Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire
Author: Lori A. Brotto, PhD
Year Published: 2018
Page Count: 239 – 6-7 hour read time
What It’s About:
This book offers a groundbreaking approach to improving desire, arousal, and satisfaction inside – and outside – the bedroom. Drawing from the latest research, and patient examples, Dr. Brotto provides readers with the sex therapy most didn’t know they were missing. Whether your goal is to overcome a sexual difficulty or simply to give your love life a boost, it’s a must read.
The groundbreaking approach? Mindfulness.
As preeminent sex educator, Emily Nagoski, outlines in the forward of the book, ‘Mindfulness is the practice of noticing what is happening inside us and of being kind to ourselves. Even when we struggle to do so. Mindfulness means giving ourselves permission to pay attention to our bodies, our beliefs about sex, and our emotions related to sex. It means being patient and being kind to ourselves. And it means being nonjudgmental. That is the secret ingredient: nonjudgment. Mindfulness improves nonjudgmental attention, and nonjudgmental attention improves sexual well-being.’
The Take Aways:
After reading Better Sex Through Mindfulness you should come away with:
- The confidence that it’s important to talk about sexual difficulties;
- The belief that better sex is possible and important;
- Knowing the difference between sexual inhibitors (e.g. performance concerns) and facilitators (e.g. mood music) and how they impact your desire;
- The importance of mind and body alignment;
- How multitasking and spectatoring rob you of great sex;
- What eating a raisin can do for your sex life.
Studies show that up to half of all women experience some kind of sexual difficulty at some point in their lives, with low desire being the most common. That’s a lot of women. From having no interest in sex to experiencing severe pain, far too many of us are resigned to sex that is at best mediocre.
Using mindfulness to treat a range of sexual difficulties, Dr. Brotto has helped hundreds of women find or regain fulfilling sex lives. Expertly guiding you through the reasons sex can be difficult. Dr. Brotto will open your eyes. Wide. She also provides the tools you can use to achieve better sex.
Why you should read this book:
In Dr. Brotto’s words: “Based on my own observation of mindfulness, I would argue that satisfying sex is quite simply not possible without mindfulness. When the women in our groups recall an experience of magnificent sex, the details of the activities and setting vary significantly. However, their stories share one critical ingredient in common: the person was fully present. Fully alive. Fully connected. Fully there. Acrobatic sex or willful stamina are not what make sex truly magnificent. In my opinion, it is mindfulness. To be fully present with each sensation, without judgment or commentary, is what I think has been missing from sex for the countless women who are dissatisfied with sex.’
When I first came across this book, I was skeptical. Mindfulness is something I work at, and it’s hard. I really didn’t think that focusing on being present could make much of a difference when it came to the physical act of sex. But, my perimenopausal body was in a rut. I had tried testosterone cream. Gave scheduling sex a go. I tried lube. Sexy lingerie helped a little. Then I read this book. WOWZA. Thank you, Dr. Brotto!
Turns out I didn’t need more facilitators to stimulate my sexuality. I needed to stop multitasking. Unearthing and understanding my inhibitions was required. As was taking my foot off the brake pedal. I needed to allow myself the gift of being in the moment.
Is better sex through mindfulness simple? In theory, yes. In practice, this is lifelong work. And I believe it will absolutely help anyone willing to do the work.