Studies show that women who meditate are more likely to report experiencing orgasm than women who do not (Dascalu & Brotto, 2017). This is a significant finding as it means that meditation can be a pathway to female orgasm and can help women answer the question, “why can’t I orgasm?” The body of research shows that women who meditated a minimum of four times significantly improved sexual desire, sex-related distress, and significantly improved sexual arousal in women with sexual difficulties (Brotto& Basson, 2014).
Let’s take a look at the research on how meditation improves female orgasm:
- Meditation improves interoceptive awareness – Interoceptive awareness is the ability to register internal bodily changes or sensations (Silverstein, Brown, Roth, & Britton, 2011). These changes include: noticing, not being distracted, not worrying, attention regulation, emotional awareness, self regulation, body listening and trusting (Mehling et al., 2012). If we correlate interoceptive awareness to female orgasm, many of the same themes are necessary for orgasm – not worrying, not being distracted, for example. Therefore, learning how to experience bodily sensations in meditative states without distraction can teach the body to expand its “range” of sensation, which is one of the reasons researchers find that women who meditate are more likely to orgasm. Women who had better interoceptive awareness were quicker to perceive their bodily sensations when sexually aroused (Adam et al., 2014).
- Meditation improves sexual functioning and sexual satisfaction – One study conducted three 90-minute sessions of mindfulness training, a skill with similar qualities to meditation, to women who had received a radical hysterectomy in treatment for gynecologic cancer. Following these three sessions, the women reported a significant improvement in sexual functioning (desire, excitation, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction), as well as a decrease in sexual distress (Brotto et al., 2012). Furthermore, women who practice meditation and incorporate mindfulness into their sexual activity report greater sexual satisfaction (Mayland, 2005).
- Meditation reduces cognitive distraction – Multiple studies have established a significant link between anorgasmia, women who have not yet orgasmed, and cognitive distraction (Cuntim & Nobre, 2011; Dove & Wiederman, 2000). Cognitive distraction from intrusive thoughts may prevent women from focusing on sexual stimuli. Negative thoughts turn a woman away from the present moment and thus interfere with what we defined above, a woman’s interoceptive awareness (Basson, 2002; Janssen et al., 2000). As noted above, interoceptive awareness improves through meditation, therefore, as a woman reduces her distractive thoughts, learned through meditation, she can apply this learned skill to sexual activity; consciously quieting thoughts and paying attention to bodily sensation.
Adam, F., Géonet, M., Day, J., & De Sutter, P. (2014). Mindfulness skills are associated with female orgasm? Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 1994(November), 256–267.
Basson, R. (2002). A model of women’s sexual arousal. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 28(1), 1-10.
Brotto, L. A., & Basson, R. (2014). Group mindfulness-based therapy significantly improves sexual desire in women. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 57, 43-54.
Brotto, L.A., Erskine, Y., Carey, M., Ehlen, T., Finlayson, S., Heywood, M., … Miller, D. (2012). A brief mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral intervention improves sexual functioning versus wait-list control in women treated for gynecologic cancer. Gynecologic Oncology, 125(2), 320-325.
Cuntim, M., & Nobre, P. (2011). The role of cognitive distraction on female orgasm. Sexologies, 20 (4), 212-214.
Dascalu, I. & Brotto, L. (2017): Sexual functioning in experienced meditators, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2017.1405311
Dove, N.L., & Wiederman, M.W. (2000). Cognitive distraction and women’s sexual functioning. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 26(1), 67-78.
Janssen, E., Everaerd, W., Spiering, M., & Janssen, J. (2000). Automatic processes and the appraisal of sexual stimuli: Toward an information processing model of sexual arousal. Journal of Sex
Research, 37(1), 8-23.
Mayland, K. A. (2005). The impact of practicing mindfulness meditation on women’s sexual lives. Unpublished doctoral thesis. California School of Professional Psychology.
Mehling, W. E., Price, C., Daubenmier, J. J., Acree, M., Bartmess, E., & Stewart, A. (2012). The Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA). PLoS ONE, 7(11).
Silverstein, R. G., Brown, A. C., Roth, H. D., & Britton, W. B. (2011). Effects of mindfulness training on body awareness to sexual stimuli: implications for female sexual dysfunction. Psychosom Med,
73(9), 817–825. http://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e318234e628