Sometimes the best kind of foreplay is simply getting your head in the game.
By Laura Shinn
Raise your hand if you’re in the mood every single time your partner wants to get it on.
Yeah, us neither.
We’re all human, right? Kids happen, exhaustion happens, stress happens, wildly differing sex drives happen. If getting in the mood for sweet, mind-blowing sex was as easy as throwing some Marvin Gaye on the stereo and busting out the lingerie, we’d be golden (and a hell of a lot more relaxed as an overall species).
But here’s the thing: You have more control than you think. Sometimes, all it takes is some mental lube to get your head in the game. In other words: mindfulness.
A buzzy topic, mindfulness is essentially the practice of being conscious or aware of the present moment. “Modern life wants you to be very distracted,” explains Dr. Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology at the University of Washington and co-author of Snap Strategies for Couples.
Sound difficult? That’s because it is—and that’s why it’s called a practice. Especially when it comes to intimacy. Luckily, Dr. Schwartz has some out-of-the-box suggestions about how to get mindful.
1. Do sports together. Specifically anything physical that takes you wholly in the moment—yoga, rock-climbing, spotting each other in the gym. Concentration equals mindfulness. “In those situations, you are what you’re doing,” says Dr. Schwartz. “Sex should be like that—being aware of a feeling and connection with your partner.
2. Go Slow. By not rushing, you’re truly taking in sensations. This applies to everything you do together—including intimacy. Slow down, and you’ll have more time to enjoy the moment for what it is.
3. Set the scene. “Take the time to darken the room, and light some candles.” explains Dr. Schwartz. “Creating the moment—that’s really what romance is.” And if your mind is interested in being there, and living the romantic moment—well, you can’t get more mindful of that.
Laura Shinn is a Portland, Oregon-based writer and strategist covering health, wellness, food, fashion and culture.