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Good morning, Friend
 


Having a hard time staying focused during sex?


For those who are following @mysexbio on Instagram, you’re probably aware that we’ve been practicing a lot of new breathing techniques – and not just because we’re in need of some major stress-relief. We’ve been exploring the intersection of breath and sex.

To get us all in the right mindset for this month’s newsletter, we’d like to invite you to take a pause from reading this, close your eyes and take five deep, slow breaths.

Ready? Begin.

Breathe in for three counts … Breathe out for three counts

Breathe in for three counts … Breathe out for three counts

Breathe in for three counts … Breathe out for three counts

Breathe in for three counts … Breathe out for three counts

Breathe in for three counts … Breathe out for three counts


 

Great job! Now, let’s start off with a little history.


Many people hear the term “mindful sex” and equate it with tantric sex. While that is certainly one example of the practice – it’s not exclusively so. Though, it is true that when we discuss breath and sex, we are often eliminating the mainstream disillusion between spirituality and sexuality.

Tantra (which in Sanskrit means “loom”) actually refers to a series of texts that break away from the orthodox sects of Hinduism and Buddhism, the earliest of which is believed to date back to around the 7th century, though some sources believe it to be much earlier.

As Tantra has become more and more popular among western cultures (and increasingly commodified by White Capitalists much like yoga already has), it has become more and more equated with sex positivity and mindful sex and transformed into “neotantra” or “tantric sex.”

Similar to tantra is kundalini. Both focus on tapping into and awakening your Shakti – the feminine energy that sits at the base of your spine, in your pelvic region. Unlocking this sensual coil of energy is achieved through different paths for tantra and kundalini. Where tantra surrenders to the energy, kundalini commands it.

However, both tap into Shakti through controlled breath...but more on that in just a moment.

 

Breathing more mindfully could lengthen your life.


According to Amarjit Singh, yoga teacher and transformation coach, “The speed at which you breathe will dictate the length of life.”

While no studies have been able to definitively prove this idea, it is believed by many. Their beliefs are based primarily on “situational logic” in which they point to the fact that animals that breathe faster also have shorter life spans. For example, mice take about 150 breaths per minute and live an average of 2 years while humans take 15-30 breaths per minute and live between 60-80 years. (Check out this website for more on this theory).

Now, all of this is certainly not proof that slower, more intentional breath definitively lengthens your life. There is, however, proof that it can support your overall well being.

Here are just some of the health benefits of regular, mindful breathing:
  • An improved response to the body’s autonomic nervous system
  • Lower the release of stress hormones
  • Improved digestion and metabolism 
  • Help soothe and/or manage anxiety and depression
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Eased inflammation throughout the body
  • Increased stamina during physical activities 
  • Improved brain function and higher energy

So...it does make sense that regular practice would make you a healthier being—and, therefore, elongate your life!

 

But where does sex come into play?


Well, in the same way you can use breath to increase your presence in daily life, it can also be used to heighten your awareness and tap into your sacral energy during sex!

In practicing mindfulness as a part of your daily or weekly routine, you can train your body to be more present during activities such as sex. The benefit of this is that it can help rid your mind of its usual distractions, such as your physical insecurities, the long list of to-dos you haven’t gotten to, and the fact that you’re only separated from your neighbor by a thin sheet of drywall. All of these are common ways our minds try to escape confronting what bothers us.

By slowing down and bringing intention to your breath, you bring attention and presence to your own body.

Not only that, but you might notice a difference in the way you climax during sex. As our partner, Courtney Avery says: “your breath is an essential part of your orgasm.”

Women will often tense up and stop breathing when they feel themselves nearing orgasm. By relaxing your body and breathing into your genitals, you will allow your body to tap into that kundalini energy. This can lead to much more powerful and full-bodied orgasms! In fact, we have an entire episode on our new podcast, Carnal Theory, where we discuss using our breath for orgasm with our guest Denell Barbara Nawrocki!

However, a huge part of incorporating breath in sex is to eliminate that focus on the end product or goal being an orgasm. Focusing on getting your partner (or yourself) “to finish” will mean not being present in the actual act of sex itself. 

Here are just a few of the benefits to using your breath during sex and masturbation:
  • More intense and heightened sensations
  • Less focus on how you look or other distractions
  • A deeper connection to your partner
  • More energy and stamina during sex (both energy-wise and in drawing out the time before you orgasm)
  • A greater understanding of your own wants and needs


The technical side of mindful sex.


“Unless you’re quite the multitasker, learning breathing exercises while you’re having sex can get complicated,” writes Suzannah Weiss of Bustle

The key to incorporating breath into your sex life is actually practicing it outside of sexual contexts. Regular practice will help make the controlled breath practically muscle memory and, thus, easier to introduce during a physical and often partnered activity such as sex.

Pranayama is the practice of controlled breathing in yoga. In Kundalini, this type of breath is also called the “breath of fire,” a rhythmic and fast-paced deep breathing that comes from the abdomen.

Here are Pieter Schoonheim Samara’s tips for practicing breath of fire: 
  1. Start off with some long, deep breaths, to bring attention to the diaphragm and the way it expands and contracts as you breathe in and breathe out. This is an essential part of abdominal breaths. 
     
  2. Next, start honing into your breath of fire by breathing in as far as you possibly can, then immediately pushing that air out of your lungs the moment you feel them reach capacity. This will ignite the rhythmic aspect of your breath.
     
  3. Keep your focus solely on the movement of your diaphragm as you ever so slowly speed up your breaths.
    Your breath should be flowing into your abdomen naturally by relaxing your stomach muscles which, in turn, pushes your diaphragm downward.
     
  4. This pattern should continue until you feel that your effort is no longer necessary and your breathing has taken on a life of its own. 
    If you are doing the practice correctly, there should be no rigidity in your body.

The KRI International Teacher Training Manual suggests that Breath of Fire be practiced through the nostrils with the mouth closed unless otherwise prompted. They also recommend sitting cross-legged in a pray position for the optimum flow of energy and breath.

 

Achieving orgasm entirely through breath?!


There are some who practice abdominal or pelvic breathing with the intention to bring themselves to climax entirely through the moving of their diaphragm. The idea is that in moving your breath through that second (or sacral) chakra, you can unlock the sexual energy coiled up there and allow it to move throughout your entire body in a pulsating, orgasm-like euphoria.

“The more you practice meditation,” explains Courtney Avery, “the more you train your brain to come into an orgasmic state. When you add the physical muscles and breath (energy) work into your sex life, magic happens. The potential to bring yourself into an orgasm with only the breath and muscle engagement becomes possible!”

 

Making breathing a partnered activity.


Bringing intention to your breath doesn’t have to be a one-sided activity. Having your partner(s) join you in this ritual can be an incredibly powerful experience.

More than anything, tantric sex is about the connection with yourself and/or your partner(s)’ energy.

There are many ways you can do this that don’t involve pranayama–or at least not exclusively–such as the practice of yab yum. However, the sharing of breath can be an incredibly sensual way to engage with your partner and incorporated into almost any practice or context.

Try positioning yourself close to your partner(s). You might try sitting upright with your hips practically touching and each other's legs extending behind one another. You could sit cross-legged with your knees touching, or you could lay next to each other – play around with what you like most!

Try to maintain eye contact during the whole process and start to notice the way each other is breathing. Focus your attention almost entirely on their breath until yours and theirs have become matched.

Breathe together for a long time–at least five minutes if not more. Challenge yourself to make it up to 20 minutes if possible. This will give enough time to really allow your energies to merge and to become aware of each other.

You might even try to change your breath and begin some abdominal or pelvic breathing together, allowing your energetic connection to keep you in sync. Don’t try to match your breaths, let it happen naturally as you begin to tune into one another.

After a long period of this, when it mutually feels right, start to move together. Start by touching each other (not necessarily in a sexual way). Notice how the sensation is different now, heightened. Allow the intention to remain and move through the motions of sex slowly and naturally, never once considering the end goal or the “finish line.” This is not what this practice is about.

Keep breathing together.
Be present with your partner(s) as they are being present with you.

You’ll never think of sex in the same way again.
 

Writing prompt:
 

 
In honor of May being International Masturbation Month, try incorporating intentional breathing the next time you masturbate...then consider the following questions. Don’t think, just write.

What were the three major differences between this masturbation session and my previous experiences? What was more heightened? What was less so? Was anything easier or more difficult?

Once you have your list, take a few minutes to reflect on it. Did anything come out that surprised you? Is there anything on that list you feel is unique to your own context or that not many other likely would have listed? Why or why not? Is there anything you’d want to change on that list? How might you do so? Anything you are proud of? How can you expand and focus on that positivity?


This voluntary monthly prompt invites you to explore your sexual biography.
Tips on exploring this: Set aside 20 minutes with your phone on silent and relax yourself in a comfortable space with a pen and paper. Go slow. Start with what comes to mind from your first read of the prompt. Continue writing your stream of consciousness.

Mantra of the month


“When I smile, I share my power with myself and others.”

                                                                             –Abba Carmichael
                                                                           (Founder of My Sexual Biography)

Researching our sexual biographies:



Have you ever participated in mindful breathing during sex with yourself or your partner(s)?
 
 
Yes          No

 
Each month we ask a question in support of our leading mission at My Sex Bio. As we grow we plan to help fund and supply research for sex education. The results of these questions may be shared on social media as well as the following month’s newsletter. These results will also help curate relevant content for our readers, like you, moving forward. Responses are voluntary and anonymous.

Thank you for your support, Patreon Community:

 
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—The My Sex Bio Team
 
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