Many people struggle to relax during sex. It can be hard to let go of the laundry list, kids, or other concerns that distract and detract from sexual pleasure and connection.
It’s important to communicate with your partner about any issues that may come up during sex, especially non-verbal communication. Try these tips to help you stay relaxed and present during sex:
Focus on your body
If you struggle to stay present during sex, you’re not alone. It’s normal to have distracting thoughts, but letting those go can help you connect with your partner. You can also try to focus on pleasure, and fostering a relationship with your sensations, so that when you feel yourself getting distracted, you know how to pull yourself back into the moment.
One way to do that is to reconnect with your body, says Elena Harder, founder of JoyGasm. She suggests focusing on your breath, or trying to contract all the muscles in your body for a few seconds at a time. This helps you get back into your physical self and pushes out any distracting thoughts that might be lingering.
You can practice this in other activities, such as when you’re exercising or eating, to build up your ability to focus on the present. You can also change the environment in ways that are not sexual to help you refocus, such as shutting off music, putting up the lights, or cleaning up your bedroom.
Over time, you can work up to longer stretches of sex without distraction by slowly building up your skills in other areas. Adding foreplay before sex can help, as can doing relaxation techniques before you sit down. This could include meditating, taking a bath, doing some light stretching or even having a snack.
Breathing deeply during sex can be a great way to increase pleasure, and it can help you stay present. It also draws attention back to the body, which can help you overcome any distractions or fear or anxiety that may be coming up. If you have trouble getting your breath right during sex, try practicing it during masturbation or alone so that your body gets used to the rhythm.
The goal is to breathe into your belly, instead of in and out through the chest. You can use a count to help you, or just focus on feeling your stomach expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale. This will help your pelvic floor muscles move sexual energy, which can lead to arousal and orgasms. You can also try synchronizing your inhales and exhales with your partner. This can be a very intimate experience and help you feel connected to your partner.
The key is to be patient. It’s not going to be easy, and it’ll probably take a lot of practice before you can do this without thinking about it. But the more you do it, the more likely it will become to feel natural and a part of your regular routine, even during high levels of sexual arousal. Then you’ll be able to relax during sex with ease and enjoy it that much more!
Scan your partner’s touch
If you’re someone who finds it hard to stay present during sex, start by getting to know your body. Explore every part of it as if you were discovering it for the first time, and pay attention to both physical and emotional sensations. Over time, this technique will help you focus on your experience of being intimate and reduce the number of distracting thoughts that run through your mind.
Once you feel comfortable with your sensual body, practice a form of mindfulness created specifically for sex called sensate focus. It’s an exercise in which both partners engage in slow, focused touching that’s meant to increase intimacy and ignite desire between them. To begin, the partners introduce touch without any sexual context or intention, and then progress to sensual touching as a way of feeling their internal reactions to one another.
If you find yourself losing focus during sex, it’s important to communicate this with your partner so they can help bring you back to the present moment. It’s not a reflection of the strength of your connection or their lovemaking skills; it’s just that you need some help tuning in to what you’re doing. Open communication during sex is a great opportunity to bond with your partner and show them that you value their presence and want to reconnect.
Talk about what you enjoy
Don’t be afraid to talk during sex, especially if it feels good. It’s a great way to stay focused, connected and present — plus, it’s great foreplay! Just make sure you’re using appropriate and tasteful language, and avoid dirty talk that could make your man feel uncomfortable.
It’s also important to remember that sex isn’t supposed to be perfect. You’re going to get into some weird positions, have awkward pauses and maybe even lose concentration for a few seconds at a time. But that’s OK. It’s not a sign that you’re bad at sex or that something is wrong with you. It’s just part of the process and it’s what makes it unique and pleasurable.
If you find yourself feeling distracted during sex more often than not, it’s likely because you don’t communicate effectively about what you want and need in the bedroom with your partner. That’s a difficult thing to fix, but you can start by having an open conversation about sexual communication. It might be strange at first, but it’s a great step toward learning how to relax during sex and moving past shame about your feelings in the bedroom.