Is he enjoying this? Did I turn the stove off? When did I last shave my legs? Was that noise me? God, I think it was me. I should have changed the sheets. I need to pee. Isn’t that a good thing? Has he noticed my stretch marks? Maybe if I clench my stomach it will look like I have abs. What if my breath smells? Ok, that noise was definitely me that time.
Stop! Just stop!
You know the worst thing you can possibly do to your sex life? Overthinking it. Let that internal monologue take over and it will all be over.
A study done back in the 70s found that sexual arousal, sexual performance and sexual satisfaction are all shaped, in part, by our thought processes. Sometimes our minds drift to external concerns such as work but more often it's negative thoughts about appearance (more likely for women) or performance (more likely for men). A multitude of scientific studies tell us that these thoughts diminish our sexual arousal and pleasure and can significantly lower our overall sexual satisfaction.
Of course, reaching that zen-like, in-the-present attitude while things are getting hot and heavy is easier said than done. Here are our best tips on clearing the mind during sex so you can enjoy the moment and keep your mind on your orgasm - not your O face.
Have a laugh
Why so serious? Sure, there are some intense moments during sex, but there are plenty of lighter ones as well. A few giggles, a bit of friendly teasing, and some laughter will only add to the experience.
In a study conducted by Monash University researchers found the benefits of laughter to include everything from less stress and more creativity to better moods and reduced pain levels - all of which, we might add, can be highly beneficial in the bedroom. Eva Sless summed it up nicely in her article The Funny Side of Sex.
You’ll enjoy this one. You’ve heard that sex gets better with age, right?
So much of the ‘overthinking sex syndrome’ is due to a lack of confidence in the bedroom. You can probably think of a few silly thoughts you have about your appearance or performance between the sheets, but overcoming these niggling issues is not exactly a walk in the park.
So practice. The more sex you have the more you will come to realise that both people in that bed want two things: their own pleasure and that of their partner. Focus on that, and thinking about anything else will soon be forgotten.
Meditation is used to achieve a deep sense of rest, to lower stress, and to keep you present. In a 2008 US study, researchers found that women with higher stress levels had lower levels of functioning in their sex lives. Study results showed that stress about sexual performance could decrease arousal. And yes, there’s plenty of evidence out there that meditation reduces stress. Isn’t science great?
And another option would be to check out a beginner's Tantra event. You don't need a partner as the facilitator will rotate you around different partners throughout the evening. It's a great way to focus your mind, focus your breathing and learn to be present with your partner. You might like to check out our friends at Tantric Blossoming.
If that bit of jiggle around your thigh is just too distracting try getting a little creative.
An eye mask can be both a sexy prop and a way to ensure the senses you are focusing on are all about how good it feels - rather than how something looks.
And some sexy lingerie might be all you need to boost your body confidence or help you to not worry about any perceived imperfections.
Talk to your partner
There isn’t anything more intimate than stripping off together and having sex, so if you’re worried about what your partner is thinking, talk to them about it.
Let them know your concerns before you get intimate, and talk through what they can do to help you work past the issue. In all likelihood, they probably have similar concerns and thoughts - the chat will probably do you both a world of good.
What are your best mind-clearing tips to get into the mood for sex?