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You may be thinking that the two words "erotic" and "meditation" don't go together. Isn't eroticism all about the body? All about the sensual? Well, meditation and mindfulness can be about the body too, and eroticism can certainly be about the mind. In fact, being present in your body, by being mindful of sensations happening in, on, and to your body, is a great way to intensify your erotic or sexual experience.
Let's dive into what erotic meditation is, why you might want to try it, and how to get started.
Put simply, erotic meditation is self-love 2.0. It's a meditation practice that involves slowing down and connecting with your body and the sensations it feels. Other names for erotic meditation include mindful sex, sex meditation, meditation masturbation, orgasmic meditation, and tantric masturbation.
These terms all basically mean the same thing with the same goal: experiencing deeper, more sensual pleasure by forging a deeper connection to yourself and your body during sexual play. Solo sex can be a form of erotic meditation if you can really slow down and draw out the experience to heighten all of your senses.
While the word masturbation is in one of the terms above, this practice can be performed during partnered sex as well. It's best to start out on your own to get used to the practice and become more in touch with how it works before bringing another person into the mix, especially if that other person is skeptical of the idea of erotic meditation. (Which is understandable if you don't know what it is!)
If you've heard the word "tantra" or "tantric sex" before and are wondering how those words fit into the mix when it comes to erotic meditation, we can clear that up for you. Tantra is a very old Indian spiritual practice, a way of meditating to weave the body, mind, and spirit together.
In the context of sex, tantric sex is all about creating a full mind-body-spirit experience either with yourself or with your partner. The goal is not to rush to orgasm, but rather to experience and more deeply connect to you and/or your partner's sexual energy on a spiritual level.
You do this by connecting to your breath, noticing sensations in your body, slowing down, taking each stimulus in, and responding mindfully. In fact, with tantric sex, you don't even necessarily have to touch your or your partner's genitals to experience physical, emotional, and spiritual stimulation.
If the whole "spirit" idea seems too inaccessible to you, that's OK. Just skip that idea and use the other words to describe this experience. Connecting the mind and body to the present moment will get you there with practice.
Interestingly enough, if you've ever thought about the reasons you might want to start a mindfulness meditation practice, they might overlap with why you might want to take it to the sheets.
Have you ever sat down to focus on a big project for work or school only for your brain to immediately come up with 10 chores you absolutely have to do right now? That's your monkey mind at work.
Monkey mind is the Buddhist term for a scattered, restless mind. Your monkey mind is easily distracted and stimulated, and it’s also self-absorbed, so turning off those instincts is a big challenge—it’s the challenge of meditation. If you've ever experienced this or tried meditation and found that you have racing thoughts and can't sit still, that's your monkey mind.
Surprise surprise, your monkey mind can follow you into the bedroom too. Have you ever started getting hot and heavy with your partner only to realize that you didn't answer that email your boss sent you at 3 p.m., and now you can't stop thinking about it? Or maybe a super-annoying song is stuck in your head and you can't get it out to focus on what your partner is doing to try and pleasure you.
The purpose of erotic meditation is to help you train away the monkey mind and deepen your self-pleasure, partnered pleasure, and overall connection to your own physical body. Of course, your monkey mind won't completely disappear, but the purpose of this practice is to take away its power and empower you instead.
The purpose of all meditation is to hone focus. With mindful sex (and mindful meditation in general), when your monkey mind tries to interrupt what you're doing, you simply observe the thought you're having, notice it without judgment, allow it to pass through you, and refocus. As a beginner, you might be doing this once a minute. That's OK. It's called practice for a reason.
Using your breath is a great way to hone your focus. When an intruding thought comes to mind, breathe it in, acknowledge it without judgment, then release it with the exhale, and get back to focusing on what's in front of you in the present moment.
Of course, this is a lot easier said than done. In no way do we mean to trivialize the difficulty of meditation. It's hard. But that's why there are tools to help guide you into this type of practice. Guided meditation is an incredibly popular way to take your first baby steps into the vast world of meditation, and that's true for erotic meditation and guided touch too. You may also find that creating a playlist of sensual or relaxing music, or going down the ASMR rabbit hole on YouTube, can help you tap into physical sensations you enjoy.
As with solo sex, erotic meditation works best when you set the stage. In fact, if you're committed to trying this type of practice, it's a good idea to schedule time with yourself two to three times a week so that you have these moments carved out regularly for this practice. Start with five minutes, then push up to seven, and then 10.
If you find that you're more energized and able to focus in the morning, schedule it first thing. If you find that another time of day works for your schedule, do it. There's no wrong way to make this happen, no reason to have a particular goal in mind (especially the big O). Just use the time to explore a deeper connection with yourself and your pleasure zones.
Part of setting the stage is figuring out what feels right for you. Perhaps it's dimming the lights and putting on meditation music. Maybe you'd rather listen to erotic audio or a sexy podcast story. Or you could go old school with an erotica paperback.
Next, you can decide what (if anything) you want to wear. Do you want to start with a warm shower and burn incense or candles? Do you want to put on a silk robe or lay down in the buff? Possibly look at your naked body in the mirror as you begin stroking your arms and shoulders, lightly touch your own face, or give your nipples a gentle squeeze?
If you prefer to use a sex toy or vibrator, have that ready for when it's time to use it. You may also find that a vibrator is too stimulating for this type of activity and that you want to draw out the experience for longer than you're able when using it. This is all super personalized to you, so if you're not really sure what you like, try all of it until you find what works.
If getting started with a practice like this on your own sounds overwhelming, we have you covered. In fact, we have a few great guided experiences you can use to help ease you into it. Mapping Pleasure talks you through exploring how your body desires touch in a 10-minute guided meditation. Sensual Recentering offers a guide through an exercise you can perform before or during sex to help yourself access deeper pleasure during sex.