For psychologist and neuropsychologist Marsha Lucas, complaints of a dull sex life are common in her practice, and are always followed by the obvious question: “How do we spice things up?”
When the answer is meditation instead of, say – an erotic toy or a wild game, not everyone is particularly convinced by the idea.
To most people, good sex and meditation may seem like two different ends of a stick; the former comparable to calm and still waters while the other a climatic and loud ripple (read more at omg kinky).
However, studies have shown that meditation and sex may have just been separated at birth… or simply misunderstood.
If you’re looking for a solid, scientific explanation to this sexual theory, it’s coming. An article on the Huffington Post reported that the brain reacts to sex and meditation similarly. During sex, the right hemisphere of the brain lights up; the same happens on the left hemisphere during meditation.
Teachings by the guru Osho even disassociate orgasm from its sexual context, describing the experience itself as nonsexual and spiritual, even though it is achieved through sex (as always the case). This perhaps reflects the Indian tradition of Tantra, which uses sex as a means to achieve enlightenment.
In her article, Marsha Lucas stressed how we should look beyond props and costumes to reignite the spark in the bedroom. Better sex – good sex means being present physically, emotionally and mentally. “It’s about really showing up and tuning in, to the moment, yourself and your partner,” she wrote.
To exemplify, Marsha cited a common scenario – in the heat of the moment, a lover worried about performance or appearance will cause the body to constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow away from areas that most need it (for both men and women).
A (non-sexual) study by Harvard compared the brains of mindfulness meditators to those who didn’t meditate and found that the meditators had significantly thicker anterior insula. In short, a thicker insula enables information to be sent to the higher-level brain and stimulates it to respond more smoothly so that the stress chemicals would stop flowing. It also plays an important role in perceiving bodily experiences; especially the sensations that will help you express your emotions better with your body, making you a better, sensitive and attuned lover.
Bottom line? Being wholly present and in harmony with your partner will increase the anterior insula in your brain and encourage blood to freely flow up and down your body. But “orgasm is no replacement for meditation“!
So the next time you or someone you know stumble across a cork blocking the best of your sensual bliss, how about giving meditation a try to improve your sex life?
Have you noticed a difference in your sex life through meditation or are you inspired to give it ago for you (and your partner’s) benefit – if so let us know below :)