Great sex may be one (or several) mocktails away.
The first time I had sex I was intoxicated. Same thing the second time. And the third. I wasn’t up for any kind of intimacy or real connection with myself or my partners.
Plus, it seemed that most people I knew were having checked out sex. I was high, drunk, or emotionally shut down during most sexual interactions until I was in my late 20s.
Then I started a spiritual practice which involved daily meditation.
This radically changed my relationship with myself. I found that as I practiced focusing on thoughts and emotional sensations without judgment, my reactions and behaviors began to change. The more I sat still with my body and my mind, the more I wanted to be present in all things, even my sex life.
I started down the path of sober and mindful sex.
When I began having sober sex my world was turned upside down and inside out. I could feel so much more sensation in my body, so much more pleasure! I had a much greater intimacy with my partners. It felt like we were there together, rather than each on our own pumping away.
I went from checked out and stuck in my mind to fully present and grounded in my body during sex.
As I healed my sexual wounds and deepened my meditation practice, my sex life bloomed in beautiful ways. But it wasn’t just my sex life that transformed, my whole life underwent a major emotional and spiritual renovation.
My friends and family noticed the change in me and started asking what I was doing. I began to teach and coach in a casual way, but soon my teachers asked me to start teaching formally.
I began by offering lessons on mindfulness and spiritual awakening, but not long after that I incorporated mindful sex coaching. Lucky me, I got to combine two of my favorite things, meditation and sex!
Sober is sexy
If you told me 10 years ago that I would be teaching other people to have mindful and conscious sex, I would have laughed out loud. But the transformation that occurred for me when I brought my mindfulness practice into sex was just too good not to share. Now one of my greatest passions is to help others do the same.
One of my top suggestions for people new to mindful sex is to put the drugs and booze down while nurturing this new way of connecting sexually. Having a few martinis or a joint might make you feel randy or help you to relax; but, ultimately, being intoxicated will limit your ability to be present with your partner.
Sex just isn’t as good when you are cut off from your body and your full mental capacity. You lose the opportunity to deeply and intimately connect with your partner. Even wild, kinky, or multi-orgasmic sex will lose its luster and become rote if it continues to be exclusively unconnected.
It’s also much easier to have unprotected sex, or hook up with someone you later wish you hadn’t while intoxicated. When I’m working with a client who is single and dating, I always suggest that they stay sober for first dates and when having sex for the first time.
Our culture is all about “going for drinks,” which, if the date is going well, can lead to drunken sex and possible regrets. It’s a radical act to date without getting tipsy.
Without the social lubrication of alcohol, you are available to be truly present with this other person. While this might be uncomfortable at first, it will also be more real.
There will be no drunken (or even buzzed) filter, so you’ll get a chance to find out who this person really is, and if you want to get to know them better.
I’m not saying that it’s necessary to have sober sex all the time. It’s totally possible to have amazing and connected sex without being sober. But if you are like I was, rarely sober during sex, it’s well worth trying it out.
Hello, sexual hangups
You may find that a lot of emotions and even old traumas resurface when you have sex without the aid of libations.
When I started having sober sex I also had to face the reasons why I needed to be intoxicated in the first place. There was a lot of shame, trauma and grief to work through, and it wasn’t always easy. It’s hard to sit with those old, painful feelings.
The good news is if you truly face your past pain without resistance and with lots of love, you can transform. Working through the traumas of my past allowed me to open myself up to life on a whole new level. As those old layers fell away, my sexuality blossomed like never before.
Whether you are working with trauma or not, it’s a good idea to have lots of support as you venture into sober sex. A meditation practice, trusted friends, and therapy were very helpful for me.
If drugs and alcohol are a problem for you in general, you might want to check out a 12-Step meeting or some other form of addiction recovery support.
It’s also great to have partners that are willing to try some sober sex with you. You can treat it like an adventure, albeit a sometimes hilarious and awkward adventure.
At the very least, try writing your feelings about sex down in a journal. It can be your sex diary! Try writing a few pages, stream of consciousness, every day.
Embrace the awkwardness
If you are feeling nervous about the prospect of sober dating and sex, don’t fear. You are a human and it’s totally normal to have some butterflies in your stomach before a date or a first sexual interaction. The truth is the nerves are part of the fun! If you let go of the fearful thoughts and instead feel into the sensations in your body, those butterflies might start to feel good.
Sometimes anxiety is just excitement with a different name. Numbing out with alcohol or drugs keeps you from feeling all the subtle information your body is giving you. Our bodies have so much capacity for pleasure if we only drop in and feel it.
The best sex of your life
Embodied sex is good sex. The more you get to know your body, the more it will offer you. As you become more mindful of your body and more grounded in the present moment, you will begin to awaken sexually. Once you find out how great mindful sex can be, you’ll wonder how you ever did it any other way.
Sober doesn’t necessarily equal mindful, but it is a first step toward priming yourself for the best sex of your life. As you become more comfortable being fully present during sex you can start bringing good old mindfulness into the equation. Then you will start to experience the utter mind-blowing joy of sex.
The cool thing about sex, and life in general, is that the possibilities are endless. Having sober sex, even some of the time, opens you up to a whole new world of pleasure and intimacy.
I offer you the challenge of having sober sex for the next month. If you are dating, try sober dating for the next month too. Give yourself the chance to have a new experience. You just might like it.