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Abstract

This literature review examines the differences between male and female sexuality, explores sexual mindfulness as a treatment, and suggests various ways to practice mindfulness. Research has found that women tend to suffer more sexual dysfunction than men and that mindfulness may be a powerful tool in helping women experience more sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction. Sexual mindfulness is effective because it helps the individual relax, remain aware, and overcome negative thought processes and sexual anxieties. Relaxing may increase female sexual satisfaction because it tends to help women release muscle tension and experience less pain, help arousal by decreasing pent up anxiety, and help calm the mind so that the body can move through the sexual response cycle. Remaining aware allows many women to stay in tune with the moment-by-moment sexual experience and enjoy heightened arousal and orgasm, be responsive rather than avoidant of sexual experiences, and cultivate greater intimacy with their partner. Mindfulness can also help women decrease sexual dysfunction as they identify and work through appearance-based and performance-based sexual anxiety by characterizing and setting aside negative cognitive distractions in a non-judgmental fashion.

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