Stressed out and can’t enjoy sex?
If you’re overcome by intrusive thoughts or anxiety about or during sex, it can be hard to imagine things being different.
But how to be more present in bed doesn’t have to be complicated. And this article breaks it down into three sex therapist-approved ways to do it.
Sex is About You
When we’re faced with a sexual difficulty, it makes sense that we would focus on the sexual side of things, right?
But the thing is, sexual problems aren’t always solved through merely changing sexual aspects like practices or techniques.
Sexual problems also require we work beyond our sexuality and sex life. They require we work with our whole person and our life in general.
Why? Because our sexuality doesn’t exist in a void—it’s a part of us.
Sex is a whole-body, whole-self experience of pleasure and intimacy, not just a biological act governed by instinct or hormones. Therefore, working with your whole self can have a deep and lasting impact on your sex life.
3 Unusual Ways of Becoming More Present
1. Change how you eat
While this may sound a tad odd—hear me out!
Satisfying flavours, different textures, and pleasant aromas are all a part of our eating experience (if we allow them to be). And eating food and having sex are, in fact, closely linked, in that they can both be sensual experiences.
By focusing on how you eat, you can get important clues on how you approach sex.
>> Do you gobble it all down while scrolling on your phone?
>> Perhaps you eat a lot of your meals while on the go?
>> Or maybe you eat the same thing for dinner every day?
These clues might tell you something about your relationship with sex. For instance:
>> Perhaps you always multitask during sex by planning your week in your head, simultaneously.
>> Maybe you rush through sex each time, not stopping to savour the moment.
>> Or maybe your sex life is always the same—beginning with kissing and ending with vaginal penetration.
Changing your eating habits by paying more attention to your meal, enjoying the moment, and avoiding distractions like scrolling on your phone, can have a positive effect on your sex life.
This is because being more present with other sensual experiences such as eating a meal helps you be more present generally in life. With more presence in general, it makes it easier for you to be present in bed.
And when you’re more present—sex is likely to be so much more enjoyable!
2. Stop scrolling your phone while doing what you enjoy
I’m sure we can all relate in some degree to multitasking, even while doing things we enjoy. When we’re five minutes into watching a good TV series, we realise we’re simultaneously checking Instagram.
This means two things:
1. We’re finding it difficult to be present in the moment.
2. As a result, we’re not enjoying the TV series or Instagram as much as we could, had we focused on one thing at a time.
If we find ourselves multitasking during tasks we enjoy, we should see this as a sign to slow down and refocus on one thing at a time.
By doing this and working on being more mindful in our daily lives, it is much easier to be mindful during sex. Because the whole point of sex is to enjoy it and be in the moment. When we’re not, it’s simply not as satisfying.
Next time you notice yourself scrolling aimlessly through Instagram while chatting to a friend, or engaging with your partner—practice putting your phone down and immersing yourself in the activity.
3. Connect to your breath
Focusing on our breath can also help us be more mindful and present during sex. Breathing exercises are a great way of connecting to your breath.
Our breath is indicative of how we’re feeling.
>> If your breath is shallow and high up in your chest, it usually means you’re stressed, worried, or anxious.
>> When your breath is deep and fills your stomach, it tends to mean you’re relaxed and feel safe.
If you find it difficult to move your breath down to your stomach or you feel stressed most of the time—this is a sign to focus on your breath.
By consciously giving yourself a few moments to focus on your breath and move it down to your stomach, you’re giving yourself a better chance of enjoying sex.
The more stressed, anxious, or worried we are, the less sexual desire and sexual arousal we feel. And with less desire and arousal, it’s harder to stay present in the moment (because the moment isn’t much fun).
By learning how to breathe mindfully and regulate your breath from day-to-day, you’ll be able to regulate yourself more easily during sex. This means you release worry and anxiety—and increase desire and pleasure.
What You Focus on Thrives
There are lots of ways of becoming more present during sex. One crucial way is working on your presence in life in general. Because what we focus on thrives.
How to be more present in bed and savour the experience doesn’t have to be complicated.
By regulating your breath, practicing doing one thing at a time, and focusing on changing how you eat—you’re giving yourself a real chance of actually enjoying sex.