I innocently went to Move Studio in Dallas, Texas, in order to learn the practice of yoga. I know, I know. I’m terribly behind the times. But I had never tried it and I figured it might be good for me, body and mind. Turns out I was right. My head is clearer and my body feels great. But I was also surprised to find that I also learned a lesson or two I could take directly to the bedroom.
I’m not talking about positions, although you certainly could gain inspiration from any yoga studio. I’m talking about breathing. I know it may sound a little New Age cheesy, but it isn’t. Breathing is as important to the enjoyment of sex as the body parts themselves. Really, breathing is what fuels sex.
Yoga class just happened to be the reminder I needed.
Breathing does two major things for the body — it provides it with oxygen and it focuses the mind, both of which are key to great sex. Tantric sex, for example, involves a lot of breathing techniques. But that’s a whole other story for a whole other column. I’m just talking about the basics here. In and out. In and out.
Here are a few ways you can breathe new life into your sex life:
1. Concentrate. Even during good sex, your head can get away from you. Soon you’re spiraling back into the day’s events and out of this particular and very important event. Use breathing as a way to focus on your lover and your own pleasure. Rest your mind. Breathe in and out. Think about your breath fueling your muscles and opening up your body. Match your partners breathing. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can leave everything else behind and synch up with your partner.
2. Control. Focused breathing can help you to keep the grand finale from making too early of an entrance. If you’re getting close, but you don’t want to be, take a deep breath and slowly release it. Do that again and again until you feel like you can keep the dénouement at bay just a little longer.
Breathing can also help you to get to the finish line sooner, if that’s your goal. Quicken your breaths and the very sound of your own breathing, let alone the oxygen high, can really kick things up a gear. Not to mention how sexy all that heavy breathing will sound to your partner.
3. Create. When you think about your breathing and intentionally set the pace, you are opening yourself up to creating something new because your mind is clear. Maybe that’s a new position. Maybe that’s a new “activity.” Maybe that’s a new fantasy that you and your partner can play out or even that you can play with in your head. Breathing clears the way.
Here’s the thing about sex. We all basically know how to do it. Mechanics are not the problem. It’s the fine-tuning. And when it comes to fine-tuning, it seems as if the simpler the suggestion, the more likely we are to dismiss it. That’s human beings for you.
But if you’re willing to give it a go, you just might be surprised. It’s just like my waiting forever to try yoga, figuring that standing like a tree, curling like a child, or lying like a corpse couldn’t possibly do anything for me. But once I tried it, I was hooked. You’ll likely find the same is true with the whole breathing thing.
The best part of all is that there are no batteries or classes or books required. All you have to do is breathe.
Jenny Block is a freelance writer based in Dallas, Texas. She is the author of "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage." Her work appears in "One Big Happy Family" edited by Rebecca Walker and "It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters" edited by Andrea Buchanan. Visit her Web site at www.jennyonthepage.com.