touch, phasing out genital touch without abruptly ending the experience. You want a gentle journey from erotic to pleasurable.
For a more detailed set of instructions, check out the section on Sensate Focus in my free Talking About Orgasm activity book:
You’ll get the book in your inbox as soon as you sign up. Stay subscribed for free monthly resources and event notifications. I promise not to spam you. <3
Incorporating Mindfulness Into Your Current Self-Pleasure Routine
Mindful masturbation can take a little bit of mental work If you’re new to mindfulness or masturbation it can be easier to start with one or the other first.
Body scan meditations and breathwork exercises tend to be the easiest ones to incorporate into an existing masturbation practice. Try practicing these without erotic touch first. As you get better at quieting your mind and tuning in, you can incorporate self-touch on your own terms.
If you haven’t yet built a masturbation practice, check out the free Talking About Orgasm eBook for ideas.
As always, if you need one-on-one help or advice, you can always schedule a free discovery call with me. I’d be happy to help you along your self-pleasure journey.
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