in: Dating & Relationships

Using Beginner’s Mind to Keep Your Sex Life Fresh

Keeping your sex life fresh and exciting can be a challenge for any couple, but it can be particularly tricky for couples who have been together over a great span of time. Check out these eight ways that using Beginner’s Mind can fuel bedroom passion.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” – Zen Master Shunryo Suzuki

Are you in a happy, long-term relationship? Oh, the security, the stability, the familiar touch of a loved one. It’s what we all long for in a relationship. While that familiarity and predictability give us peace and security, occasionally we miss the erotic excitement of being with a new partner.

Esther Perel addresses the very question of ‘how do you crave something you already have?’ in her book Mating in Captivity. She suggests we tend to view our loved one as entirely predictable and secure. In doing this, we make it difficult to feel sexually excited by him or her. Ms. Perel argues that the key to a sexually satisfying relationship is the ability to see your partner as new and different. This is where the principles of Beginner’s Mind can help.

Let’s look at how some principles of the Beginner’s Mind can help you to reinvigorate your sex life.

1. Take one step at a time.

Sometimes we hurry through sexual encounters in a rush to satisfy our partners. We focus on orgasm as the ‘destination’ instead of savoring the journey of the sexual dance.

Beginner’s Mind reminds us to slow down and enjoy the journey. As much as your partner enjoys the climax of sex, he or she may equally enjoy the dance of foreplay.

2. Fall down seven times, get up eight times.

Did you try something new in the bedroom only to feel awkward and embarrassed? Try again! Using Beginner’s Mind reminds us that it’s normal to feel awkward when trying something new. Sometimes practice makes perfect!

3. Use ‘Don’t Know’ mind.

A ‘Don’t Know’ mind leaves room for intuition. When we think we know what our partners like, we are less likely to be creative or spontaneous. The Don’t Know mind reminds us to abandon preconceived notions of what we ‘think’ and enables us to use instinct and spontaneity during the sexual moment.

4. Live without shoulds.

Do you think you should have sex twice per week? Do you feel you should initiate every time? Do you wonder if happy couples shouldn’t need to use lubrication in the bedroom? Let go of shoulds. When we listen to our internal ‘shoulds’ we are comparing ourselves to others. A happy sexual relationship is playful, creative and spontaneous.

5. Let go of being an expert.

None of us are experts at sex. What worked with one partner may not work with another; and what worked with your partner on Tuesday may not produce the same result on Thursday. Pretending that we are sexual experts cuts us off from the possibility of experiencing something new. When we use Beginner’s Mind we are open to the thrill of learning something during every sexual moment.

6. Experience the moment fully.

A sexual experience is a co-creation between two people. Each encounter is the product of different physical movements, emotions, and sensations. The sexual experience doesn’t have to be perfect. Like good food, fine wine or beautiful art, it is something to savor and enjoy. Beginner’s Mind reminds us to be vulnerable and available to experience the sensations and emotions of each encounter.

7. Disregard common sense.

You needn’t worry about how your neighbors are having sex—or what the Kinsey report says about sexual behavior. When we consume ourselves with having the ‘right kind of sex’ we lose touch with our primitive sexual fantasies. Give yourself permission to ask to be tied up in the bedroom. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s socially acceptable to have bondage fantasies. Just explore the moment and enjoy yourself!

8. Discard fear of failure.

It’s impossible to be a sexual failure. Sexuality is like art—it’s subjective and the experience is deeply personal. If we can stop putting pressure on ourselves to be sexual experts, we are freed up to experiment and experience the intimacy of physical touch with our partners.


Beginner’s Mind reminds us to keep a spirit of earnest playfulness in the bedroom. When we pressure ourselves to be sexual experts, we cut ourselves off from the joy of having new experiences. When we approach sexuality with an open mind and an open heart, true sexual intimacy is experienced. So, don’t assume that you know what your partner wants in the bedroom–-try something new!

[image: via Rowena Waack on flickr]


About the Author:

Lauren Napolitano PsyD

Dr. Lauren Napolitano is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bryn Mawr, PA. She is also on staff at Bryn Mawr Hospital. She specializes in helping individuals and couples to build happier relationships. Her website:


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