By Emily Fletcher
Mind-blowing sex may seem like an unlikely benefit of meditation, but let’s just say that mindfulness may do much more for you than Viagra in the bedroom.
For too long, meditation has been associated with asceticism and monks, which is why it has taken us this long to get around to exploring its effects on sex.
It was a student at Ziva Meditation who inspired this article. He came to me after a full year of twice-a-day meditation and said, “You joked once before about meditation making my sex better, but what’s happening for me is crazy. I need answers.”
Animalistic, raw and mind-blowing were the most memorable adjectives he then used to describe his new found sexual prowess. He continued, “It feels crass to say, but my sex life has been stunning. ‘Meditation’ and ‘primal sex’ aren’t an expected fit, but now I’m a believer.”
He told me that since the first week of taking my course, he noticed not only that he was able to last much longer during intercourse, but also told me that he felt more control over his orgasms, had way more energy, and more of a sex drive as a result.
So why does meditation make you better in bed? Well, let’s consider context first. Many of us are stressed out, whether from work, our relationships, money, and a whole host of other reasons, circumstantial and otherwise. Stress increases cortisol and adrenaline levels, and these increased levels of cortisol and adrenaline decrease sexual desire and performance (among other negative effects).
Well, I am sure you’ve heard that meditation is an incredibly powerful stress-reducing tool. Therefore, it stands to reason that meditation can increase sexual desire and performance by reducing cortisol and adrenaline levels.
Now that that’s under our belt, let’s look at the top five ways meditation can improve your sex life:
1. Meditation gives you deep rest, which means more energy for sex.
“Not tonight honey, I’m tired!” How many times have you felt like fatigue been your excuse for not wanting to have sex? You’re not alone: exhaustion is one of the most common reasons couples don’t have as much sex as they would like. According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, about one in every four married or cohabitating Americans claim they’re so sleep-deprived that they’re often too tired to have sex.
When you meditate you give your body rest that is deeper than sleep which helps you feel more awake afterward. This jolt of energy may be just what you need after work to energize you for adult playtime.
2. Meditation decreases stress, which means better orgasms.
Increased cortisol levels can prevent female orgasm and cause erectile dysfunction. According to a recent study, women whose cortisol levels exceed a certain amount can become physically incapable of orgasm. Think about it: do you feel aroused when you are stressed out? Probably not.
There is a reason why almost every civilization since the beginning of time has some sort of mating ritual before sex. Things like a nice dinner, champagne, oysters and music can help set the mood and relax you for sex. The more relaxed you are going into the act itself the more likely you are to enjoy it and therefore climax.
Oh, and men are not off the hook. According to Dr. Nelson E. Bennett, MD, an erectile dysfunction expert at the Lahey Clinic, “Stress, fear, anxiety, worry, and frustration cause your body to release adrenaline which constricts your blood vessels, and that is bad for getting a good erection.”
Meditation moves you out of fight or flight and into stay and play. Within a few days of starting a meditation practice adrenaline and cortisol levels drop. Your brain will start producing more dopamine and serotonin which are bliss chemicals. This bliss chemistry in the brain helps to increase your sexual appetite and increase the intensity of orgasm.
3. Meditation makes you more present, and less distracted.
Most of us have an over developed left-brain. The left brain’s job is to review the past and rehearse the future. This can keep us trapped in a past/ future thought cycle and rob us of the ability to be fully present in the right now, which is the only time an orgasm can happen.
The right brain is in charge of present moment awareness and this is the part of the brain that meditation takes to the gym. The longer we meditate, the more brain cohesion and neuroplasticity we create which balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
So the result of this is more attention, awareness and computing power for the task at hand. And depending on what you and your partner(s) are into it may take quite a few hands. Nobody likes a distracted lover.
4. Meditation helps you stop looking to your partner to complete you.
“You complete me” are probably the most damaging words to come out of Hollywood. No one can complete you. No partner, job, degree or number of zeros in your bank account can complete you. Your happiness exists in one place and that is inside of you and it exists in one time and that is right now.
If you do not have a meditation practice or a means by which to access that happiness, then you tend to look externally for fulfillment. If you are looking to your partner to “fill you up” spiritually or physically then you will always be disappointed as nothing external has the capacity to give you access to your bliss. Happiness is an inside job. If you are 80% fulfilled then the relationship will be a place to deliver that fulfillment, not somewhere to get the missing 20%.
5. Meditation might make your partner think you are psychic.
If you haven’t heard about mirror neurons yet, get ready. Scientists say that mirror neurons are going to do for psychology what DNA did for biology. Think of mirror neurons like tiny boomerangs emitted from your brain that go and dance with your lover’s mirror neurons and then report back. Mirror neurons allow you to “intuit” what your partner is feeling. They are why you cringe if you watch someone getting hurt. Mirror neurons are one of the reasons porn is a billion dollar industry. Simply watching someone else being pleasured can create pleasure in your brain.
Well, get this: meditation increases mirror neuron functioning. This fact, coupled with the fact that you’ll be more relaxed and present, will probably mean you’ll be a far more intuitive and generous partner.
So before you reach for the little blue pill why not resolve to learn a meditation practice? I recommend finding a technique that was made for people with busy minds and lives instead of a style made for monks. (I also recommend getting real training from a teacher you respect before you decide if you like meditation or not). With the right technique (and the right teacher), it really can be easy — and oh so fun.
This article originally appeared on mindbodygreen.