The Sexual Mindfulness Project: An Initial Presentation of the Sexual and Relational Associations of Sexual Mindfulness


sexual mindfulness, relationship satisfaction, communication, relationship education


Little research has evaluated the associations of mindfulness training on couple romantic and sexual well-being and no research has examined the role of sexual mindfulness within an intervention. We introduced the Sexual Mindfulness Project (SMP) that addressed sexual relationships through daily mindfulness, sexual mindfulness (remaining aware and non-judgmental during sexual experiences), communication, and problem-solving skills which was taught in a structured intervention. We examined the effects of this program with committed couples (N = 5) who attended a two-session version of this project. We use mixed methods and examined themes from participant interviews and explored how sexual mindfulness in romantic and sexual relationships may prompt feelings of connection and intimacy. Qualitative results indicated improvement in individual, romantic, and sexual well-being. In addition, as appropriate, we integrate quantitative findings of change in sexual mindfulness and the other outcomes using retrospective pre-post design. We used a retrospective pre/post test to avoid reference frame bias, as sexual mindfulness is a skill that individuals may over-estimate on a pretest as participants know little about how to evaluate their sexual mindfulness. We found that the participants’ perception of the mechanism of change included their efforts to slow down, pay attention to their own sexual experience and/or feelings, communicate more effectively, and then address those feelings or thoughts with their partner in a non-judgmental, open, and accepting way.

Original Publication Citation

Chelom E. Leavitt, Jason B. Whiting & Alan J. Hawkins (2020): The Sexual Mindfulness Project: An Initial Presentation of the Sexual and Relational Associations of Sexual Mindfulness, Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor