Updated: Oct 6
What makes an amazing sexual experience?
Research in the area of sexual pleasure has found the following 8 components to magnificent sexual experiences: (I’ll go through them in greater detail in upcoming posts)
1. Being completely present in the moment
2. Connection, alignment, being in sync
3. Deep sexual and erotic intimacy
4. High level of communication and deep empathy
5. Being genuine, authentic, transparent
6. Vulnerability and surrender
Photo by Ivan Tronayovsky
Being present in the moment
The first component that was found to define magnificent sex is being completely present in the moment. Feeling consumed by your experience, not multitasking or mentally generating your grocery list.
If you’re curious, then, the first, best, and simplest step you can take toward more mindful, and hence more enjoyable sex is engaging in a daily mindfulness practice. There are loads if articles and videos available online to help you through this life-changing journey. One of my personal favourite apps is Headspace (once you get over the voice! It has great content).
One simple exercise that you can incorporate in your sex is to pay attention to your senses: what does your skin feel? What do you smell? What do you taste? What do you hear? What do you see? Be curious and observe without labelling (good/bad).
Just like you wont develop a 6-pack by going to the gym once, mindfulness requires practicr and pattience. Approach it with curiosity and see what happens..
Photo by Ivan Tronayovsky
The second component in defining magnificent sex identified by research is connection, alignment, being in sync with the partner.
This concept in psychology is referred to as attunement which is the ability to recognise, understand and engage with another's emotional state. Emotional attunment begins in our childhood with a parent or primary caregiver following the baby's emotional cues.
Without the monitoring help of the caregiver, the baby is engulfed by its emotional states. However, when the caregiver is able to tune in, and respond accordingly, they communicate to baby that they are in sync. This allows baby to feel safe and secure.
Misattunement can lead to an insecure attachment style in adult relationships. If we haven't experienced enough attunement in childhood, how can we learn and practice attunement in our adult relationships?
· Start recognising, labeling and accepting your own emotions. When you feel an emotional reaction to something, stop and identify the emotion. Now give yourself permission to feel the emotion. Every emotion you feel is valid, acceptable and real. Being aware of your own emotions is the stepping stone for awareness of others emotions.
Shift your focus to understanding what your partner feels. Those with insecure attachment styles as a result of misattunement often first consider a partner's behavior in terms of what it means for them, their needs and overall security in the relationship. Be curious.
. In interactions with your partner, try to identify the emotions they are feeling. Ask them clarifying questions to identify the trigger of their emotions and focus on empathising with their feelings.
· In a sexual context, observe your partner's behaviour, non-verbal cues, breathing, the look in their eyes, the noises they may be making and respond accordingly. You can always check-in if you are unsure (e.g. does this feel good? Do you want me to continue?)
Photo by Andi McDougall
Read more about the other factors in the next post.