Let’s get this out there first: There is no such thing as a “normal” sex drive. But if you’re noticing that you aren’t as interested in sex as you used to be — and this is something you want to address — you may be be interested in a five-minute meditation that might be able to help.
Created for the Simple Habit app by Jessica Graham, a meditation teacher, sex and relationship guide for couples and individuals, and the author of Good Sex: Getting Off Without Checking Out, the Sex Drive Boost meditation aims to help ease people’s discomfort around sex. We tried the app and then sat down with Graham to talk about why meditation might be a good way for some people to boost their sex drive and what happens in your brain when you meditate.
What happens during the meditation?
If you’re looking to listen to something erotic, this meditation isn’t for you. Instead, it helps you relax and think back to a time when you were really turned on, then try to remember how you felt at the time and access that feeling again.
The guided Sex Drive Boost meditation is designed to help people of all genders explore sexual desire and start to reawaken it. “The practices are designed to help you make friends with your sexual self,” Graham explains. “Your sexuality is a relationship and it needs care and attention just like any relationship. If you never spend time with your best friend, or are checked out and disengaged when you do spend time with them, the relationship wouldn’t last long. It’s the same thing with our own sexuality.”
Why use meditation to address sex drive?
As a culture, Graham says that we are disconnected from our sexuality and this can lead to a decrease in desire. “This lack of sexual appetite leads many people to feel that they are broken, have fallen out of love with their partners, or that they will never be able to truly connect sexually,” she explains. “Those beliefs can cause a lot of suffering.”
According to Graham, meditation is a great way to deal with that suffering, and she believes we should nurture our sexuality. “Putting the time and mindful attention that our sexual relationship deserves will be well worth it,” she adds.
Then, there’s the stress factor. Graham says that one of the biggest sex drive killers is stress. But guess what? Having a low libido may also be something that stresses you out, so it can end up being cyclical. And, she points out, when we are stressed out, we often would rather look at a screen than connect sexually with our partner.
There are also the skills you pick up from meditation, like how to pay attention with acceptance and curiosity, Graham says. “Often when sexual desire is low, we either don’t think about it all, abandoning and ignoring that part of ourselves, or think about it a lot, but in a negative and judgmental way,” she explains. “By bringing the principles of meditation to this area you can learn to offer positive mindful attention to your sexuality. This allows you to shift the thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to your lack of desire.”
As we mentioned before, one of the main goals of this meditation is to get to know yourself better, while increasing self-compassion and self-love — both of which are important when working through sexual challenges, Graham says.
“Lack of sexual desire is often about a lot of different aspects of yourself: Your past, your relationships, and your beliefs and conditioning about sex in general,” she explains. “A meditation practice can help you to peel back the layers, heal, gain insight and ultimately awaken to what you truly desire.”
What happens in your brain when you meditate?
According to Graham, meditation leads to a more gyrified (folded) insula, and studies have shown that this leads to more sexual pleasure for women. More pleasure during sex can mean more desire for sex.
“Meditation has also been shown to decrease brain cell volume in the amygdala, the area responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress,” Graham explains. “Less stress, anxiety, and fear can equal more sexual desire and enjoyment.”
The Simple Habit app has more than 12 hours of free content, but the Sex Drive Boost meditation is included in the premium content. That means it costs $7.99 a month with a yearly subscription, $11.99 a month for a single month subscription or a one-time $299.99 payment for a lifetime subscription. There are, however, a number of free guided meditations to boost libido available on YouTube that you may also want to check out.
And don’t expect to listen to this — or any — meditation once and all of a sudden have the sex drive of a hormonal teenager. It doesn’t work that way. Graham suggest trying this practice at least a few times, and then trying some others as well.
“We are constantly changing creatures and what works one day, may not another. You are ultimately your own best teacher, so listen to your body,” she says. “But be sure to keep cultivating your relationship with your sexual self. It’s important to give your sexuality some attention every day, with this practice, or in other ways.”