If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that sex, like life, doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes you never get started, sometimes you don’t feel satisfied, and sometimes you get distracted halfway through and “lose your wood” (as one of my clients says).
If any of this sounds familiar, I’ll let you in on a little secret:
Being in the mood is a balance of turn ons and turn-offs.
Just being turned on isn’t always enough- you also have to not be turned off. Not sure what I mean? Try this. Think about all the things that turn you on. Pay attention to how you feel. Now think about all the things stressing you out. Suddenly you don’t feel so turned on anymore, right?
Turn-ons and turn-offs vary from person to person. Maybe your best friend loves being spanked but you’re just not into it. They also can change over time. For example, many new moms tell me that the sex acts which used to turn them on don’t “work” anymore but they now have a new super sensitive spot.
Your brain is your biggest sex organ.
The balance between your turn ons and turn offs can switch pretty easily, just like in the exercise above. This is why you’ll hear us sex coaches talk about the brain as the biggest sex organ. A single switch in your thoughts can have a huge impact on your mood and your body.
Picture this. It’s Friday night and you’ve had a somewhat stressful week. You look forward to unwinding with a glass of your fave libation, a hot bath, and some sexy time with your partner, yourself, or your favorite battery operated friend.
You drink the wine. You relax in the bath. You let the towel fall and the foreplay begin.
Things heat up. You feel every lick, breath, and stroke. In the midst of this all, and for seemingly no reason, you remember the argument you got into with your co-worker. Then your mind wanders to tomorrow’s to-do list…and that big ass life decision that you need to make, even though it scares the crap out of you.
When you get turned off during sex.
In response to these turn-offs, your body releases stress hormones. You stop feeling sexy and relaxed. As one of my clients put it, its as if your body pulls your arousal back inside. Sensations become dulled, your lubrication decreases, and you feel disappointed.
Getting turned off doesn’t have to mean the end of sexy time.
Remember how I said above that a single thought can change your mood and your body? This works in both directions. The key to not letting stress/monkey mind/mental chatter ruin your sexy time is to manage your turn-offs and refocus on your turn-ons. You can use mindfulness techniques to do this in the moment OR you can cultivate a sexy mood with these tips.
Three Ways to Get (Back) in the Mood
- Pamper yourself. Rather than save the pampering for a special occasion, add it to your everyday routine. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive- just a little can make a big difference! <– tweet that Use shaving creme that softens your skin while you shave (this is my fave). Take a extra minute to really massage your moisturizer in. Slip on some sexy lingerie under your work clothes. These small steps help you feel sexy and confident, and get you feeling into your body, all of which help set you up for staying turned on later.
- Start the foreplay early. Keeping your brain focused on sex all day long makes it a bit harder to think about anything else. Here’s a bunch of easy and quick ideas: give your honey an extra-long kiss when you leave for work, send sexy texts, read erotica on your phone during your commute and lunch breaks, trade some of your news sites and blogs for sexier ones (my current favorite is OActually), or set an alarm to do your Kegel exercises. By getting turned on periodically throughout your day, you train your brain (and your body) to go from stress to sex more easily.
- Communicate and start again. Say you’ve done steps 1 and 2 but still find yourself thinking about fights and to-do lists mid-sexy time! Start by taking a deep breath. Think about all the things that turned you on. If something felt extra delicious, do it again. Keep coming back to what feels good. Use your mind to your advantage.
More satisfying sex doesn’t have to be that hard.
If this seems like a lot know that you don’t have to do them all at once. Even adding just one or two of these tips into your relationship can help you have more satisfying sex. Of course, customize them to work for you- use whatever language and tools help you feel your sexiest. The next time sex doesn’t go quite as planned, you’ll be prepared.