Author Topic: Can meditation help my sex life?  (Read 7830 times)

Abbath

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Can meditation help my sex life?
« on: December 24, 2009, 07:58:25 PM »
First of all, I want to thank you all for this amazing community. This is a really nice forum from what I've seen so far. Keep it up.

Now to my problem:

I suffer from anxiety whenever there is a slight possibility of having sex with a woman. This anxiety increases as I move towards intimacy to a point where all I'm thinking is "why can't I get hard?" or "this is embarassing" or "not this again" and I'm unable to perform.

This anxiety starts on a subconscious level anytime I know I'm going to have sex. It's an automatic reaction. So if I'm at my house in the morning and a girl invites me to her place for later, I'm anxious during all day and can't relax.

Basically I can't relax and stay in the moment, even when I try to focus on her body or other sensations.

I am now at a point where I'm afraid of sex and this has brought to me a lot of unhappiness. I am not happy at all because of this problem. I worry all day about it. I sometimes get depressed.

I am young (in my twenties) and can get aroused on my own so it's not a physical issue.

I am planning on meditating anyway, but I have some questions:

1) Can mindfulness meditation help me solve this problem?

2) How should I handle thoughts of lust? I don't want to become celibate. Making love is a beautiful thing.

3) Is there a possibility that meditation can actually make my problem worse? Like completely lowering my libido and make me impotent?

4) What should I do when I get this anxiety? How can I relax?


Thank you for your help,

I really appreciate it.

Matthew

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Re: Can meditation help my sex life?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2009, 10:12:29 PM »
Dear Abbath,

It's quite late and I'm a little tired so I will answer your questions tomorrow. Please forgive me this small indulgence. Clearly your situation is causing you distress and in order to not add to that distress I would like to answer you quite fully - and not do so just before I retire to bed for the night.

Worry not my friend. all will be well. Welcome to the forums.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 10:13:01 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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Abbath

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Re: Can meditation help my sex life?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2009, 12:19:55 AM »
Thanks a lot Matthew.

This is a great forum you have here.

Matthew

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Re: Can meditation help my sex life?
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2009, 03:38:45 PM »
First of all, I want to thank you all for this amazing community. This is a really nice forum from what I've seen so far. Keep it up.

Thank you for your kind words Abbath. Things have not always been simple and sometimes there are disagreements but with self honesty and compassion these can always be overcome. Everything changes and at the moment this community is heading in a good direction with a good energy and some interesting questions being raised. Personally I continue to strive not only for my own salvation, but also, having taken the Boddhisattva Vow, for the benefit of all beings.

The word community comes from Latin and means "a group who talk". I feel the quality of our discussions is on a steadily improving path now and am glad to see many new people joining the community and getting on together from so many traditions.

Now to my problem:

I suffer from anxiety whenever there is a slight possibility of having sex with a woman. This anxiety increases as I move towards intimacy to a point where all I'm thinking is "why can't I get hard?" or "this is embarassing" or "not this again" and I'm unable to perform.

This anxiety starts on a subconscious level anytime I know I'm going to have sex. It's an automatic reaction. So if I'm at my house in the morning and a girl invites me to her place for later, I'm anxious during all day and can't relax.

Basically I can't relax and stay in the moment, even when I try to focus on her body or other sensations.

I am now at a point where I'm afraid of sex and this has brought to me a lot of unhappiness. I am not happy at all because of this problem. I worry all day about it. I sometimes get depressed.

I am young (in my twenties) and can get aroused on my own so it's not a physical issue.

I am planning on meditating anyway, but I have some questions:


Before I answer the specific questions let me address the general issue for you. Clearly this is causing you much stress/suffering. I have been through similar experiences at times in my life before I was a meditator and Buddhist and can relate exactly to what you are experiencing.

The fundamental problem is that you have internalised other people's ideas about sex and relationships to an extent where you do not know who you are from a personal experiential position. The only way around this is to step back and get to know yourself better. Meditation is a tool for doing this and I would propose some quite specific actions for you to undertake.

Firstly I would stop having relationships, sex and masturbation for at least a couple of months. Stop thinking about it and stop viewing women as sex objects. Practice viewing women through the eyes of compassion for the great mass of suffering they endure collectively in this male dominated world and culture.

I am not proposing you become permanently celibate or a monk - yet the fact is, from what you have described, that you must be pretty close to celibate at the moment anyway what with all these troubles around sex, so you will not be losing much - but you will gain much in terms of focussing your energies on making a good start to being a meditator.

During this period act on your stated intention, "I am planning to meditate":

That is to say, stop planning to meditate - and instead meditate.

Develop a regular grounded meditation practice - which will take a little time (months, not weeks - but also not years). This will bear some real fruit in terms of calm, anxiety reduction and the ability to see yourself clearly. Specifically I would recommend that you stick to plain Shamatha meditation at first, focussing on the breath and developing calm for some time. If you read some of the forum threads you will find much information on how to do this. If you have specific questions then ask.

Your mind is very agitated and insight meditation needs a calm base or it does not work. In fact without the stable base of calm abiding developed through Shamatha practice Vipassana, or insight meditation can make things worse.

Start small. 15 or 30 minute sessions are good to begin with. Find what works for you - you are best to push yourself a bit, but not too much. Don't make life hard yet don't take it lightly either - the Buddha's teachings are called "The Middle Way" for good reason.

Twice a day, morning and evening is best. After you shower in the morning is good. Not too near dinnertime or bedtime in the evening. Do it every day, like you would any other part of your hygiene regime. We are talking about mental hygiene here basically, mental cleanliness and clarity.

When you are finding no trouble with the shorter sessions start lengthening them by 15 minutes or so. Each time you find you are able to maintain a practice add more time until you hit 2 x 1 hour a day. Then keep this going without breaking the wholesome habit you are developing. This takes effort or discipline: "Shila" (Tibetan) or Śīla (Sanskrit) or sīla (Pāli).

You may have memories return to you of things and experiences that troubled you in the past and which lead to or contributed to these anxieties developing. Fear not, this is natural and normal part of becoming a meditator. It won't happen at the wrong time or cause you further troubles if you stick to a basic calming practice and slowly befriend your own body and mind. You will remember what you are ready to face up to as you progress.

Love making is beautiful but random sex is not. When you have established a calmer mind you will see the world differently. Love making takes place between two people who are in a grounded relationship. If you are not grounded in your mind and knowledge of self, then how can you be in a grounded relationship with another human being and achieve good love making? Quite simply, you can't.

Even if you think you are, one day you will look back and see that it was shallow all along, and not the deep and intimate experience of two people who cherish each other sharing their love.

1) Can mindfulness meditation help me solve this problem?

Yes. But I would not make that the goal of meditation or it may fail to do so. Meditation is firstly to calm and ground your mind, rejoin body and mind and befriend yourself, see yourself clearly and deconstruct and break unwholesome habits of body and mind.

2) How should I handle thoughts of lust? I don't want to become celibate. Making love is a beautiful thing.

You already are effectively celibate from what you have described but in a most unpleasant way that is causing you stress and suffering. I suggest you temporarily learn to let go of thoughts of lust and put that energy into meditation practice for the reasons outlined above.

3) Is there a possibility that meditation can actually make my problem worse? Like completely lowering my libido and make me impotent?

Yes - if you don't do the right kind of meditation or if you do the meditation with the wrong intention.

and ....

No - if you meditate for the right reasons in the right way:

Meditate to learn to know yourself and undo unwholesome behaviours. Be honest with yourself first and foremost. Then you will be left with more time and energy for wholesome behaviours - such as forming grounded, trusting, loving relationships - and within which relationships sexual activity will be a natural and stress free activity.

4) What should I do when I get this anxiety? How can I relax?

1) Learn to meditate by doing it and not thinking about it or planning to do it, and;

2) Temporarily give up sexual relationships and thoughts including the one you have with your hand (this only fuels the fire).

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 03:39:20 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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mettajoey

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Re: Can meditation help my sex life?
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2009, 04:29:00 PM »
Hello Abbath,

Welcome to the forums.

Ah, men's number one choice for sexual anxiety.  Your active imagination has created a self-fulfilling prophecy of non-performance.  I hate it when this happens  ;).  I will say upfront that you are not alone in this neurotic tendency - not alone at all.


1) Can mindfulness meditation help me solve this problem?

Yes, you will better discover who you are and will have a greater appreciation for yourself.  That appreciation for yourself will help guide you into a more positive path and help eliminate self-judgment.  Meditation is not a cure-all in itself but a means to make better choices by seeing things as they are.

2) How should I handle thoughts of lust? I don't want to become celibate. Making love is a beautiful thing.

You accept lust just how you accept all the other thoughts that arise within yourself.  You see the thoughts for what they are, and that they are completely natural and expected.  The awareness of one's thoughts and feelings through mindfulness does not make them go away but gives you the ability to make better choices about them.  Love is a beautiful thing.  Without all these desires and impulses to survive neither you or I would be here having this exchange.

3) Is there a possibility that meditation can actually make my problem worse? Like completely lowering my libido and make me impotent?

There are some long studied masters who say they no longer need to address such desires and also folks who just choose to not make sex a part of their lives.  As with anything there is a balance of benefits and losses from the choice (I say that in a non-judgmental way just that each presents different options).  Personally for me, meditation has allowed me to enjoy sex more.  I was an unselfish lover before, but to a fault.  It was all about trying to make them happy so I felt better about myself.  I am more relaxed and I am willing to ask for I need as well.  Much better, less anxiety, sex.  I would like to throw in that it's very important to not have any misconduct with regard to sex and that entering into a sexual relationship with someone is a long-term commitment (at least that should be the intent).

4) What should I do when I get this anxiety? How can I relax?

Stop thinking about it -LOL!  Talking to your partner about your anxiety is step number one.  Feel worthy, which you are, is step two.

Mainly, I feel, you need to know that you only have created this imaginary untrue thing about yourself.  We can get psychoanalytical about it being an insecurity and self-image problem but, the reality is you will have successful lovemaking at some point.  The more you are open about your anxiety to your partner and caring for yourself, the easier this process will be.

With metta,
-Joe   
The best type of meditation is the one that you'll do

Abbath

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Re: Can meditation help my sex life?
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2009, 06:05:28 PM »
Thank you for your kind words Abbath. Things have not always been simple and sometimes there are disagreements but with self honesty and compassion these can always be overcome. Everything changes and at the moment this community is heading in a good direction with a good energy and some interesting questions being raised. Personally I continue to strive not only for my own salvation, but also, having taken the Boddhisattva Vow, for the benefit of all beings.

The word community comes from Latin and means "a group who talk". I feel the quality of our discussions is on a steadily improving path now and am glad to see many new people joining the community and getting on together from so many traditions.

That's great, I'll definitely keep contributing.

As an atheist I have several interesting questions regarding buddhism and life in general.

The fundamental problem is that you have internalised other people's ideas about sex and relationships to an extent where you do not know who you are from a personal experiential position. The only way around this is to step back and get to know yourself better. Meditation is a tool for doing this and I would propose some quite specific actions for you to undertake.

Everything I do I do with the purpose of having women in my life. Everything in my life revolves around it. Women are my main motivation for accomplishing goals.

If women are removed from my life then I have nothing to look forward to. There's no motivation to work out hard in the gym and look better. There's no motivation to make money and have a nice house. There's no motivation for anything.

That's how I feel right now and that's why I decided to medidate so I can find my true purpose and be able to be happy regardless if I have women or not in my life.

The thought of not being able to have sex again SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME because all my life revoles around it.

This is going to be a long and interesting journey.

 ;D

Firstly I would stop having relationships, sex and masturbation for at least a couple of months. Stop thinking about it and stop viewing women as sex objects. Practice viewing women through the eyes of compassion for the great mass of suffering they endure collectively in this male dominated world and culture.

I am not proposing you become permanently celibate or a monk - yet the fact is, from what you have described, that you must be pretty close to celibate at the moment anyway what with all these troubles around sex, so you will not be losing much - but you will gain much in terms of focussing your energies on making a good start to being a meditator.

Sounds good :)

And you're right about me being celibate at the moment anyway.

Thanks for all your advice,

I'll follow through and develop a regular meditation habit ;)

Abbath

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Re: Can meditation help my sex life?
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2009, 06:18:59 PM »
It was all about trying to make them happy so I felt better about myself.

This is so true, lol.

Mainly, I feel, you need to know that you only have created this imaginary untrue thing about yourself.  We can get psychoanalytical about it being an insecurity and self-image problem but, the reality is you will have successful lovemaking at some point.  The more you are open about your anxiety to your partner and caring for yourself, the easier this process will be.

With metta,
-Joe

Man I am SO analytical and judgemental. I honestly believe that I think way way way more than the average person. I never stay in the moment unless I'm playing basketball or something. I think and daydream too much and I have always been like this since I was a kid.

It's time to stop.


Thanks everyone for your advice.

Time to do some meditation,

Peace.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Can meditation help my sex life?
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2009, 08:01:30 PM »
.... stop viewing women as sex objects.

..... Everything I do I do with the purpose of having women in my life. Everything in my life revolves around it. Women are my main motivation for accomplishing goals

.....

I'll follow through and develop a regular meditation habit ;)

Well ... I didn't realise quite how accurate my reflections were but you certainly confirm them. Women are not objects they are living beings with feelings and emotions, fear, pain, love, joy ..... yet you are treating them as objects to be won.

Meditation will change you in much more profound ways than you know and you will also benefit from reading a little about the Noble Eightfold Path and reflect on the elements of that if you want to find true happiness and a truly loving relationship at any point in your life.

Don't hesitate to ask if you need specific help with any aspect of the journey.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
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Renze

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Re: Can meditation help my sex life?
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2009, 09:31:58 PM »
I noticed that as soon as I started meditating daily, feelings of loving kindness started to become more dominant over feelings of sexual arousal whenever I interact with women. I think loving kindness is a way more powerful and positive emotion, and ultimately it makes you much happier than the constant craving for sex.

Matthew

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    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
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Re: Can meditation help my sex life?
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2009, 09:52:39 PM »
Renze,

Well said. As I have written elsewhere the path is about removing ego habits and leaving room for natural being: remove craving for sex and "Maitri" or "loving kindness" will flow into you and your relationships.

Nice to see you back :)

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

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Re: Can meditation help my sex life?
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2009, 10:45:18 PM »
An addendum: Equally, if you remove or overcome craving for "being right" all the time (a common issue and one which I definitely suffered) and suddenly you will see things as they are.

That is a lesson that came home to me recently with a very strong force and has manifestly changed my inner practice and outer manifestation in the world.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
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Crystal Palace

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Re: Can meditation help my sex life?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2009, 11:53:12 AM »
I think loving kindness is a way more powerful and positive emotion, and ultimately it makes you much happier than the constant craving for sex.

So true.
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha