Interview with Dr. Natasha Langan, Clinical Psychologist and ESSM Psychosexologist, on Mindful Sex

I’m Natasha. I work in a psychosexual service and health psychology service in the NHS. I’m interested in mind/body approaches to healing, particularly healing from sexual trauma and developing a compassionate and playful relationship to your sexual self, sexuality and sexual practices. Currently training to become a teacher in mindfulness and compassion- based approaches.


What is mindfulness?

The most famous definition of mindfulness is by Jon Kabat Zinn, the father of mindfulness, who states that mindfulness means ‘paying attention in a particular way, on purpose and without judgement’.

Mindfulness is not relaxation. Mindfulness is not having an empty mind. Like going to the gym, mindfulness practice can be like mind gym, working attentional muscles and through repetition and practice you see results.

Benefits include: Feeling calmer, increased focus, less emotional reactivity, and it has been found to increase sexual desire in women.

What is mindful sex?

Mindful sex is bringing your awareness to what is going on in the present moment…bringing attention to your body, sensations, pleasure. It may be you want to also experiment with expanding your awareness to include all your senses….what you can see, hear, taste, touch, smell. Both for yourself and for your partner, bringing awareness to them. Being present to what is going on, rather than what your mind is telling you is going on.

What are the benefits of having mindful sexual experiences alone, i.e. mindful masturbation?

Allows you to practice bringing awareness to pleasure in the whole of the body without the pressure of thinking about someone else and their needs. Time to get to know your body, pleasure mapping to experiment with bringing attention to different arousing areas of the body.
Great time to practice mindful sex so when with a partner you can generalise skills. Remember what I said about mind gym and attentional muscles – repetition and practice = results.

What are the benefits of having mindful sexual experiences with our partners?

If negative thoughts are not getting in the way of sex you will feel closer, more connected with your partner, less self-conscious, more compassionate to the self and your partner and increase positive emotions like contentment, calm in addition to potential to increase desire, pleasure and orgasm experience.

More process focused rather than focused on the end goal – orgasm. Slowing down experience can mean a richer and more sensual sexual intimate experience.

What are some barriers to having mindful sexual experiences?

Our minds – we’ve evolved to survive, not to be happy so we have a natural negativity bias.

Cognitive experience of ‘spectatoring’ looking down on yourself having sex, judging and evaluating yourself.

Performance anxiety – performance based judging and evaluating yourself, your body, and/or how you have sex.

Maybe a partner that is putting pressure on you to orgasm, experience pleasure, be goal focused during sex.

Pain! Pain activates the threat system in the body and our attention focuses in on pain and the thoughts and feelings around pain that may intensify the pain experience.

Trauma – if you’ve experienced sexual assault, it may be distressing and anxiety provoking to be in your own body.

What can we do to have more mindful sexual experiences on our own?

Practice mindfulness outside of sex.

Start small…. Short practices such as ‘the three minute breathing space’ is a great start.

Practice informal mindfulness practices like while in the shower …noticing what you can feel, smell, taste, hear around you.

Practice mindfulness lying down with a mindfulness practice called ‘the body scan

Practice mindful self compassion practices such as ‘the self compassion break’ by Kristen Neff. Bring all these short practices to mindful self focus – focusing on the breath, moving awareness to the whole body, specific parts of the body, noticing thoughts and bringing awareness back again and again. Can do on own or with a sex toy.

If you have experienced trauma may not feel safe to close eyes and bring attention into the body and mindfulness might bring up distress…. Don’t judge yourself for this. It’s common for people who have experienced trauma to find mindfulness challenging initially. I would recommend having support from a trained mental health professional with experience of working with trauma and body based approaches.

Any recommended reading/watching/following/listening in relation to mindfulness and sex?

Lori Brotto Better Sex Through Mindfulness and any of her talks online.

Ferly App – sexual wellness app.

Dr Chris Donaghue’s article on mindful masturbation.

General mindfulness apps such as Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer.

Or doing a 7 or 8 week mindfulness course.

Here is a three-minute breathing space exercise by Jon Kabat Zinn.

Grace Alice Sex And Relationships Educator

Thank you, I'll be in touch soon...


This service is fully limited to Sexuality Education. All advice is given in an honest manner and as guidance only. By using this service, you agree that you make your own decisions, relying solely on your discretion; any use you make of such answers, advice or services is at your own risk and ‘Grace Alice Sexuality Educator’ cannot be held responsible or be liable for any damages or losses resulting from your reliance on such answers or advice.

What is a peer-to-peer support session?

Firstly, let us start with what the session is not! I am not a practicing sex therapist, sexologist, medical professional, psychotherapist, psychologist, counsellor, or mental health professional. Therefore, I do not provide medical advice (although I may recommend that you seek guidance from a medical professional if appropriate) or a therapy service.

Sex & Relationships Education is a separate field to these professions, and I employ my own unique approach based on my qualifications, training, and experience. I hold an undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy and a Masters degree in Health Promotion. I have over six years experience working as a Sex & Relationships Educator and have undergone continuous professional development and training. I also studied empathy education as a UNESCO scholar, which informs my approach. Details of my qualifications and training are available on my LinkedIn page – please see the ‘About’ page also!

Within a session, I offer a confidential and safe space for discussion of various issues relating to relationships and sexuality. I strive for a relaxed, informal vibe, where you can chat about something that you have been struggling with. I can offer a friendly and non-judgemental listening ear, suggestions on how you can approach your own personal situation, general information on the related topic(s) and details of relevant professionals, support services and organisations (usually in a follow-up email). I can accommodate sessions relating to many topics relating to relationships and sexuality – including but not limited to body image, sexual communication, consent and boundaries, protection, anatomy, vaginismus, porn, STIs and STI stigma, healthy and unhealthy relationships, gender and sexuality, pleasure, arousal, desire, infidelity, break-ups, dating, and more.  I want my clients to feel relaxed, comfortable, and free to talk without fear or shame, like they would with a very close friend!

How does a Booking work?

In a nutshell, you can contact me via the booking page on this site and request a booking. If I decide that a session with me would be a good fit for you, I will contact you and arrange a time and date!

Here is the pricing for sessions;

Standard Session1 hour€50
Student* Standard Session1 hour€40
*A valid student I.D. must be presented.  

Please note that the session must be paid for in full at least 24 hours prior to the session, using the payment method and details I will provide to you in an email. If you do not have PayPal, we can arrange another form of payment (Revolut or bank transfer – please factor in the extra time it will take you to set up an account if needed or the possible delay in bank transfers, this may slightly affect the scheduling of your session).

Due to the nature of this service, I cannot offer any refunds for any reason during or after a session.

However, if you have paid and can no longer attend the scheduled session, I can offer you a full refund if you notify me of the cancellation at least 48 hours beforehand. If you wish to reschedule, please notify me at least 48 hours before the time of the scheduled session, and we can work something out!

Am I guaranteed to have a session?

Imay choose not to do a session with you if I feel that I am unable to offer support or education relating to your situation. I will contact you to let you know if I have decided that my service is not a good fit for you, and I will offer some suggestions regarding more suitable professionals/organisations/services to contact.

Although we may chat about lots of different things during a session, if someone has clearly not been truthful in the booking form about the topic area that want to discuss and appear to have an ulterior motive in booking the session, I may choose to end the session. The same rule applies to a situation where someone is clearly not who they have stated they are in the booking form. 

I cannot offer sessions to anyone under the age of 18 years. I may choose to ask you to present a copy of a valid form of I.D. if I feel that confirmation of age is needed. Requesting to book a session indicates that you are aged 18 years or over, and that you are being truthful in disclosing your age.

If I feel that someone is being disrespectful, offensive, or inappropriate, and I feel uncomfortable, I may choose to end the session. I may also end the session if I believe that it is being recorded.

Is it all confidential?


es! Confidentiality is essential to a service like this and I will do everything in my power on my end to protect it.

Here is what I will do on my end; I will abide by GDPR guidelines and make every effort to keep all personal information relating to sessions safe. Booking requests and emails with a form attached/included will be retained for no more than 1 year. The form may be printed, and I may take notes before, during and after the session either by hand or typed. Forms, notes, and USB key will all be stored in a locked file safe in my home office. All forms and notes (hard and soft copies) will be deleted and/or destroyed after one year.  I will send you a Zoom Meeting ID and password before the session using the email address you have given me. I will use headphones and will be alone in a private space during all sessions. All  records of calls and video calls will be deleted after one year.

Please be mindful of what you choose to share within the session. I have an obligation to break confidentiality and report to Tusla and/or the Gardaí any disclosures of child abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse and other crimes.

Here is what you must do on your end! You must not screenshot, record and/or distribute any part of your session. It is also your responsibility to protect your privacy as much as you like on your end. This may include keeping your phone password-protected, using a non-identifiable email address that does not include your name, deleting correspondence, making sure you have a private space for your session where you will not be interrupted or overheard, etc.

Book a Session