by – Kai, lead somatic sexologist
In this blog article I explore erotic mindfulness, jerking off (masturbation) and orgasmic yoga practice for men. Readers with a different gender can still adopt the mindfulness techniques that are explored.
Who would have thought mindfulness and orgasm work well together? Orgasmic yoga allows you to feel into your body erotically using a variety of pleasuring methods and combining these with mindfulness and meditation.
Joseph Kramer’s (PhD) school of erotic education remind us that genital pleasure is often disconnected with the rest of the body and mind. More so than often, men release sexual excitement quickly through muscle and genital tension by way of jerking off. Orgasms can be great stress relief for men. Masturbation is a learnt behaviour that originates from a young age. Because of this, it is often used as tool in response to relieving stress throughout a man’s life.
I have many experiences of masturbating for pleasure/stress relief/mutual eroticism. Every man does. However, I would like to bring your awareness to the following examples that men throughout my work fall into the trap of: I ‘have’ to masturbate and cum daily. I masturbate and cum quickly because I am often time poor. I must masturbate ’well just because – I can’. Many men also masturbate with the same technique, repeatedly ‘I can only get off if I do it this way’. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you need to? Are you being mindful about masturbation thinking this way? Most likely not. You may even feel somewhat disembodied.
I am all for masturbation and the health benefits/pleasure that come with it. Who wouldn’t be! The thought patterns I describe above can easily lead to dependency and routine. Eventually there is a disconnect with yourself. This is because you have relied on the same reasons and methods of masturbation for so long. So, masturbation then becomes something you ‘just do’. Pleasure loses its relevance. Orgasm and pleasure may even diminish. You might even start to masturbate more and more just to get to a pleasure state. Some men might become disinterested in having sex with their partner because they are exhausted from over wanking. A preoccupation to masturbatory stress release might mean that your partners sexual desires are not being attended to (if you have a partner). Such disconnect can be unhealthy.
Habituation is the simplest form of learning. It occurs through the constant repetition of a response. When the same bodily response occurs over and over again, its pattern is gradually “learned” at an unconscious level. Habituation is a slow, relentless adaptive act, which ingrains itself into the functional patterns of the central nervous system. Thomas Hanna
Some men focus solely on their cocks for arousal and erotic pleasure. Many men I speak to are unable to separate orgasm from ejaculation. That is ejaculation is a must to any orgasm. This seems to be a common theme. Without ejaculation men often feel dissatisfied. Once again this is a learnt behaviour. Creating awareness and having an intention during mindful masturbation will result in you finding pleasure and mindfulness in other ways. When you release past habitual sexual behaviour(s) you can open up to new sexual experiences.
Neuroscience is at the forefront of erotic mindfulness. This is important because it allows me to give men tools to use when they are 1) not sexually and erotically mindful, 2) when they experience habitual/routine masturbation, 3) when masturbation is constantly used to manage all stress, 4) or masturbation has become somewhat compulsive in nature causing distress. Mental activity can change the physical structure of the brain. This is called neuroplasticity. To become mindful during self-pleasure one must imagine and focus their attention. Start mindful practice by ‘doing’ something and then ending the practice with just ‘being’. The finale is a time of tranquillity and quietness, with a sense of being present in that moment.
Example . . .
The doing something might include slowly massaging your cock (NOT tugging, releasing all thoughts to jerking off hard and fast). Using an oil based lube vary massage strokes (see article here). During this practice, mental activity might be imagining an orgasm without having one. Focus your attention to your breath. Think about the air around you as delicate and free flowing into you lungs through your nose. You might choose to increase or slow down your breath. This a great form of stress relief and physical activity by way of pleasuring without orgasm or ejaculation. If you feel as though you are getting to the peak of orgasm slow down or take your hands away from your cock. At the end of your practice lay still for ten minutes. Just be present during this time. Most people feel very clunky when they start mindful masturbation/yoga – this will change with regular practice. During the session you may feel/experience different emotions, sensations, patterns, colours just let them be. Over time these will lead to different types of awareness.
The point I am trying to make in this article is that pleasure doesn’t have to equate ejaculation/orgasm to feel good about your body or to relieve stress. You can easily achieve this if you open your mind and allow yourself to be present. There are many benefits for your brain and body through erotic mindfulness. Adding aspects of yoga and massaging your cock, anus, prostate, balls, nipples and anything else you can think of will change your perceptions of masturbation forever. This will also increase your ability to become mindful and explore your body differently.
As a regular erotic yogi myself I am well versed in orgasmic yoga. If you want to learn how to integrate such practices in your life or relationship, why not make an appointment to talk with me. I am always here to help men overcome sexual disconnection/checking out/disembodiment.