One of the most important topics that I address with clients is the subject of mindfulness. To understand the importance of mindfulness, particularly when it comes to sexuality, let’s first take a look at what it is and what it isn’t. Many people confuse mindfulness with some sort of meditation practice, such as Zen or Vipassana. While it is true that meditation builds and fosters mindfulness, one can practice mindfulness without engaging in any of the meditative traditions. So what is mindfulness? It is defined as “the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment.” This can occur within a meditative practice, or just throughout the day, as one observes oneself while at work, sitting on the train, eating, or engaging in interactions with others. The most important aspect of this kind of self-observation is acceptance and non-judgmentalness. I’ll say this once more, because it bears repeating. Acceptance. Non-judgmentalness.
What does this have to do with sexuality? Everything. Often when we find ourselves struggling with some aspect of our sexuality, what is actually going on is that we are fighting ourselves. What I mean is that sexual performance, sexual desire, sexual arousal, and so on, come naturally. We don’t have to think about it. It just happens. But when we are experiencing sexual difficulties, we may be pressing too hard, putting undue pressure and stress on results, tensing our pelvis and surrounding muscles, or just fighting off the natural emotions that arise. In other words, we are going against the current, and not allowing ourselves the experience […]