For many years, I was horrible at meditation. I would try to be still, but I’m naturally fidgety. I would try to relax, but my muscles were tense. I would try to focus, but my mind would get distracted.
If there was someone leading the meditation, they would say something like, “Imagine a placid lake, calm and flat as glass.” So I’d do that…and two seconds in, a jet ski would go by. Followed by a motor boat, a pontoon, and a few fish leaping around. In more imaginative moments, the Loch Ness monster would raise its head. #MeditationFail
And yet, Psalms often mentions the benefit of meditating on God’s Word, like this passage:
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
Learning to Meditate
Given that I reached “Amen” on maybe 9 of 10 prayers I said, I became determined to learn to meditate. I needed that focus to pray and consider God’s Word.
I downloaded a meditation app. There are several, but I happened to use HeadSpace. The early meditations are really good, but at some point it does get more into Eastern spirituality views. I disregarded that and chose a Scripture or praise to focus on instead. It worked! I learned how to be still, relax, and focus.
Only, I also realized I’d been doing that already—for years and years. Not in my everyday activities, but my sexual intimacy. Much of what I was learning was consistent with what I’d practiced and taught about experiencing pleasure and reaching orgasm in the marriage bed.
The Role of Mindfulness
Meditation is a practice used to achieve mindfulness; that is, “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us” (Mindful.org). Yes, the concept is tied to Buddhist traditions, but they hardly hold the market on being mindful (see Psalm 26:2-3).
Keying in on that notion of being fully present and aware, isn’t that what we hope to have in our sex lives? Don’t we want to feel mindful of what’s happening, so we can savor the affection and pleasure of being with our husband in such an intimate way?
And yet, we struggle. Both external stimuli and internal monologues compete for our attention. We are fidgety, tense, distracted. An inability to relax and focus contributes to many wives being unable to enjoy sex or achieve orgasm.An inability to relax and focus contributes to many wives being unable to enjoy sex or achieve orgasm. @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet
Meditating During Sex
How then can we use the concept of mindfulness and the practice of meditation to increase our awareness and enjoyment during sex? Here are several techniques you can use in the bedroom:
Breathing. Before you begin, take a few deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you exhale, feel your tension release. Then let your breathing return to normal, but attend to those breaths for a little while longer. Just savor the sense of breathing in and out, in and out.
Acceptance of distractions. One of things I previously had wrong was trying to push away distractions. Instead, it’s important to simply accept the stimuli that could pull us away. Take note of what you see or hear (the mess around you, the noise down the hall), accept its existence, and then turn your focus back to where you are and what you’re doing.
The same is true for unrelated self-talk—don’t fight it, but rather recognize it and then turn your attention and mind back to where you want it.
Distractions somehow lose their power when you admit they’re there but just don’t play their game. (Note: I’m not talking about a crying child who really needs your attention, but general distractions.)
Body scan. One meditation technique involves “checking in” with your body by scanning from head to toe. That is, begin at the top of your head, check in with that body part, and move your focus slowly down through your face, your neck, your shoulders, and so on.
You can pair this practice with our view of God’s beautiful creation. That is, as you check in with your body parts, consider how God knit you together (Psalm 139:13-14), think about the form and function of each body part, revel in those places sensitive to touch and sensuality. Again, this can help you get your body ready for arousal and connection.
Mantras. A mantra is a word or sound you repeat to maintain concentration. Yes, I know its Hindu origins, but we’re not using it that way. I’m not suggesting you om your way through sex. (Please don’t.)
Rather, repeating phrases to bring home a message was used in the Bible as well (see Psalm 136 and “His love endures forever”). You can use that same concept to maintain your focus or increase your positivity during lovemaking. Examples:
- You struggle with body image, so you repeat in your mind, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 136:14) to remember the beauty God imparted to you or simply “His desire is for me” (Song of Songs 7:10) to remember that you are beautiful to your husband.
- You were taught that sex is dirty or less-than-spiritual, so you repeat in your mind, “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:7-9) to recognize that God Himself created this act to nurture and express our intimacy.
- You feel selfish at times enjoying sex as much as you do, especially if/when the activity mostly involves your pleasure, so you repeat in your mind, “drink your fill of love” (Song of Songs 5:1), to remind yourself that God encourages us to drink deeply of sexual delight in the marriage bed.
Focal point. Sometimes in meditation, you’re asked to choose a focal point, a place to center your attention. During sex, your focal point will likely change, but it should follow your sense of arousal so that it feels fluid.
For instance, instead of thinking about everything that’s happening during sex, focus on where your husband hand is stroking, how his fingers feel, what your skin underneath senses, what physiological responses you feel inside, etc. As his hand moves, let your focal point follow.
Be fully present in experiencing the sensations his hand, mouth, or penis provide your body. As you near orgasm, focus your attention entirely on that part of your body, just leaning into that focal point.
Prayer. The whole reason I started learning meditation was so I could focus long enough to get all the way through a prayer to “Amen.” Interestingly enough, I’m not sure I reach “Amen” all that more often, but I am more focused in my prayer time.
You can use that same focus to pray in the midst of sex. Yes, you can! (See Praying Before, During, and After Sex.) It probably won’t be a full prayer, but even “Thank you, God” or “Be with me, Lord” is a prayer. You may be surprised to find that calling on God in the midst of lovemaking settles your heart and increases your delight.
Techniques of meditation and mindfulness can help you become more fully present in the moment of lovemaking, so that you can experience arousal, pleasure, and satisfaction as God intended.