Vulnerability and authenticity: you may have heard of them in your therapist’s office, but have you brought them up in your bedroom? It’s essential to do so, especially if you’re in a long-term relationship with your partner. The thing is, a lot of people think that to avoid the risk of relationship trauma, you can simply avoid being vulnerable in your relationship. But in order to take no chances with the future of your relationship, it’s much safer to amp up your vulnerability and authenticity.
When people make good decisions, the benefits tend to create a ripple effect. So, when you shut down, give in to fear, and don’t engage in vulnerability, that can bleed over into other parts of your life. Conversely, when you open up to the possibility of being vulnerable and authentic, that also can change other aspects of your life for the better.
Mindfulness and Sexuality Go Hand in Hand
Knowing the parts of yourself that are authentically you requires mindfulness and self-awareness. And here’s where these attributes can upgrade your sex life: the more mindful you become, the more you understand that there’s an undeniable mind-body connection. Mindful people can learn to dissolve the difference between their minds and their bodies so that they act as one. During sex, this means you’ll be more relaxed and almost able to think with your body and be very sexually inspired.
But before you can get to that magical level of sexual mastery and self-awareness, you have to be sexually mindful. All the mindfulness in the world, however, won’t help if you’re unwilling to connect with your partner. You can be a mindful person, but if you disconnect during sex, it’s just not going to be as intimate.
When you’re not being you, you’re being a restricted version of yourself for a purpose. Maybe that’s to avoid a fight or to put off a conversation, but those reasons can stand in the way of a healthy relationship—not just with your partner, but with your own identity. You lose a part of yourself every time you do it. And you deserve to have a life where your needs are met, you’re your fullest self, and you don’t have to pack away your identity to get through the day.
Mindfulness and BDSM
One of the reasons that BDSM is so beloved by its adherents is that it incorporates mindfulness. When someone submits to their partner, they can effectively turn their brain off and embrace the physicality of the interaction—without once going over their to-do list in their head. Similarly, the dominating partner has such focus that it’s rare for either partner to be able to engage in a BDSM scene without using mindfulness.
In order to fully let go, you have to trust your partner to a certain degree. Otherwise, biologically, your brain can shut off the stress signals that are causing you to wonder if this a good idea or why you don’t enjoy it as much as you used to, or any of the other negative thoughts that creep in and rob you of your orgasm.
Consider Your Energy
An excellent first step is identifying where you channel your energy each day. Is there a dark cloud of energy that follows you wherever you go, as you spend most of your day angry or trying to contain your anger? Perhaps your feelings are more along the lines of sadness or stress. Whatever the case, if you have overwhelming feelings that circumvent your sexual pleasure, these are best discussed with a therapist you trust. When you work through the issues at hand, your energy is free to be spent sexually. The work you do in a therapist’s office will pay off in sexual dividends.
Bio: Dr. Nazanin Moali is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist in the Los Angeles area. She works with various individuals to understand and improve their sexuality. Dr. Moali conducts personal consultation sessions in her Torrance and Hermosa Beach offices, or via a secure, online video-counseling platform. Click here to download the 101 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Hot checklist.