It's vital for mindful acts of emotional and spiritual intimacy to steadily develop as a daily practice for healthy sex. To that end, Center for Healthy Sex has created daily meditations to help you reach your sexual and relational potential. (You can subscribe for free here.)
Even momentarily concentrating on healthy solutions rewires psychological patterns to receive and share healthy sexual love in the present. Here are three meditations with the themes of sexual confusion, kissing, and foreplay for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Sexual Confusion
"No creature can learn that which his heart has no shape to hold." -- Cormac McCarthy
It's perfectly healthy to be sexually confused. Confusion abounds in relationships -- about appropriate boundaries, whether sex is satisfying for one's partner or even oneself, and reading a lover's signs and intentions. In fact, the wonderment of why we're attracted to certain people and how others are attracted to us is infinitely confusing. Healthy confusion inspires healthy curiosity.
But when sexual confusion paralyzes our capacity for erotic relationship, it requires attention. Sexual confusion caused by repression or negative conditioning often feels empty or triggers our anger. Fear of asking questions about sex -- or denial that we have any questions -- can block our sensual maturation. Our first step is to overcome our emptiness, anger, and blockage by allowing room for questions -- a step which sounds simple but is very hard if early programming never let us even admit we had questions.
Difficulty asking questions is one of the best reasons to seek out competent, and perhaps professional, points of view. We each work only with the information we've been given, so it's hard enough to find our psychological blocks, much less to learn how to let the light shine through them. One function of any professional is to relay the most up-to-date information, which gives us access to many points of view through one person. Free 12-step meetings like Codependency Anonymous (CoDA), Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (S.L.A.A.), and Recovering Couples Anonymous (RCA) as well as numerous therapeutic or spiritual support groups also function as sources for diverse viewpoints, and may shed light on issues we couldn't even have known we had. Sexual confusion doesn't just go away. The only way to find freedom from confusing feelings is to process them, which -- as signaled by the word -- invites us into the process of asking, and answering, our self.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Say aloud in a safe space: "I'm sexually confused." Notice any shame, resistance, denial, or other feelings as you contemplate the mere possibility of sexual confusion.
- Recall that sexuality includes sexual attraction, orientation, behaviors, and feelings. Then, right now, write out all the unanswered questions that come to mind about your own and others' sexuality.
- Reach out to another today to resolve one question that's caused you sexual confusion. Call a trusted friend, 12-step phone meeting, or a professional, and share honestly the level of anxiety or inner struggle it takes to bring light into this part of your life.
Meditation 2: Kissing
"Never a lip is curved with pain
That can't be kissed into smile again." -- Bret Harte
Lips touching lips as a sign of love between humans, interestingly, has no known origin. In fact, there are debates about whether kissing is an innate or learned behavior. Other mammals besides humans smooch and some rub noses as a greeting of affection, comfort, or social connection. On a practical level, when our faces are close together we exchange scents and biological information telegraphing whether we are making a good mate selection. Ultimately, however, people kiss because it feels good. Our lips are comprised of erectile tissue and, like our tongues, are filled with nerve endings. Kissing is erotic and activates arousal and pleasure centers in unique and exciting ways.
And for that reason, kissing is one of the most intimate things two people can do with each other. To kiss deeply and slowly is to surrender to closeness between yourself and your lover. Inevitably, caressing and fondling follow kissing -- but don't let your arousal rush you away from the moment. Slow your kiss and taste your partner's lips, feel the scent and heat of your lover's breath, and give yourself over to the sensations that arise in the moment.
When kissing, we automatically close our eyes. Lost in our own personal reverie, we take a trip to Venus with our lover as co-pilot. Kissing awakens the body and signals to your partner that you're aroused. In this state of surrender, the scents of your bodies mingle, and your embrace enhances the act of kissing, creating further arousal. Linger in the kiss and let the union of your lips be the moment of meeting, lovemaking, and contacting the divine within each of you. Kissing is sensuality in action and, during intercourse, invites high levels of eroticism.
Daily healthy sex acts
- How do you feel about kissing? Do you have hang-ups about kissing that you need to address?
- What's your style of kissing? Do you vary length or pressure? What's your preference?
- When was the last time you slowed down and kissed your partner? Do you kiss during sex? If not, why not?
Meditation 3: Foreplay
"Once, I got naked and danced around your bedroom, awkward and safe. You did the same. We held each other without hesitation and flailed lovely. This was vulnerability foreplay." -- Miles Walser
Foreplay is the precursor to the play of sex. Overlooking or rushing it from anxiety about its intimacy can make a couple's sex life fall flat. Foreplay may include all five senses, starting with the most obvious sense of sight. It's true that the eyes are the windows of the soul; gazing into one another's eyes deepens and enhances your soulful connection. As you make eye contact with your partner, talk about what stimulates you visually -- a color, a piece of clothing, or the way s/he moves toward you. Find out what's visually arousing to you both so you can incorporate these simple additions into your foreplay.
One of the most powerful aphrodisiacs is the sounds our lover makes during sex. Pleasurable moans and groans heighten the sexual experience. When we surrender to the moment, these resonant tones beckon harmony, signaling sexual pleasure to us and letting us know that we are in concert. Other essential parts of foreplay are taste and smell. Whether kissing and licking or enjoying sensual foods, the mouth is an integral player in foreplay. Likewise, the natural odor of your partner can be very arousing, as can scents you pick and choose together. Body oils, perfumes and colognes and the smell of the heat between you can be a source of high arousal.
Finally, touch is a major element of erotica. The feel of our lover's hand, the sensation of our bodies touching, caressing, or brushing against one another sends a clear message that we're wanted. Take time to slow your pace and concentrate on touching and being touched. Curb your eagerness to move on to the next thing and instead use a beginner's mind, so that you're giving and receiving with presence and gratitude.
Daily healthy sex acts
- What aspects of foreplay do you like the most? Which do you like the least?
- If you were to design the perfect prelude to intercourse, what would it look, smell, feel and taste like? How long would it take? What elements would it include?
- Design the ideal foreplay scenario with your lover, and commit to playing it out.
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.