Article: Breathe In, Breath Out (Sex & Breath)

When I was doing dilation treatment for my vaginismus the formula for relaxing was always the same (though the finer details varied): If ever I felt that I was so tense that I couldn’t insert a dilator further (or at all) then I was to take a deep breath in and then release a deep breath out, attempting to relax my muscles as I did so.

In most cases I was already holding a deep breath. The result – I was already tense without even knowing it. A single conscious deep breath, with its subsequent exhaling release would almost automatically release the muscles in my body that had clenched as my breath had, and a few more breaths would allow enough of an increasing release that dilation victories gradually became possible.

The Power of Breath

Funny thing is, the same can be said nowadays too.

When I tackle a large (or anal) toy and I find myself struggling I take some deep breaths to get to where I need to be.

When I’m doing yoga and I want to get deeper into a stretch I inhale & check my posture, exhale & relax further in to the pose.

When I’m feeling mentally stressed, frantic, or down I remove myself from the current situation (if possible) and take a single minute to focus on taking deep and reliable breaths. The result is transformational and the strength I gain from these breaths goes beyond just sustaining life itself.

In short, breath is pretty damned important, not just to survive but to thrive. When it comes to sex this is no different.

What are the best applications of breath during sex? That really depends on what you want from your adult experiences, but here are just a few solid suggestions for you:

For Sexual Recovery

If you are struggling with a sexual dysfunction then take a moment to do the following experiment (without any devices, or supplemental items. Just your body):

  1. Sit or lie yourself down in to a comfortable pose and either close your eyes or relax your focus.
  2. Take at least 5 deep breaths – the deepest breaths you’ve taken all day – focusing on keeping the inhale and exhale balanced.
  3. Once you feel relaxed, shift your mental focus to the area of your body where you’re struggling.
  4. Continue to breathe deep and, as you do so, notice how it impacts that body part. Pay particular attention to any physical sensations, muscle contractions or releases, gentle twitches in the body, and the feeling on the air (or your clothing) on it as your body shifts with each breath.
  5. Begin, if you wish to clench the muscles of that area on the inhaling breath and release them on the exhale. Note how this feels and how it might change from breath to breath.
  6. Once you feel content with the exercise either go back to a general deep breathing or shift your mental attention to any other parts of the body you are interested in before resuming a general deep breath.
  7. Start allowing your breaths to become more natural and, over time, return to normal.
  8. Gently move and then wiggle your limbs a bit as you adjust to your environment again.
  9. Open your eyes/regain focus when you wish to.

If you wish you can journal about this experience after each time practicing it, and I recommend doing it at least once a day for a fortnight.

The focus here is not necessarily big physical results, nor any great breakthroughs in recovery, but to allow you a calm and productive space to really get to know your body and how the area you’re struggling with truly feels.

From there you can take those deep breaths with you during dilation, ED recovery, or any other such struggle, knowing that you always have a way to really focus on what you’re doing and relax, and that is rarely a bad skill to adopt in life.


When bracing for a particularly stern impact, it often pays to take in a deep breath as you brace for it. The same can be said for those moments before encountering a pinwheel, an e-stim device, the warmth of hot wax, the chill of an ice cube, or pretty much anything else where sensation is incoming.

Part of this is just good sense for pain control – much like when getting an injection, it’s natural for most of us to hold in a breath as we clench up to brace for pain, so it makes sense that this has an application in BDSM too. But the role of breath in BDSM goes beyond this.

The biggest and most important observation to be made is that, during intense play sessions, it’s important for both dominants and submissives to make sure that their sub is breathing correctly. When one is caught in sub-space it can be so hard to forget this basic biological function, and some submissives have been known to faint or feel too woozy just from neglecting the breath.

If you’re a submissive add breath to your repertoire as something you can use to heighten the experience. When taking deep and balanced breaths the mind naturally focuses inwards more and helps enhance bodily sensations, meaning it pays in more ways than one to be breath conscious. Deeper breaths may also help with the ‘weightless’ feeling that sometimes comes with being dominated and will certainly aid you during impact or rope play.

As a dominant making sure your submissive is safe in all cases is a top priority so do keep track of their chest movements and the sound of their breath. This will naturally enhance intimacy but, further, it will also allow you additional chances for domination (either stern or nurturing). If you feel your sub is neglecting their breath then put in orders to get them to breathe at times. If they’re really struggling then try touching your hand lightly to their chest and demanding a certain breath speed and depth, praising them as they achieve it. A word of warning, though: Your sub might just get addicted to this form of physical domination.

For Improved Orgasms

Fun fact: Most people hold their breath at the point of climax.

Instinctual, I know – muscle clenches involved and whatnot – but we actually short change ourselves when we do so.

Climax intensity is determined, in part, by the amount of oxygen flowing through our body. When we begin holding or shortening our breath we actually start resticting oxygen, meaning less intense blood flow, thus less powerful muscle contractions, and a weaker orgasm.


Don’t fall in to this trap: Next time you masturbate, try playing around with your breath as you feel an orgasm coming. Opting for deeper, more powerful ones is a good one, as is allowing (instead of trying to repress) any noises that your body is trying to make. Go rapid, go varied, don’t force it, just don’t hold it.

Though the results might not always be mind-blowing, you may just find a new technique that takes your usual clenching climax and turns it in to a gasping gush of a release.

Good luck to you my orgasmic warrior.

That’s All For Now!

I’m certainly no breath master, but I can personally attest to the immense power that comes with controlled and mindful breathing.

It is, quite literally, a breath of fresh air.