How to be Fully Present for Pleasure in Sex
I have a lot of pleasure in sex – and then I think about how I look!
Here is a frequent request I get from woman coaching clients: ‘When having sex I’m always in my head, I think about how I look. I avoid positions, like being on top, for this reason. Can you help me overcome this?’ It’s interesting that there is a corresponding request from men. Men do not usually think how they look during sex (even though I help some with their body image, too). Men usually get into their head during sex because they are concerned about their performance. Good news: The remedy is actually the same, for all genders. How to be fully present for pleasure in sex? The more we anchor ourselves in pleasure, the less we are tempted to go into our heads, and interrupt pleasure.
Enjoying the Pleasure of Sex, or Spectatoring?
Stuck in your head with negative self talk? Watching your partner closely, for their reaction/response to what you are doing? There is actually a term for this, coined by sex researchers as far back as the 60s. It’s called spectatoring. Spectator sex means you are being taken over by a negative body image, which then, in turn, causes thoughts that trigger insecurity. Do I look fat? What do my thighs look like? Should I make more sounds, to turn him on? He has stopped what he was doing – does that mean he got bored with it? As you can see, all these questions lead away from our own pleasure, and focus on our partner’s pleasure or thoughts, and there is a considerable amount of anxiety. It can lead to both sexual partners thinking about the enjoyment of the other, and none actually being present to what’s happening. When we are fully present for our pleasure, our partner actually has something to go by.
Communication as a tool – touching breasts
One factor for negative self talk during sex is touch that doesn’t actually feel good. Let’s talk about breast touch. Women can be very specific about how they like their breasts to be touched, and it can vary wildly! Some like touch and sucking on their nipples, others don’t, or only in a very specific way. Some women like very strong touch and squeezing, others have very sensitive breasts that need to be handled with the utmost care. When you stroke her breasts, direction matters – upward strokes often feel nice, but downward strokes, or mindless ones, can feel really off-putting. When strokes don’t feel nice, then negative self talk often follows suit, and pleasure is lost. Why not take your partner’s hand, and show them how? You can also direct your partner verbally, but please, stay friendly, and don’t criticise – they are probably trying their best, and genuinely want to pleasure you.
In the next blog post, I will contribute techniques to feel more, and stay in the moment, for more pleasure in sex.