Yesterday I wrote against using fantasy while having sex. In it I promised that I’d write a post on how to be more mindful during sex. Here are thirteen ways that you can be more present during sex. I hope it will help you adjust to being “in the now” during sex rather than escaping to fantasy.
1. Practice being mindful at other times
Being mindful is a skill that isn’t just about sex. Studies show that learning to be more mindful in other areas of life can help you be more present during sex as well.
So, here’s a common exercise to help you learn to be more mindful that you can do anywhere.
For two minutes every day, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. That’s it. Just spend two minutes thinking “Breathe in, breathe out”. Follow the sensations of your lungs filling and emptying. Listen to the sound, how the air feels as it moves through you.
When stray thoughts come, acknowledge that they are stray thoughts and return your focus. Don’t get upset, it’s not a bad thing to have a stray thought. It’s normal. Just recognize that it’s not what you want to focus in now, and go back to your breathing.
That’s it. Two minutes a day. Try it for a month.
2. Meditative prayer
I know, people get a but weird when you talk about prayer and sex together. I think God wants you to have a great sex life with your spouse. So, here’s what you can do.
As with the exercise above, block off some time to pray for your physical relation with your spouse. Start small, a couple of minutes each day. Again, recognize when your mind drifts, and refocus. This will also help you learn to be more mindful. It will also help dispel any negative feelings that sex is sinful or wrong. Those misplaced beliefs can contribute to “checking out” during sex to avoid feeling guilty.
2. Focus on the sensations
During sex, think about what every part of your body is feeling. Warmth, cold, friction, rubbing, pleasure, etc. Just go through the different sensations and focus on them. Don’t try to judge the feelings, or wonder if you should be enjoying them. Just acknowledge what you’re feeling.
Learn to recognize and experience pleasurable sensations without judging them.
*I’m not saying “If it feels good, anything goes”. Likely you’ve done this activity a hundred times before. You don’t need to judge its morality again this time around.
4. Focus on what you, or your spouse, are doing
Narrate the story of your sex session. Many women find this particularly helpful. You don’t have to speak, just keep in internal. Start simple:
He’s rubbing my feet, that feels nice. Now my calves, that feels good. Up to my thighs and …, oh, that feels good.
and so on. Keep narrating through the changes. It can help sync your body and mind keeping you more present.
5. Talk during sex
If you want to take the previous one to the next level, then try out some bedroom talk. Not sure how? Check out our guide.
You can’t check out while your talking. It just doesn’t work.
6. Pay attention to your partner
If you tend to drift off while your spouse is doing things to you, then change the dynamic. Switch it up and be the aggressor. Start focusing on giving your spouse pleasure instead. It’s hard to check out while your taking an active role. Watching for body language, making minor adjustments, trying to get the most pleasure for your spouse requires focus.
7. Change what your doing
If you’re noticing that your mind keeps drifting, try changing up the position or activity. A change forces our brain to refocus and mind give you that extra edge you need to stay present.
8. Limit distractions
Shut off music so your mind doesn’t attach to it. Turn the lights off if you’re worried about how you look. Clean up your bedroom if your mind drifts to laundry. Get rid of anything that steals your focus during sex.
9. Focus on the visuals
If body image isn’t a huge distraction during sex, increase the visuals. This engages another part of the mind and anchors it to what’s going on. Turn in the lights or light candles if you’re scared of how you look. Candle light is more forgiving than light-bulbs. Have sex in from of a mirror to give even more visuals. Our brains tend to focus on images of people having sex, even if it’s ourselves.
10. Give yourself time to warm up
Fantasy is a common shortcut to arousal, but it’s like going down a dark alley, or hitching a ride from a stranger. It might get you there faster, but it’s not safe.
Slow down, take the time to get properly aroused. Figure out what you need to get turned on enough naturally.
11. Be more engaged
Take a more active role in your live making. Wives in particular have admitted that they can become “lazy lovers” in marriage.
Learn how to be more sexually engaged and I guarantee you’ll find it’s easier to be more present.
12. Accept that your mind might wander
It happens, and it’s normal. Don’t get upset or frustrated. Like the mindfulness activity above, just notice the stray thought, and let it go.
Imagine it as a weed in your garden. Pull it out, and replace it with a thought you’d rather have there.
13. Recognize the choice and choose appropriately
When you find yourself checking out, getting distracted, or fantasizing, recognize the choice in front of you.
Would I rather be planning my grocery shopping, or making love to my spouse?
Would I rather be having a fantasy that I can’t touch or directly experience, or focus on this warm body that loves me?
Would I rather be watching mental porn, which will damage my relationship, or be more sexually engaged, which will strengthen my relationship?
Then choose appropriately.
Find what works for you
There you go, thirteen ways to stay focused during sex for those who are struggling with this. Pick one to try out at a time, and see what works. Then come back and let us know which ones work for you!