This post was written by Community Partner, Pleasure Coach & Sex Educator Andrea Bertoli
We know that any successful romantic relationship requires both partners to do the work. We all need to learn, grow, and expand in various ways to keep our relationship dynamic, interesting, and engaging for both. And over your months and years together, each of you will need to practice new things, make mistakes, and keep trying.
One of the things I remind people is that over time, our sexuality changes in various ways. As we move through the decades, our bodies will continually change, our desires and needs will shift, and our bodies do all kinds of new stuff. Upleveling your sexual practices and skills will show your partner that you care about the sexual components of your relationship, and that you’re committed to Sex Worth Having.*
In my sex coaching practice, I help people build stronger, more connected partnerships using both cognitive and somatic approaches. In this article I’ll share four of my favorite ways you can use your brain and your body to explore deeper pleasure potential and connect more deeply with your partner.
Mindful Sex: Four Foundations for Men’s Sexual Empowerment
Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned in my work as a sex coach is how much men want to please, pleasure, and care for their partners. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but more often than not, I see men that really want to do better. This also requires that their partners give them the opportunity to do so. So I approach my coaching with men (and all people) by giving them the benefit of the doubt. I trust that yes, indeed, you deeply care about your partner and want to ensure they are content, satisfied, and happy. The tips you’ll read below will help you commit to this betterment in an ongoing practice of growth and play..
Mindful Sex is my phrase to help you create more connected, present, loving sexual practices. These foundations are rooted in Tantra, mindfulness, and my 20+ years as a yogi… along with tons of research showing how to create and maintain deep sexual connection. I created the Four Foundations of Mindful Sex to guide all my people into deeper presence and connection with themselves and their lovers. Keep reading for more about how men can use these powerful practices for deeper erotic embodiment.
Mindful Sex for Men: Focus on Mindfulness
When we allow ourselves to be present to exactly what is, we allow for the whole range of human experience. If you’ve practiced mindfulness or meditation, you know it’s a return to focus again and again. This is helpful at work, at home, and yes, in bed. Decades of research shows how mindfulness can bring so much depth to our sexual practices.
When you’re having sex or pleasuring yourself, bring your attention back again and again to yourself. How is your breath? What sensations do you notice in your hands, skin, mouth, body, penis? Is there a way to direct focus to a specific place on your body, and then towards another part of your body? If you find yourself trying to last longer and maintain your erections, I invite you to turn inwards instead of out. Pay MORE attention, not less, to the sensations you have in your whole body. Breathe into them, allow the energy to move within your body.
And give yourself the grace to drop out and come back in: maybe you have an intrusive thought, or you lose your erection. Neither of these are problems, however, communicating these things to your partner can be really helpful and help normalize your body doing body things and your mind doing mind things! To come back together, you can ask for a break, ask to switch positions or activity, or drop back into deep breathing together so that you’ll feel more connected. Staying mindful about the specific activity, the breath, and sensation can make you more attuned to your own body, and allow you to hold more sexual energy in your body.
Mindful Sex for Men: Attend to Slowness
Slowness in lovemaking is one of the best gifts you can give to your partner. Not only does it help improve sensation and arousal, it can be super connecting and build safety in your container. Literally every activity can be improved by doing it more slowly: deep kissing, neck nibbles, touch and massage, and certainly genital touch. One of the tricks I tell my people is to slow down what you’re doing by half, then half again. Try to practice moving as slow as possible to see what sensations it elicits.
Of course, be sure to check in with your partner about speed, pressure, and location. You can always speed up if/when they ask for it, but starting with slower touches can be a great way to build arousal and connection.
Does this mean you can’t have a quickie in the kitchen or shower? Of course not! We have lots of things that turn us on, and moving slowly is one way to play, and can be a great way to explore in new ways. Sometimes you want fast, sometimes you want slow: communicating about what mode you want is super important.
Mindful Sex for Men: Give Yourself Over to Deep Attention
It’s 2023 and we’re no longer engaging in mindless eating, mindless scrolling, and mindless sex. We’re giving ourselves over to deep attention.
Layering onto the mindfulness aspect of deeper sex, we add attention. In mindfulness, we want to bring our focus back again and again to the task at hand for our own body and pleasure and sensation. Adding in attention means bringing on a deep focus and deep attunement to the other person.
Whether you are giving someone oral sex or deeply kissing or giving a massage, you can give yourself over to full attention. Tune into their breath, their movements under you. You can ask them to make refinements to the touch you’re giving: do you want this slower, faster, here/there? You make it clear that the only thing on your mind is their experience.
Take this deep attention into your daily life, too, and watch your partner light up when you remember the tidbit they told you yesterday, and when you bring them home dinner because you heard the overwhelm in their voice. Pay attention to your person as if they were the most important thing in the world to you. And… are they not?
Mindful Sex for Men: Create Intention
Setting intention before playtime can be a way to ritualize your connection and deepen your experience. It also means being clear about the direction of your play: are you here to give your partner deep pleasure, or are you here to play together and explore giving and receiving? Both are great, and understanding the nuance between each can be really helpful towards creating a powerful connection.
When you commit fully to giving to others, you’re not focused on yourself or your pleasure (although you might become aroused); you are focused on their pleasure in an act of worship or devotion. And commit to that: do not offer to give a massage and then ask for or expect sex. In fact, when I start to teach couples about some of these practices, I suggest you avoid sex. This is especially healing for heterosexual couples, as so many women have felt compelled to say yes when they have not wanted to do so. Offer the activity, and remain in integrity to yourself and your commitment.
If and when you and your partner commit to a mutually pleasurable experience, you might move back and forth between giving and receiving. Allowing space for both both partners to have moments of leading and moments of following can be another way to play with giving and receiving. Explore switching of the energy to play with the dynamic and the sexual polarity.
Likewise, we can commit to showing up with intentionality into our relationships, so that our partner knows we’re in it together. This is deeply important during sex: the intentions that we show up with today are going to impact our relationship tomorrow, and onwards.
Integrating Mindful Sex into Life
These suggested practices are just that—practices! I invite you to play with each over the next week and explore what feels good for you and your partner. See which feels good for you and for them, and practice communicating about these Four Foundations to find out what fits best.
These practices might be really different than how you have sex now, and that’s okay! Most of us didn’t get a chance to learn and explore sex in these dynamic ways, so please consider these as invitations to deeper awareness of sex and pleasure.
If you want to dive in further, join my free monthly conscious sexuality gatherings for men. We start September 13, and we’ll gather monthly. For those men willing to totally uplevel their sex life, I’m offering a transformative 3-week men’s erotic embodiment workshop that helps men explore deep erotic embodiment. You’ll learn my favorite tools, like breathwork, edging, sensation play, and touch skills… three weeks of juicy experiences that will uplevel your lovemaking for the rest of your life.
* Hi! Thanks for reading the asterisk! I’m launching a podcast in January entitled Sex Worth Having. It’s co-hosted with a Sex Therapist (that is also my Beloved) and we’ll talk about all things Tantra, conscious sexuality, healing relationships, sex ed, and more. You should definitely stay tuned to my Instagram and TikTok to find out more.
ANDREA’S UPCOMING EVENTS:
- Wednesday Dec 13| Online
- Wednesday Dec 13| Kailua
- Wednesday Jan 17| Online
- Wednesday Jan 17| Kailua
More about the Author: I work as a Pleasure Coach and Sex Educator. I work with people to help them improve intimate communication, explore their deep desires, and practice sensual connection in a grounded, holistic way. My teaching is focused on conscious, mindful sexuality, consent and communication. I am certified as a practitioner of Urban Tantra and a certified Sex Educator. I also have a Master’s degree in Gender Studies. I am a lifelong student, and my training continues with teachers from around the world so that I can deepen my practices and build my teaching toolkit.