Updated: Oct 2, 2018
Acclaimed psychologist, sex researcher and Canada Research Chair in Women's Sexual Health Dr. Lori Brotto joined MWU for Q&A style webinar discussing the benefits of practicing mindfulness in the bedroom.
Q: How does mindfulness improve desire, arousal, & satisfaction?
A: Across the different samples of women that we've done our studies with, whether they be women primarily with a concern of low desire, cancer survivors reporting pain and loss of arousal or women who have had a history of sexual abuse, participation in mindfulness results in significant improvement in desire and global sexual function (including arousal and satisfaction).
Q: What are some easy, effective mindfulness exercises that increase desire & sexual enjoyment?
A: First and foremost, mindfulness is an incredibly powerful tool so for anyone who has not yet tried it, that's often where I encourage people to start. Download an app, do the MindWell-U 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge, attend a mindfulness group at a community centre, etc. This helps you to start to adopt a regular practice of mindfulness. Once the practice is in place, there are a variety of different ways we can start to bring that into sexuality.
With couples there can be a sense of pressure to move on quickly to the "goal" of sexual intercourse. Suggest to a partner that rather than engaging in sexual activity, we're actually going to engage in sensual touching for 30 minutes. For 15 minutes invite your partner to tune in while this is happening and observe the sensations, notice if there are any urges or a wish to move on and keep re-directing the mind back to the sensation.
Q: How does your research relate to men?
A: In my clinical practice I see quite a number of men who report the concern around loss of desire, who might have performance anxiety or who have erectile issues. In the same way we've been using mindfulness with women as a way of practicing compassion, tuning in and noticing the brain-body connection (which is so critical for sexual response), we've been using mindfulness with men. Our preliminary data over the past two years is not at all surprising and very promising in that some of the same success we're observing with women, we're also seeing with men.
View the webinar recording below to hear more of Dr. Brotto's answers, research and advice.
Purchase or learn more about Dr. Brotto's book "Better Sex through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire".
30 Day Mindfulness Challenge
As mentioned by Dr. Brotto, the best way to increase desire is by first starting a mindfulness practice like the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge. The Challenge is an online training that's just 5-10 minutes a day and proven by university researchers to significantly increase:
The Challenge is comprised of short and sharp videos, podcasts, emails and texts that help make mindfulness a habit.
Take 5 is the core mindfulness-in-action practice taught in the online 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge. It can be used in the middle of whatever is going on – conversation, meeting, or presentation to help make mindfulness a habit. Listen to the recording or download the infographic so you can practice Take 5 anywhere at anytime.