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5 ways to practice mindful sex

Eliminate distractions.

There’s nothing more distracting than an audible text notification and a lit-up phone screen. You can fight the urge to check your phone, but by then it’s too late—your brain is already miles away. Turn your electronics on silent and place them in a separate room.

Set an intention.

Mintz suggests thinking about what it is you hope to achieve through sex. Maybe it’s to become more connected to your body or with your partner. Or, you might view it as a way to release stress. If your mind wanders thinking, ‘Oh wow this is taking too long’, or ‘Is someone going to walk in the door?’, she recommends using your intention in order to bring your mind back to the present moment.

Just breathe.

"With proper breathing, an orgasm can come quicker than you'd expect it," says Amanda Pasciucco, sex therapist and founder of Life Coaching and Therapy in West Hartford, Connecticut. Pasciucco says to start by laying down or in a seated position, placing one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest. Inhale deeply and feel your body expand to your breath. As you exhale, guide the energy to your pelvis area while visualizing love and energy flowing from your heart across your entire body as you gradually start breathing heavier. (You can remove your hands at this point.) For women, try contracting your pelvic muscles during each exhalation to direct blood flow to the vagina, a precursor to orgasm. When you’re with a partner, she suggests synchronizing your breathing with him or her—for example, breathe in together, count to three, then release together—to increase your sense of closeness.

Do a body scan.

“Practice full immersion in the body’s sensations,” says Mintz. You might feel tingling, lightness, a tense muscle, or a rush of endorphins going through your body. Without trying to change anything, simply acknowledge these feelings to further your mindfulness practice. As time goes on, these scans will help you understand what touches work, which ones don’t, and how to guide a partner in the right direction.

Start by yourself.

Masturbation is a great way to learn more about what you like, Mintz says, and trying out mindfulness techniques on your own will allow you to think through each action without any fear of judgement from someone else.

Photo: Pino Leone/The Licensing Project