I just came back to “town” after living in the Byron Bay Hinterland for some months.
In this rainforest we didn’t have phone reception, electricity and we had neo-lithic cable internet, so I didn’t really bother… unless of course I wanted to have a full blown meltdown that ensues in my throwing a tantrum at my laptop!
Having that time out there on my own, I came to really appreciate and deeply understand some things for myself:
Facebook addiction numbs the life out of me and my connection to myself, my pleasure, my yoni, my body, my life and my loved ones!
I think most of us are cottoning on to this.
Have you ever gone to bed with your partner and both been on your phones… and your partner said something important and you totally missed it because your face was three-quarters sucked into your phone?
Don’t get me wrong, nothing is bad for us, everything in good measure and with mindfulness, can serve us hugely.
However, many of us are in the same boat – where mobile phone use and Facebook time is really not spent mindfully.
The most obvious way that this mindless sprawling and doodling for hours can affect us is in the way it can take us out of our body, out of presence – not just from our partner, but also our own body and feelings.
If we are climbing into bed with our phone and being mostly unavailable to our lover/partner, certainly this will do NOTHING to create intimacy, closeness and safety.
We know emotional availability and presence is required for building sexual intimacy and the capacity for us to surrender into pleasure in our body in the knowledge that our partner is present with us and us with them.
To surrender into pleasure, for our body to feel safe, it needs to feel our presence with it, our own awareness of our body, it’s needs, which position it is comfortable in, when it is ready for penetration, what kind of touch it would like.
There is also a less obvious way that such addictions affect sex and pleasure.
Research has shown that an addiction to Facebook & checking our phone is just like any other addiction.
Just like the buzzing and flashing of fancy poker machines, phone notifications stimulate excitatory responses in our brain that mess around with our brain reward centre to effectively send our dopamine and serotonin production out of whack – which messes with our well being at a biochemical level MASSIVELY!
We go through lows of feeling unexcited and unfulfilled when we aren’t on our phone, excitedly looking at our phone for a hopeful text or email that will busy and distract our mind once again and fill us with the rush of feel goods. Then of course the low arrives once more.
This high/low cycle of addiction trips our anxiety switch and sends our nervous system into disarray.
Constant stimulation, no matter how good it feels is NOT a good thing for our nervous system. Our nervous system needs rest to be switched on to pleasure.
So how does this affect our sex life, then?
Sex is very much linked to the pleasure centre in our brain- our pleasure centre is just that – the centre that manages our ability to FEEL our pleasure.
If our pleasure centre is addicted to highs, to the rush of excitement and pleasure, constantly distracted by it’s search for the next hit of feel goods, generally, we can’t be present to the subtle pleasure that IS subtly coursing through our body in the present.
What’s more, our system becomes numb to the sensitivity that actually exists in our system so we reach for harder and faster, further numbing out potential for boundless amounts of pleasure in sensitivity.
Unfortunately, this is the relationship to our body that our general culture encourages.
Pleasure is seen as something we GET rather than something we simply OPEN to FEEL.
As a society we are led to believe that we need to do a lot to feel sexually excited, that we NEED to have a HUGE orgasm to feel satisfied, for our lover to have “satisfied us” and for our sex to measure up against all those stories we hear from friends about their crazy sex and the porn we watch and so on.
It simply is not the case.
The great news is it is ALL there for us, waiting for us to begin to explore.
Our effortless pleasure awaits us.
It requires us to simply slow down, to begin to re-wire our pleasure centre by becoming more mindful of our addictions – to Facebook, to our phones, to remaining busy, excited and constantly stimulated.
We can all take small steps to bring our pleasure centre to a healthier place and our nervous system to a place of safety.
- We can allow time for extra-curricular phone use at a certain time of the day where we are doing nothing other than this.
- Great questions we can ask when we want to become more mindful around a task is:
What is my purpose for this activity?
What does it contribute to my life?
How can I change my use of it to contribute to my life more usefully?
Under what circumstances and at what stage does it stop contributing usefully?
- We can agree to protect our time with loved ones by not bringing work home.
- Taking some time out during the day to come into our body is a powerful practice…
Sitting in the sun on the grass, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, the safety of the earth underneath you and taking some deep breaths and feeling your breath expanding your stomach and chest.
- Eating mindfully. Asking, what does my body FEEL like eating right now? What does it need to nourish it?
Connecting to our pleasure and having a deeply satisfying sex life begins with small steps, with small steps of becoming more mindful of our daily pleasure- eating, socialising, finding fulfilment in our work and keeping it all in balance.
Written by Yoni Mapping Therapist – Mariam Nour
Mariam is passionate about creating a safe, non-judgemental and nurturing space for women to explore their yoni and womb space, their connection to their body & how they would like to nourish that connection. Her passion comes from her journey in cultivating her own connection to her body, her yoni & sexuality after years of feeling physical pain, shame, fear and disinterest in her sexuality.
Mariam is also a Hatha & Yin Yoga teacher, intimacy coach, provisional psychologist and psychotherapist, with several years specialising in sexual trauma and an interest in how emotion is stored and can be moved through the body. Bringing her experience together, Mariam holds an open, deeply grounded and holistic space.
Mariam offers Yoni Mapping Therapy sessions in the Byron Bay area, and occasionally Sydney and Melboourne.