Using Mindfulness Practices to Grow Closer to Your Partner

I often have clients who express not feeling connected during sex. One partner complains that sex feels mechanical. One may say she isn’t present during sex because she experiences intrusive thoughts, feels straddled or out of her body.

Often in session, this is the first time couples are talking about their sex lives. They often avoid the subject at home, causing them to avoid sex. Never fear, there is help.

I often have my clients talk about “the It.” Just get them comfortable about talking about sex out loud and with each other. Begin to stop making it the big scary topic. For many couples, they get a sense of relief talking about sex with one another. They learn things about themselves, their history and one another just talking out their thoughts.

Often what I find is both individuals are often not present during sex. They may be running their laundry list in her head, having intrusive violent thoughts. Worried about performance or concerned about offending their partner. Both are either flooded with thoughts or overwhelmed by emotion. Causing both to not be present and sex not being as enjoyable as it could be.

I think the cure to this problem is mindfulness. Some of you have read about my encouragement to having a personal mindful practice daily. Well you can also practice with your partner. First, both partners need to be on board to practice. So both individuals agree to not be judgmental or critical. Both agree to practice and let go. Both individuals are naked and hold each other. You can stand or sit. You just want to be comfortable.

The goal is to sink you breathe with your partner. Begin with a slow, steady breath from deep in your belly. See if you can fall into a trance of breath with one another. Make a promise to not expect or pressure yourself or partner to have sex. If it happens, great! Your only practice is to be present, flow your breath and sink the rhythm with your partner without talking. Let go of your frustration or control. Just let go. Afterwards, tell each other about your experience. What did you notice? Did you notice intrusive thoughts trying to pull you away? Were you able to stir your attention back to the exercise? All this information is helpful to know and to process with your couples therapist and partner. What did you learn?

Elana Clark-Faler
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