By Jamie Clements
Breath can be an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to sex and pleasure, as it plays a key role as a link between our mind and body and can be used to shift both our physical and mental state. For many of us, a lack of pleasure in the bedroom can stem from a disconnect with our bodies.
We can use deeper, more expansive breaths and specific techniques as embodiment tools to rediscover that connection with our bodies, allowing us to feel sensations more fully and deepen our pleasure during solo or partnered experiences.
It’s also common during sexual experiences, particularly when approaching orgasm, to either hold your breath or fall into a cycle of short, shallow breathing. Both of these have the potential to create stress in the mind and body, taking away from the fullness of the experience. Breathing more deeply, using your diaphragm, creates a sense of relaxation and calm which can allow you to be more present and feel that sense of pleasure at a much deeper level.
Simple exercises to try by yourself or with a partner
Microcosmic orbit: bring your attention to your pelvic floor, inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. As you do so, scan your attention up your spine, up to the top of your head. As you exhale slowly out of the nose or mouth, scan down the front of your body, between your legs and continue with that cycle.
Breathe through your nose: This triggers the release of nitric oxide, which boosts circulation and has been seen to enhance sexual function. The nose also helps to naturally slow the breath down and keep us nice and relaxed.
Breathe deeply: breathing down into your belly and genitals can both enhance sensation, engage your pelvic floor and activate your parasympathetic response (aka. rest and digest) to keep you relaxed.
Sync up your breathing: breathing together with a partner as a part of foreplay can be incredibly intimate. Try breathing in for four seconds, holding for two seconds at the top and slowly exhaling out of the mouth for six seconds. This pattern will keep you both relaxed whilst also adding a new level of intimacy.
Jamie Clements is the founder of The Breath Space and lead instructor at MindLabs, a new video-first mental wellness platform backed by neuroscience
The MindLabs mindfulness app offers a 14-day free trial and is available to download in the App Store now.