“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally” John Kabatt-Zinn

Goal Oriented Masturbation

In my practice I see many people who have a goal oriented approach to sex.  This approach shows up in the way they approach sex with their partners as well as with themselves through masturbation. 

Often, people use the visual aid of porn or the mental stimulation of fantasy along with masturbation to achieve a quick and easy orgasm. 

While these methods are useful, and in themselves neither good nor bad, the rush to orgasm skips over wonderful, amazing sensations that make the journey just as awesome as the destination. 

Feelings of frustration

For those who have never been able to achieve orgasm through masturbation alone they may feel frustrated or lose hope that masturbation will ever lead to orgasm.  Masturbating with frustration, unfortunately, pushes orgasm even further out because when the stress response is high pleasure often subsides and then disappears completely.

Some folks describe being so sensitized to porn and de-sensitized to their own bodies that they can not masturbate to completion without the visual aid of pornography. This may lead to a stressful feedback loop when there is the desire to masturbate but watching porn has become dull, boring or routine.

Mindfulness meets masturbation

For all these reasons, Mindful Masturbation is a solution to gaining awareness of the pleasurable sensations in the body, going on a ride of ebbs and flows of sensation and releasing the need to *get to* orgasm.  By focusing on the moment, the breath, on each stroke one can reconnect with their own body and therefore, discover more and more pleasure.

Slow down and feel

Mindful Masturbation can be a difficult practice in the beginning.  When we are goal oriented by nature it takes dedication and patience to slow down and feel.  Just like any meditation practice it is about returning again and again to the practice to see results over time.

Here are some tips to get you started. 

15 Steps to a Mindful Masturbation Pratice.  

It may be useful to set a timer for 10-20mns just like you would during meditation.  You can increase this time the more you practice. 

1.Choose a time of day that you will not be disturbed.

Choose a time of day where you have some space for yourself and this mindfulness practice. You can even schedule it on your calendar!

2. Choose a location where you will not be disturbed

Find a space that is just for you alone. If all else fails go to the bathroom and lock the door!

3. Turn off all your disturbing devices.

Just as you would any meditation practice make sure that your technology is silent.

4. Make your environment comfortable.

Dim the lights, get cozy, put on some music if you’d like.  Encourage your body to relax by creating a serene, tranquil environment. 

5. Get into a comfortable position.

Get horizontal, naked or semi-clothed and lie down on your back. You can put a scarf over your eyes if you’d like.

6. Begin by slowly touching your body. 

Spend some time touching your thighs, breasts/nipples, arms, face. Get to know your body as you begin to settle in for the Mindful Masturbation practice.

7. Move to your genitals and begin exploring them. 

Instead of going straight to your usual method of masturbation take some time and explore your genitals. Erectile tissue is really amazing. Slow down, touch, breathe and notice what you feel.

As your arousal builds a little start masturbating in a way that feels good to you.

8. While you are masturbating focus on the sensations in your body and your breath.

Take long, deep breaths.  It can be customary to take shallow breaths or hold the breath during masturbation, instead take long, slow breaths.

9. When you find your mind wandering and going into fantasy or craving for porn bring yourself gently back to the sensations in your body.

Focusing on sensation takes practice and it’s okay if your mind wanders again and again.  Just bring it back. You can say “thinking” and come back to your breath, sensations and stroke.

10. If you are feeling impatient or frustrated that’s okay.

Since the goal here isn’t to come to a quick and easy orgasm if you are feeling impatient that’s okay just keep coming back to the sensation and your breath.

11. You may have some emotion you want to express especially if this practice is frustrating.

Go ahead and get angry or frustrated or even sad if you want.  Let yourself feel that and just keep going. Place a hand over your heart if the emotions get really intense and return to the breath and the sensations. It is perfectly okay to cry if you feel the energy wants to move in that way. Let yourself express!

12. For the first few sessions it may be necessary to just stop at a few minutes in. 

Because this is different than your usual way of masturbating it’s fine to do just several minutes at a time until you build up the awareness to go for longer. Remember, this is a practice not a perfect.

13. Approach this new exploration with curiosity instead of fear. 

It can be tempting to feel fearful or anxiety about engaging in a new masturbation practice. It is important to use a positive mindset when feelings of fear pop up especially if your desire is to feel more sensation in your body and have full, robust orgasms. Try using a mindset of curiosity. Lean into the experience and discover what your body is telling you with a curious mind.

14. Remember, Mindfulness is about staying connected to the moment. 

You have been successful at Mindful Masturbation if you can do it even for a couple of seconds! With more and more practice you will become increasingly aware of your body and the pleasure that is possible and be able to stay in sensation and out of your thinking mind for longer and longer durations of time until it feels like second nature.

15. Keep a journal or a video diary of any insights that came up for you.

As with any new practice it can take time to see results. Through journaling or keeping a video diary you can track your journey and see how change has taken place. Return to these notes later to see how your awareness of your body has transformed over time.

If mindfulness is new to you and you would like to start a meditation practice that will benefit all areas of your life I suggest checking out Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield’s meditations on the Insight Timer app. 

And, reach out to schedule a phone consultation to see if working together around bringing mindfulness into your sex life would be beneficial to your and/or your partner.

All the best!

Dr. Anya

Categories: Sex Education

Dr. Anya

Dr. Anya is a sexuality expert with over 25 years experience working with individuals, couples, and groups. Dr. Anya has a Doctor of Human Sexuality degree and is a certified sex educator and certified sexologist. Dr. Anya has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area working with individuals and couples and invites straight and LGBTQ people into her practice.


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