CBD has a versatile way about it, perfect for taking in the mornings or evenings. CBD's balancing qualities make it a suitable accompaniment for a range of activities. Since CBD has often been used before activities such as yoga and meditation, at MANTLE, we believe that CBD can also bring an exciting component to sex- either with or without a partner. Much like any form of yoga or exercise, sex, despite being a physical act, is also deep-rooted in the mind. Many of our habits circulate around sexual self-care. Unfortunately, many of our traumas also tend to gravitate in the sexual sphere. Sex is important; its connection with the mind is even more critical. Not to mention, we usually have good sex when we feel comfortable, confident and calm.
In other words, when our daily lives are filled with mindful practices, our sex life is likely to improve.
Sex and Yoga
At MANTLE, we aren't alone in believing that a balanced mind and sex are connected: for centuries, Ancient Indians have created that bold connection linking a centred and balanced mind to a more substantial, more intense sexual act. Hence, the creation of tantric yoga, which is most glaring in its attempt to use sex to reconcile the physical and spiritual self. Since yoga may be one of the strongest ways to improve mental health, with more people advocating the practice as a form of its own therapy, it's easy to see how strong the mind-body connection can be, when incorporated alongside the right techniques.
Tantric Yoga and Sex
Mistaking tantric yoga as purely sexual can be as erroneous as treating the entire practice of yoga as just physical. Despite popular belief, the branch of tantrism which actually focuses on the sexual act is actually known as red tantra- and this sexual side is a relatively small part of a broader practice. White tantra encompasses most tantric practice- and it's basically just like any other yoga which uses bodily movement to calm and energise the mind. Much of tantrism circulates around liberation, energy, and enlightenment. It's similar to other branches of yoga, such as Kundalini or Hatha, where the physical body, be it breathwork, asanas, or chants, activates something known as 'therapy of the mind'. Tantric yoga utilises that universal yogic motto: the mind and body are connected. Tantrism draws on the idea that specific movement can promote the release of certain connective tissues which might harbour past traumas, and certain pranayamic breathing can activate a synergistic movement of energy within the body. Even the most subtle movement must tie to the mind.
Even with such a strong connection, the similarities between yoga and sex are very interesting to note. Yoga, much like sex, looks like a physical act; despite being much deeper than that. Similarly, both yoga and sex can either be incredibly uplifting experiences (we hope that's what everyone's experiencing), or at times uncomfortable. In many cases, both yoga and sex can be conduits to manifesting, and possibly releasing, past trauma. But, back to the point, both sex and yoga are known to aid and assist each other. When you do more yoga, you tend to be more in-tune with your body, more readily able to relax the muscles and let intuition take over. That mind-body connection comes a lot easier to the experienced yogi, which in turn usually makes for more intense, cerebral sex. Body confidence, clarity, and self-love are also factors which can be built up during your yogic practice, and carried with you to improve bedroom activities.
To a degree, all branches of yoga attempt to connect the physical body with the spiritual self through breathwork, movement, and an increased intuition. We can consider any exercise, (yoga being the most obvious) that uses the physical body to calm and stabilise the mind as a valuable addition to our daily life, as maintaining a morning routine (or a yogic routine) can be quite a meditative experience. And, as many studies and articles have reported, a more mindful practice can remarkably improve the sex we're having.
A yogic lifestyle is a great accompaniments to CBD, particularly since both yoga and CBD can easily be incorporated into your daily routine.
A History of Tantric Sex
Ancient India, from which yoga originates, has a deep-rooted connection to what is known as tantra. This is where more infamous terms such as ‘tantric sex’ come into play. Since the Ancient Indians believed that sexual pleasure was one of the paths of enjoyment (Pravritti) which leads to liberation (Moksha), sex was considered to be one of the best ways to practice yoga. Often, ritual sex (known as Maithuna) would be performed in a group, with the members all having multiple sexual partners. Most of the time, the women would experience multiple orgasms (this was encouraged), the men would be experienced in their knowledge of women's bodies, and, most importantly, the men and women would incorporate meditation, yogic asanas, chants, and the evocation of deities to assist their sexual practice.
Even today, those who practice Maithuna believe that sexual ecstasy is a means to achieve this sense of liberation. Thus, to achieve this literal connection between physical and spiritual, sexual ecstasy is seen as incredibly uplifting and spiritual. And since Maithuna was often done under the influence of cannabis, and still is. It can be determined that taking CBD in connection with sex may be seen as merely maintaining the rituals that have brought balance to people in the past for thousands of years.
CBD and Sex
With its ability to balance us, CBD can be used in conjunction with both yoga and sex. A few drops of CBD oil, or a luxurious soak with some CBD bath salts, can have you feeling balanced as can be. Since a balanced mind is often key to maintaining daily practices, yogic or otherwise, there's no surprise that CBD can be incorporated into any mindful, meditative yoga practice. But, regardless of whether you'd like to incorporate some aspects of a yogic lifestyle, even on its own, CBD can be a great form of self-care - just check out our editorial on the many ways that CBD can be incorporated into the lifestyle as an effortless act of self-love.
Now, let us explain the connection between self-love and great sex: there's no specific yin and yang to loving yourself, nor is there any special sex secret which needs to be unlocked in order to achieve some kind of ultimate super-fantastic/self-love style of life. When you realise that any day-to-day practice which prioritises balancing the self, such as drinking a few CBD drops with your daily cup of tea or placing a few drops of CBD under your tongue before taking a restorative yoga class, has the power to balance your lifestyle. You may even find that the key to having a healthy sex life can uncomplicate itself pretty quickly when you engage in proper acts of self-care, such as excercise. These new-found layers of self-love can sit in your unconscious, tucked safely into the back of the brain, becoming more abundant with every act you commit to improving your life. The catch? Your self-care has to be unique to you. It has to make you feel good. Ultimately, every self-care act can be built to manifest into some seriously incredible things... great sex is one of them. Because, above all, and most sex therapists agree, self-love is the key to a wonderful life- and great sex feeds into this principle.
CBD and Solo Sex
Since, at MANTLE, recognise that our favourite form of self-care lies in the world of CBD and its balancing effects, we find ourselves naturally gravitating towards it. We love the balancing effects of a CBD oil or CBD face cream to feel a little more centred than before. The Ancient Indians, much like apps such as Headspace, seemed to recognise, centuries ago, that a centred mind is a sexy mind.
We also recognise that not everyone's having sex with a partner. For whatever reason, you're masturbating more for (we've been isolating more, solo sex is its own branch of self-care, you don't have to do much physical activity during solo sex and, most importantly, you're mostly always guaranteed an orgasm if you're a woman), an article about sex and self-care isn't complete without a paragraph, or two, about self-pleasure. We're talking about self-love, and masturbating is one of the best ways you can express this: you're literally loving yourself. Since most women tend to orgasm more by themselves than with a male partner, masturbation can be the best way to understand your own body and raise your self-esteem.
Masturbating with a little CBD might be the key to create a more balanced vibe. Self-pleasure can often allow for a more intense sexual experience, which sublimates the body and brain, creating a better, more positive experience. Since orgasms release endorphins, keep the genitals healthy and even relieve stress, using CBD to balance your masturbation sessions might just be a win-win situation.
Making Daily Rituals a Little Sexier
Since we've established that a key to good sex is a little self-care, let's talk a little bit about how daily rituals can boost our mental health in a significant way. We've discussed the possible benefits of yoga, doing a daily dose of meditation, and even taking regular baths or applying creams. But there is great potential in setting out to do all these things. Why not add the daily ritual of putting a few drops of CBD into a morning coffee or tea too? Ritual, itself, when done restoratively, can be its own form of self-care. The restorative benefits of a daily ritual can purportedly improve mental health, ease depression, curb anxiety levels, boost self-esteem, and, of course, improve relationships. This is great for those of us who are feeling some form of sexual lag with our partners, or even ourselves.
Since restorative rituals- which comes under any repetitive motion, activity, or ritual which is good for us- can boost those feelings of accomplishment, productivity, sense of self-worth, and make us value ourselves, our positive feelings can manifest into a positive relationship with sex. According to holistic psychologist Dr Deepika Chopra, our rituals and values have a potent reciprocal relationship. We perform rituals that match the values we hold, and the more we perform these rituals, the more our values are reinforced.
This connection between practising restorative rituals in our day-to-day and strengthening our values links to how our mind stores certain emotions. We've touched on the unconscious mind and how it tends to manifest during certain acts, such as during sexual acts. It makes sense- many personal accounts and people’s personal experiences have shown how trauma can affect how we perceive and perform sex. Since sex, no matter how casual, requires a degree of vulnerability in both men and women, there's no surprise that it might, unconsciously, take you back to other moments of vulnerability. Not to mention, an orgasm requires a substantial degree of emotional and physical release, evoking strong feelings of vulnerability. True sexual inhibition requires a relinquishing of the conscious mind.
What Is The Unconscious Mind?
Aristotle said 'we are what we repeatedly do'. So, when we repeat actions which reflect a love for ourselves, such as preparing a hot beverage which helps to warm us from the inside out (and balance us, if we add CBD), or sink into a magic CBD-infused bathtub every Friday evening, we embody that action of self-love. After a while, we become the paths we choose to take. In other words, we store our memories into our unconscious- the good, bad and ugly. So, it's well worth creating happy memories to embed into the deepest recesses of your mind.
Our unconscious minds- discovered and explained by the psychologist Sigmund Freud- are the layers of thoughts which lie below the conscious. We aren't aware of them, but they influence everything within us, usually manifesting as our fears, uncertainties, and strange, illogical feelings. Often considered to be the dark side of the metaphorical coin, the unconscious mind is formed up of our past, from infanthood onwards. But, the unconscious mind isn't always hidden. In fact, it tends to be like a switch, only manifesting during certain acts, such as when we dream, or in our emotional responses to certain things. Yoga is thought to bring open the unconscious, as it can use the body to bring about past traumas to the forefront of our minds- hence why so many yogis tend to feel strong emotions, even tears, during their practice. Since yogic principle relies on using the body to open up all areas of the mind, to unify all parts of ourselves which have, previously, been kept separated, yoga can help to release some deep-held unconscious thoughts, feelings, and desires.
While we recognise that Freud's theories can be sexist and dated (he famously once stated that only mature women don't orgasm via the clit), his ideas on the unconscious mind have become quite popular.
Sex and The Unconscious Mind
Another way to access our unconscious minds? You guessed it! The sexual act can be strongly influenced by the unconscious mind: if there's a lot of trauma, self-doubt, and low self-esteem trapped within the deepest, darkest, unaccessed parts of the brain, we can find these best-reflected in the way we go about viewing, perceiving or having sex. This isn't to say that those who have struggled in childhood are doomed to a terrible sense of the unconscious. The unconscious mind is a complicated thing; some of the happiest childhoods could create adults with disturbed unconscious thoughts. Trauma is always about the individual's perception. How it is stored in the unconscious mind, and subsequently manifested, is also dependent on the individual.
And, of course, not every thought within the unconscious mind is necessarily negative. If we indulge in rituals which help to increase our sense of self-worth and self-love, we can positively impact our unconscious mind. Our own actions can seriously influence the way we think about ourselves in the conscious and unconscious- and that shows in more places than just the bedroom.
Incorporating CBD Into Your Sex Life
Whether its a sensuous CBD bath, some CBD lube, or simply a few drops of CBD oil straight under the tongue (no messing about), there's really no wrong way to infuse some CBD into your sex life. CBD in connection with certain exercises which (on their own) directly promote a healthier sex life, such as yoga (which on its own allows for stronger self-esteem, release of the muscles during stretching, and an astute sense of mindfulness during meditation), will only balance, not hinder, your sex life. Becoming more attuned with your body can create feelings of confidence, pleasure, and focus during sex.
Whether you choose to take CBD specially and purposefully, before the sex act itself, or you include a few drops a day in your daily ritual, know that a life with CBD can be more balanced and centred than a life without.