One Simple Practice To Revolutionize Your Sex Life

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.

I’ve written about mindful masturbation before, of course. This three-step article is a great beginner’s guide for anyone interested in learning more on their own.

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

On its own, mindfulness is an impactful tool. It’s been proven to relieve emotional exhaustion, reduce worry, enhance cognitive control, and lead to transformational experiences.

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?

Photo by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya

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. What Happens in a Guided Mindful Masturbation Session?

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 expect in my virtual Guided Mindful Masturbation Session:

  1. General Intro. You’ll get some information about me, the goals and expectations for the session, and some basics on how mindfulness and masturbation work together.
  2. Guidelines. Because the session involves bringing strangers together in a virtual setting, guidelines are important for maintaining a positive shared experience. Some guidelines include keeping cameras and microphones turned off once the session begins, private messaging me (rather than using public chat) with any questions or issues during the session, and honoring your own and others’ boundaries.
  3. Session. Once the session begins, it will move through four phases: setting, mindful touch, erotic touch, and cool down. Participants’ cameras and microphones will be off during this time as I talk everyone through these steps. You’ll learn how to block out distractions and tune into your body, touch yourself in new ways, and spend time sitting with pleasurable sensations for extended periods of time.
  4. Sharing. Once the cool down period is complete, I will invite participants to share their experiences using their microphone or chat function. Sharing is optional and limited to sharing one’s personal, solo experience. It should not mention other participants or other people outside the session who may not have consented to being a part of it.
  5. Q & A. After sharing experiences, I will open the floor to questions. If you felt like something could have gone better, or want more information about expanding on your mindful masturbation practice, this is the time to ask about that.

That’s it! Or the basic gist anyway. Feel free to reach out with questions if you have any or register now.

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Your Current Self-Pleasure Routine

Can’t wait for a guided session? There are plenty of ways to begin practicing mindful masturbation on your own.

In my free Unlocking Orgasm course, there’s an audio-guided sensate focus session that closely mirrors mindful masturbation. There’s also a written version in my activity book, Talking About Orgasm.

Get the Course & Guided Sensate Focus Session

Another option is to take just about any guided mindfulness session recording you find and incorporate erotic touch into it. Remember: the goal isn’t necessarily to orgasm. Instead, simply listen to the directions and add in self-touch that feels pleasurable as you follow along.

This can take a little bit of mental work, so if you’re new to mindfulness or masturbation it may not be the easiest way to go about things. However, body scan meditations and breathwork exercises tend to be the easiest ones to incorporate. 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.

As always, if you need one-on-one help or advice, you can always schedule a private session with me. I’d be happy to help you along your self-pleasure journey.

Otherwise, until next time. Hope to see you soon!

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Published by Shannon Burton

Sex educator and writer by day, poet and flash fiction author by night, I occasionally manage to get out of the house to enjoy New Orleans as it's meant to be.

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