5 Reasons Why People Who Meditate Have Better Sex Lives
Amazing sex may seem like an unlikely benefit of meditation, but let's just say that mindfulness may do a lot for you in the bedroom. For too long, meditation has been associated with asceticism and monks, which is why it has taken us this long to get around to exploring its effects on sex.
The link between meditation and better sex.
Several studies have identified a link between meditation and improved sexual experiences. A 2018 study1 found people who meditate tend to have more sexual desire and better sexual functioning than people who don't. A 2019 study2 found people who practice mindfulness during sex tend to have more sexual satisfaction and sexual self-esteem. Another study3 found women who practice mindfulness during sex also get turned on more easily.
A meditation student once came to me after a full year of twice-a-day meditation and said, "You joked once before about meditation making my sex better, but what's happening for me is crazy. I need answers."
Animalistic, raw and mind-blowing were the most memorable adjectives he then used to describe his newfound sexual prowess. He told me that since the first week of taking my course, he noticed not only that he was able to last much longer during intercourse, but also told me that he felt more control over his orgasms, had way more energy, and more of a sex drive as a result.
Why meditation improves your sex life.
Meditation decreases stress, which means better orgasms.
Meditation is an incredibly powerful stress-reducing tool. Therefore, it stands to reason that meditation can increase sexual desire and performance by reducing cortisol and adrenaline levels. Think about it: do you feel aroused when you are stressed out? Probably not.
Many of us are stressed out, whether from work, our relationships, money, and a whole host of other reasons, circumstantial and otherwise. Stress increases cortisol and adrenaline levels, and these increased levels of cortisol and adrenaline decrease sexual desire and performance (among other negative effects). For example, increased cortisol levels can make it harder for women to orgasm4 and is linked to erectile dysfunction.
"Stress, fear, anxiety, worry, and frustration cause your body to release adrenaline which constricts your blood vessels, and that is bad for getting a good erection," says Nelson E. Bennett, MD, a urologist and erectile dysfunction expert at the Lahey Clinic.
There is a reason why almost every civilization since the beginning of time has some sort of mating ritual before sex. Things like a nice dinner, champagne, oysters, and music can help set the mood and relax you for sex. The more relaxed you are going into the act itself, the more likely you are to enjoy it and therefore climax.
Meditation moves you out of fight-or-flight and into stay and play. Many studies have linked meditation and stress reduction. Within a few days of starting a meditation practice, adrenaline and cortisol levels drop. Meditation is linked to the brain producing more dopamine and serotonin5, which are bliss chemicals. This bliss chemistry in the brain helps to increase your sexual appetite and increase the intensity of orgasm6.
Meditation gives you deep rest, which means more energy for sex.
"Not tonight honey, I'm tired!" How many times have you felt like fatigue has been your excuse for not wanting to have sex? You're not alone: exhaustion is one of the most common reasons couples don't have as much sex as they would like. According to a recent study by the National Sleep Foundation, about one in every four married or cohabitating Americans claim they're so sleep-deprived that they're often too tired to have sex.
Meditation is linked to less fatigue and insomnia and more "slow wave" sleep7. When you meditate, you give your body deep rest, which helps you feel more awake afterward. This jolt of energy may be just what you need after work to energize you for adult playtime.
Meditation makes you more present and less distracted.
Many of us have an over developed left brain. The left brain's job is to review the past and rehearse the future. This can keep us trapped in a past/future thought cycle and rob us of the ability to be fully present in the right now, which is the only time an orgasm can happen.
The right brain is in charge of present-moment awareness, and this is the part of the brain that meditation takes to the gym. Essentially, the longer we meditate, the more we're able to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The result of this is more attention, awareness, and computing power for the task at hand.
As mentioned earlier, there's a research-proven link between mindfulness and sex. When we're more focused and present in the moment, we're better able to tune into our bodies and really feel the physical sensations, resulting in heightened pleasure. Plus, nobody likes a distracted lover.
Meditation can help you read your partner better.
Meditation is linked to improved empathic accuracy and related neural activity. Translation? Meditation might make your partner think you're psychic.
This has to do with the science of mirror neurons8. Think of mirror neurons like tiny boomerangs emitted from your brain that go and dance with your lover's mirror neurons and then report back. Mirror neurons allow you to "intuit" what your partner is feeling. They are why you cringe if you watch someone getting hurt. They may even be one reason why porn is a billion dollar industry. Simply watching someone else being pleasured can create pleasure in your brain.
The fact that meditation may improve your mirror neuron functioning, coupled with the fact that you'll be more relaxed and present, means people who meditate may be far more intuitive and generous partners.
Meditation helps you stop looking to your partner to complete you.
"You complete me" are probably the most damaging words to come out of Hollywood. No one can complete you. No partner, job, degree, or number of zeros in your bank account can complete you. Your happiness exists in one place, and that is inside of you. And it exists in one time, and that is right now.
If you do not have a meditation practice or a means by which to access that happiness, then you tend to look externally for fulfillment. If you are looking to your partner to "fill you up" spiritually or physically, then you will always be disappointed as nothing external has the capacity to give you access to your bliss. Happiness is an inside job.
If you are 80% fulfilled, then the relationship will be a place to deliver that fulfillment, not somewhere to get the missing 20%.
The bottom line.
Meditation can help your sex life in a myriad of ways, from decreasing stress to improving attention to bodily sensations. I recommend finding a technique that was made for people with busy minds and lives instead of a style made for monks. With the right technique and the right teacher, it really can be easy — and oh so fun.
Emily Fletcher is the founder of Ziva Meditation, the world's first online meditation training program, and the author of Stress Less, Accomplish More. Ziva's mission is to make meditation attractive and accessible to modern people who are ready to up-level their performance and their life. Recently featured in the New York Times and regarded as one of the leading experts in Vedic meditation, Fletcher has been invited by companies like Google, Barclays Bank, Viacom, Chanel, Coca-Cola, and sweetgreen to help up-level company performance through meditation.
Fletcher has had the honor of speaking at Summit Series, Awesomeness Fest, and the Omega Center. She began her nine years of training in Rishikesh, India, and was inspired to teach after experiencing the profound physical and mental benefits meditation provided her during her 10-year career on Broadway, which included roles in Chicago, The Producers, and A Chorus Line.
With her high-performance background and intensive meditation training, Fletcher is perfectly suited to teach busy people how to incorporate meditation and visualization into their life, and she's an mbg course instructor! You can learn with her by joining her course, Guided Visualizations: How to Overcome Your Fears, Excel at Work, and Have Mind-Blowing Sex. She has also created a powerful guided visualization called zivaDETOX. It's a simple, downloadable audio that is designed to help you release thoughts and stress that are not serving you and to get you on the right path to leaving the stress behind.