As a sex coach who’s passion is teaching people how to connect to deeper pleasure in their bodies and deeper intimacy with each other, the thing I get to work with clients the most is helping them stay present during sex.
I get it, I’ve been there before. While my partner is lavishing me with touch and affection, my mind is somewhere else: the laundry list, that difficult conversation we had yesterday, wondering why I haven’t shaved for weeks …
All that chatter and worry in my head makes sex feel hard, tedious, and often, downright a drag.
Here are three concrete steps you can take to stop your monkey mind during sex and stay present so you can feel engaged and experience pleasure and connection with your partner to the fullest.
1. Focus your attention on the sensations in your body.
When you’re focused on the laundry list, the kids or even the fly on the wall, your attention is obviously neither on your body nor on receiving pleasure or your partner. It’s in your head. So redirect it.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “get into your body” before. Here’s how to do it.
Put your attention on the sensations in your body. Scan your body from head to toe and notice what sensations you feel. How does your partner’s touch feel on your skin? How does your back feel against the bed? What’s your heart doing? What sounds are you hearing?
When it comes to pleasure, you have to perceive it in order to receive it or let it in. Begin by noticing the sensations, employing all of your senses. Then name the sensations to yourself using descriptive terms: hot/cold, smooth/rough, wet/dry, pulsating, vibrating, prickly, loud/soft.
Here’s an example: “I am feeling warmth in my belly. I am feeling tingling in my left breast. I am feeling pulsation in my genitals.”
When we put our attention on our body, our mind chatter lets up and we become more present with the pleasure within. With practice, by redirecting your attention from your thoughts to the sensations in your body, you will learn to stay more present with it.
2. Make a request.
We often check out and follow the incessant chatter in our heads when what’s happening feels boring or simply not resonant with what our body wants in the moment.
Your partner’s touch may feel off the spot, or you might not be enjoying the pace of how fast both of you are going. Or you simply feel a desire and want something else. If something is not working for you, say something.
There’s the thing: behind every complaint or discontent is an unmet desire. Tune into that desire and make a request.
You could say: “Honey, I am noticing I would like a slower stroke. Could you slow down a bit and move to the left on my clit? I like it when you slow down and I can feel you more.”
Being specific in your request helps your partner know exactly what to do and how to win with you. And by reinforcing the request with a statement about what you like or what feels good helps them connect to your pleasure and to you.
When I teach my clients communication skills around intimacy and sex, I hear this all the time: “I am afraid to hurt my partner’s feelings by telling them that I want something else.” And here’s the thing: when we tend to focus on what’s not working in our communication, it often leaves both parties feeling frustrated and stuck and it can hurt the partner’s feelings (as it would probably hurt your’s if you were on the receiving end).
Which is why you lead your requests with desire, asking your partner what you want, instead of what they’re not doing or doing wrong.
Get instant access to my quick free video tutorial and worksheet that breaks down exactly how to give your partner feedback in sex and ask for what you want in a way that has your partner want to give it to you.
3. Share with your partner that you’ve checked out and make a request to reconnect.
You know how sometimes you check out and cannot remember what happened in the last few minutes?
Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. The best move is to name it and make a request for something that will help you reconnect.
You could say: “Hey honey, I noticed that I checked out for few minutes. Could we look into each other’s eyes to reconnect?”
Get the full break down of how to give your partner feedback in this quick free video tutorial and worksheet.
Even thought this move is an advanced one, it’s an important one. I know it can feel ultra vulnerable to admit that you checked out and went somewhere else in your head, so it might be tempting to just keep going and avoid the whole thing altogether. However, if you felt it, most likely your partner felt it too. When it comes to deepening intimacy and communication, what’s most important is not that you checked out—because it happens to all of us. It’s how quickly and effectively you repair and reconnect to your partner that builds a deeper bond.
So give it a try. And you might laugh about the whole thing together.
Irene Fehr’s mission is to help people have more love in their sex life and more sex in their love life. Her passion and area of expertise is helping women who’ve experiences loss of libido and sex drive to feel the fire of desire in their bodies and rekindle physical intimacy after life-altering events such as childbirth, menopause, divorce as well as cancer treatment. She’s a frequent speaker, writer, Huffington Post blogger, and workshop facilitator who is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has clients worldwide. www.ignitedwoman.com