Mindful Sex invites us to practice paying attention, on purpose, with empathy, during states of high arousal. But “paying attention” isn’t always so easy, especially in the charged realm of sexuality.
There is plenty to pay attention to during sexual encounters – how you feel, how it feels to be with your partner, on the arousal inside your body or the many points of physical connection with a partner. It can be overwhelming enough to know where to place attention during sex, plus there are so many potential distractions pulling our attention away from the pleasure.
In this episode, part of the Mindful Sex series, we focus on the skill of erotic attention – and how to manage all the erotic distractions that inevitably arise during arousal and erotic connection.
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“Love is the placement of attention” is something Pleasure Mechanics founder Chris Maxwell Rose has been saying for over 20 years now, in respectful reverence for the importance of choosing what we pay attention to. The practice of curating our attention and devoting our erotic attention is one that brings boundless opportunities for welcoming more pleasure, joy and connection into our lives.
Wisdom On The Intimate Importance of Attention
If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart…
― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.
― Susan Sontag
Giving generously in romantic relationships, and in all other bonds, means recognizing when the other person needs our attention. Attention is an important resource.
― Bell Hooks, All About Love: New Visions
In the end, just three things matter:
How well we have lived
How well we have loved
How well we have learned to let go
― Jack Kornfield
Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread.
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time