Mindful Sex: Beyond You and Me

By Jessica Graham on Wednesday February 14th, 2018

Finding True Connection

When I was fourteen, I decided it was high time to lose my virginity. So I did. It happened in the backseat of a hot rod car—I think it was a green Chevelle—with an eighteen-year-old with tattoos and a ponytail. I kept my turquoise All-Star high tops on the whole time. I was high and don’t remember all that much of the experience. I just did it because I thought it had to be done; it didn’t really matter if I was actually present for it. I had never even made out with anyone before.

Later that year, I had sex again; this time in a field with a twenty-year-old with a ponytail. I was also intoxicated again. This pattern went on for many years. Not always with older men with ponytails. Not always with men. What remained the same was my inability to really be conscious during sexual experiences. Even if I wasn’t drunk or high, I wasn’t really fully there. I was checked out in some way. I didn’t look into my lover’s eyes. I didn’t feel a sense of merging or the sacred. During the sex act, I certainly didn’t tell them how much I cared for them. It was all about checking out and getting off; sex without presence or intimacy.

Disconnected from Sexuality

When I started meditating I was still very disconnected from my sexuality. I had begun to recognize that thoughts and emotions were not as solid as I thought. Meditation showed me parts of myself that had been previously unavailable, but I wasn’t quite ready to delve into my sexual life. Then I read a book that talked about looking into your partner’s eyes while you climaxed. I thought, “No way. Never going to happen.” The idea of actually seeing and being seen at that vulnerable moment made my skin crawl. I preferred to squeeze my eyes shut, turn my head away, and if possible hide under a pillow. I really liked sex and thought of myself as a very sexual person, but I didn’t want to cross that line to establishing a real connection.

Disconnected from my sexualityWhen I started meditating I was still very disconnected from my sexuality.

I was also cut off from my body. I didn’t want to feel anything emotionally uncomfortable, so I tried not to feel at all. I was good at sex and I enjoyed it, but when I look back, it’s as if I was only using a small percentage of my sensory awareness. I had no idea how good sex could actually be. I was only partially present for my partners because I was only partially present for myself. I tend to attract people who match with where I am in my emotional and spiritual evolution. So no one ever called me out on the fact that I disappeared during sex. My meditation practice, however, did not miss that fact. When you spend time working on waking up, it gets harder and harder to go unconscious. By observing thoughts and emotions every day in formal meditation, my practice was revealing the parts of me that were hidden away. The awakening I was having in other areas couldn’t help but spill over into my sex life. I wanted more. My authentic sexuality was bursting forth.

After one of my first retreats, I realized that I wanted my sexuality to be included in my spiritual practice. I wanted to open my eyes. I wanted to really feel all of it.

Beyond You and Me

The first time I looked into my lover’s eyes while we made love was frightening, exhilarating. It was also obvious that, of course, this is the way it should be. I began to have very profound spiritual experiences during sex. It was a meditation in action that I had never known. As a result, my creative life began to expand too. I found that I had more energy to write, act, draw and play. My sexual and creative nature began to blossom in a beautiful way.

It became impossible to be cut off from such an important part of my experience. Meditation was giving me freedom from my mind and access to my body in a way that I had never known. I recognized that the potential for richness, connection, and satisfaction was limitless. A whole new world was opening up, which was very exciting. This doesn’t mean that I always make sweet love, staring into my partner’s eyes, and whispering sweet nothings. Mindful doesn’t mean mushy or boring. Mindful sex can be dirty, fun, exciting and rough. It can be based on who I am in that moment. I’m no longer stuck with one version of sex. I’m free to explore, push my boundaries, and see what happens next.

Mindful doesn’t mean mushy or boringMindful sex can be dirty, fun, exciting and rough.

And my relationships benefited. I was no longer hiding from my partner. I was present, vulnerable, and open. My body became incredibly sensitive. I could feel things that I hadn’t even known existed. It was like how some people describe certain drug experiences, but without the drugs. With this greater connection to my own body, I connected with my partner on a much deeper level. What it is possible to share with another person continues to shock and delight me.

By simply feeling and seeing your partner while you are having sex, you can connect in ways that seem magical. It’s not actually magic; it’s how life is when you show up for it. You can start by just really experiencing a hug. It doesn’t have to be sexual. Feel the other person’s arms around you. Notice the feeling of your breath, and theirs. Experience the warmth of another body meeting yours. Try it in a conversation. See their eyes; the color, the shape, the size. Watch the way their mouth moves. Hear the sound of their voice. Give up being solid and separate, and for even just a few seconds connect from the place that goes beyond ‘you and me.’

Mindful Sex

I didn’t know that an amazing sex life would be a side effect of meditation when I started this journey. Actually, I didn’t even know that my sex life was missing something. Now I know that there are no limits to the pleasures that await me. I now consider my sexuality to be as much of my spiritual practice as sitting on the cushion. This is no different from how I view my work, eating, interactions with family, creating art, and life in general. Meditation stops being this special thing we do for thirty minutes a day and begins to be our moment-by-moment experience. Everything is part of it.

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.




How Yoga Transformed a Soldier’s Life


Meditation for Peace and Global Wellbeing


What do Cynical People Really Want?

Subscribe to UPLIFT

UPLIFT is dedicated to telling the new story of inspired co-creation.

Get free updates and news about UPLIFT events and films.

How will my data be used?



13 Responses to Mindful Sex: Beyond You and Me

  1. This article was and is amazing! Everything makes sense. This is a beautiful incentive to seriously get in tune with our own bodies. TY ❤️

  2. I agree that the practice of mindfulness can take sex and intimacy to a whole new level. But I can also say that I have had these experiences with people who were very wrong for me. Bad people, even. There is something miraculous and nearly indescribable when you discover this ability within yourself, but it can also add a depth of physical intimacy that can be very misleading when trying to develop true, lasting relationships. Relationships that are on a plain more than physical. You may feel like you are reaching the moon and stars in the act, but you crash harder and lower than you were before when you recognize that it was all just a physical facade.

  3. Actually all you need to feel that is find a proper person to be in love with. That’s that. Nothing more. More easy to say than to be done.
    The article is almost about nothing. Sorry for my rudeness but you can easy accept that as a mindful person.

    • I have to say, that being “in love” and finding stead fast love that can withstand the tests and trials of time do not necessarily fit into this description bracket. I have found it rather easy to “fall in love” (aka blind love, “fall in lust”) but finding love that can withstand the years can be very different from finding someone who fits into your blueprint of physical desires. Finding the right person to “fall in love” with is easier said than done, but it is also easier to fall in love than to stay in love, despite physicality and a chemical reaction that may perfectly align for a few months or even a couple years. When you are able to bring mindfulness into your sex life, and are someone who finds it easy to have compassion, and therefore love many, the initial “falling in love” can happen time and time again, but with results that ultimately do not last. I think someone once said “The brightest love has the darkest end”.

    • Above was intended for placement here. I love the sharing of ideas. I think we can learn from everyone if we have the open Eye and ear to do so.

  4. When you learn to let go. Having sex becomes spiritual, explosive, uncontrollable extended orgasmic kinda outer inner body experience! Insanely Awesome!!!

    • Politely disagree. This article may not have meant much to you, but Maybe it wasn’t intended for you. We can all find spiritual connection in many different healthy ways.

  5. Being in the moment takes intimacy to unbelievable level. The mind can release your sensitivity. I have felt sensations I have never felt before.

Leave a reply