Dr. Lori Brotto’s new book, Better Sex through Mindfulness, is scheduled for release in April 2018.
Dr. Brotto has been a member of the UBC Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology since 2005, and is the Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute, a Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health, and a Registered Psychologist. Her research and clinical practice focuses on the treatment of sexual difficulties.
Dr. Brotto’s book synthesizes 15 years of her team’s programmatic research where she has been identified internationally as a pioneer in the use of mindfulness for addressing sexual difficulties in various populations of women, including: survivors of gynaecological cancer, women with chronic genital pain, women with a history of sexual abuse, and women with a diagnosed sexual dysfunction to develop fuller, more satisfying sexual lives.
Through her numerous treatment studies, Dr. Brotto has taught women how to practice present moment, non-judgmental awareness as a means of cultivating desire and sexual satisfaction. Mindfulness meditation trains the brain to stay in the here and now, and not getting trapped in the allure of distractions and negative self-judgement. Attention and focus have been found to be mission-critical for cultivating a sexual response and sexual desire. Skills such as mindfulness teach the brain to connect more completely with the body, allowing the practitioner to experience all of the sensations of sex.
Mindfulness is not only about paying attention, it is also about how we pay attention—nonjudgmentally. By practicing mindfulness, for at least 10 minutes per day, everyday, a woman can develop the ability to be fully present. And she can incorporate that practice into her sex life, by noticing when she feels in the mood, by paying attention to arousal when it starts to unfold, and by paying attention to all the body’s sensations during sex. Mindfulness is a simple practice, and yet, for so many women experiencing sexual concerns and who believe they have tried strategies to improve their low sexual desire, mindfulness offers a fresh opportunity to pay attention to what is already there.
In this accessible, relatable book, written for a general audience, Dr. Brotto explores the various reasons for sexual problems, such as stress and incessant multitasking, and challenges long-standing myths about sexuality, such as sexual desire should be spontaneous. She explores how the experience of sexual desire varies from woman to woman, how desire can ebb and flow across the lifespan, and how an astonishing range of reasons can motivate women to be sexual. She shares the stories of many of the women who have participated in her research over the years, and provides easy, effective exercises that readers can do on their own to boost their sexuality.