Get Out of Your HEAD! Enjoy The Moment
Do you find yourself in your head during times of intimacy? When you are in your head, can you thoroughly enjoy the experience? If you answered yes to either question, you are not alone! Many allow their insecurities to ruin their ability to be fully present during intimate times with their partners.
Possible Reasons You’re Not Present in the Bedroom
1. Insecurities during sex
The most common insecurities during sex listed have probably wrecked one or more of your sexual escapades. I am here to tell you that if you stand naked in front of a sexually aroused partner, they will not turn you away because of your perceived or natural body imperfections. Who cares if it takes you a bit longer to orgasm? Stop chasing the orgasm and enjoy the moment.
To quote the fantastic Emily Nagoski, “Pleasure is the measure!” If you don’t have an orgasm, that is perfectly acceptable. Was the experience pleasurable? HELL YES! Sexual noises, blissful facial expressions, sexy smells, and delicious tastes enhance the experience. Do not allow insecurities to interfere with a great time. I know, easier said than done, but there are ways to work that out and get back to the pleasurable experience.
2. Leaving work at work, even if you work from home
Are you allowing yourself time to transition from work to home mode, or are you in a constant state of go? It is often hard to remove your business hat and/or parent hat and switch into sexy time without properly allowing time to unwind from the day. It is unrealistic to believe that you can play all the various roles in your life and then immediately be able to receive or give pleasure on demand. This is how intimacy becomes a chore instead of an enjoyable experience with your partner or yourself.
Create rituals that allow you to properly transition into a more relaxed state of mind, open to pleasure and intimacy. If you have been at home all day with the kids, take a hot shower or relaxing bath to help rid yourself of the kid funk. You can’t expect to feel sexy with pasta in your hair. Create a sexy space that is kid-free, preferably in your bedroom. Light candles, play sexy music, or give each other sensual massages for a few minutes. Relationships take work, and intimacy should be intentional. You are allowed to transition from a shit-show ringmaster to a sexy beast!
3. Mental distractions
Your mind can be a sexy buzz kill instantly if you allow it to be. Those with ADHD/ADD have difficulty staying focused during the sexy time because they naturally wander off into the abyss mentally. If you find yourself unable to remain mentally present during sex, bring your attention back to the moment by focusing on the pressure of your partner’s touch, pay attention to your partner’s breath and try to match theirs, and enjoy the sensual sounds your bodies are making at the moment, or engage your senses.
Everyone has times when their mind wonders during sex. Be patient with yourself, and practice mindfulness in other areas of your life throughout the day to efficiently utilize the techniques during sex.
4. Unresolved relationships issues
If you have lingering anger or resentment about your disagreement last night with your partner, you aren’t present during sex. Again, relationships take work, and sometimes that work is ugly. Honest communication is not a skill you learn in school but is vital for a successful relationship. It is OK to tell your partner you are having difficulty being present because you are still upset about an unresolved issue. I am a fan of using assertive statements to help navigate those conversations:
“I feel, or I think ________________________________________________________”
“I would prefer that_____________________________________________________”
Suppose you can express your experience in a way that does not attack, criticize, or blame others. In that case, you are less likely to provoke defensiveness and hostility, which tends to escalate conflicts or have the other person shut down or tune you out, which tends to stifle communication.
“When you yell at me in front of others, I feel angry because I need to be treated with respect. I would prefer you not raise your voice or curse at me.”
5. You are not having sex the way you want to have it.
Finally, when you are not having the type of sex you want, it is tough to stay out of your head and in the moment with your partner. Suppose you are uncomfortable or embarrassed asking for what you wish to do sexually, then sex will become a chore and not pleasurable for you. Spending your romantic time trying to figure out how to voice your true desires takes you out of the moment and places you directly in your head. You cannot have a pleasurable, fulfilling sex life if you cannot voice your needs, desires, and wants to your partner. There are many creative ways to explore new sexual adventures with your partner, but you must be honest about your unhappiness.
Getting in your head during intimate times will happen. It is how you redirect yourself that matters. Talk to your partner about your experiences and let them know you are struggling when the situation arises. Healthy communication is not easy, but it is necessary for mindblowing sex, and not every sexual encounter has to be mindblowing.
Learn more about evolving and enhancing your sex life at evolveyourintimacy.com.
Stephanie Sigler CST, LPC, Ph.D.
*Original article published in the June 2023 edition of ASN Lifestyle Magazine