Mindful masturbation: what is it and how does it work?

mindful masturbation

Mindfulness is about focusing on the moment and being hyper aware of the here and now. You can use similar techniques while masturbating. This is known as mindful masturbation. Interested? Discover more in this article and find out if it’s right for you.

Mindfulness: living in the here and now

Imagine doing something without being distracted by anything at all. In other words: focus on the here and now and don’t think of anything else. In reality, this is actually quite difficult. Enjoying the here and now and living in the moment is what mindfulness is all about, and it’s also the essence of mindful masturbation. You’ve probably noticed that you often think about other things while having sex or masturbating, like your grocery list or things you still have to do that day. This is very common: women often have to multitask in their daily life and they sometimes have a difficult time letting go of it during sexual activities. If you want to learn how to be more present, you might want to try mindful masturbation.

What is mindful masturbation?

The point of mindful masturbation (also called orgasmic yoga) is living in the moment. This will allow you to be in closer contact with your feelings and bodily sensations, so you can enjoy everything you experience more consciously. And that’s what masturbation is about for most people: sensation and pleasure. According to sex therapist Chris Donaghue, mindful masturbation is about using your whole body and all your senses. Which means that, like tantra sex, you don’t want to sprint to the finish line and that having an orgasm is not the end goal.

What are the benefits of mindful masturbation?

Consciously masturbating can be very beneficial to your sexual confidence and your response to sex. For example, you learn to be very aware of what you like, which spots on your body are the most sensitive, and how you can experience and enjoy sensations with both your body and mind. It teaches you to create fantasies in your mind without needing videos or other imagery. It can help you reprogramme your body, so you don’t have to fake an orgasm anymore. Of course you never have to fake an orgasm, but it is very common, especially among women. In that sense, mindful masturbation also leads to empowerment: you’re in control of your own orgasm.

Take the time for mindful masturbation

Try to not consider your orgasm as just another thing on your to-do list that you want to get done as soon as possible. Think of mindful masturbation as a way to broaden your sexual horizon. If you want, you can even share it with your partner. For example, maybe you feel like your sex life has become a little boring or perhaps that you don’t reach your climax as often as your partner during sex. By enjoying orgasmic yoga, you learn exactly what arouses you, which you can communicate to your partner. An example: maybe you discover that it arouses you when your partner touches your anus, even though this is a spot that you never touch yourself.

Leah Millheiser, assistent professor and director of the department of female sexual medicine at Stanford University Medical Center says: “It takes time and attention to properly build up your climax. Focus on what you do and feel and be mindful. Every woman who does has a better chance of reaching a climax.”

Try to leave distractions behind

Another example: do you like to masturbate while watching porn? If you want to learn how to masturbate mindfully, then it’s a good idea to take a break from porn. If you’re not distracted by a screen anymore, you become more aware of physical sensations.

Masturbating is me-time

Mindful masturbation is part of me-time. A moment for yourself to explore your own sexuality. If you masturbate the same way every time, your body can get so used to it that you will have to keep doing the exact same thing everytime in order to get an orgasm, according to Donaghue. It becomes a habit. By using varying techniques, you can break that habit and teach your body to also get aroused by other types of touches. Mindful masturbation teaches you to break your habits by shifting your focus from others to yourself.

How do I learn how to masturbate mindfully?

Do you normally masturbate while lying in bed? Try to do it standing up on sitting down for a change. A nice solo session in the shower or bath is a good option as well. A tip from Donague: “Do you always keep quiet? Make some sounds. Try it all.” Millheiser adds: “You will have to experiment if you want to find out what you like. This is different for every person. Try different positions for example. It’s a good idea to experiment by using your fingers first if you’re a beginner.”

Sex and relationship therapist Jessica O’Reilly offers some tips on how to be more aware of your body: “How does your skin feel? Which temperatures, textures, and sensations do you feel?” By focusing on your senses, you probably stop think about your orgasm as much. This could make it possible for you to be more patient while masturbating, which can have a positive effect on your sex life, for example if you or your partner thinks that you reach your climax too fast. Or perhaps simply because you want to try something else and would like more variation between the sheets.

You can (also) try this during orgasmic yoga

  • Try to take your time for your journey of exploration. If you’re aroused, but you have to leave soon, then that might not be the best time for mindful masturbation. It can help to plan a solo session at a time that you don’t have anything else planned.
  • Do you normally use a specific type of sex toy? During mindful masturbation, try not to use a toy or try a different toy. This will help you experience other kinds of sensations in your body.
  • Imagination is valuable. Most people have enough experience to know what they like, what arouses them, and what they enjoy. Millheiser says: “When it comes to imagination, it’s not necessarily about you and your partner. You can fantasize about anything, as long as it makes you feel good.”

Orgasmic yoga and mindful masturbation course

If you want more practical tips and advice, it’s possible to take a course on mindful masturbation or orgasmic yoga. This is a great option if you want to know more about self-development and how to create a deep connection with yourself. There are online courses, but there are also yoga studios that arrange special meetings for this purpose.

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