A couple of exercises from a sex educator will help you forget about all your problems for a while.
There are too many distractions in today’s world to focus on anything for long. Even for sex. And because the orgasm slips away time after time. And it’s embarrassing. Elena Galetskaya has been researching human sexuality for more than six years and knows how to learn how to focus on the process, not to let the excitement fade away.
Book Galetskaya “More than sex. How to understand yourself, your partner and find your way to pleasure” was published by Bombora publishing house. Lifehacker publishes an excerpt from the fourth chapter.
Many women complain that it is difficult for them to turn off their heads during sex, or that the excitement turns out to be so unsteady that any extraneous sound – and they don’t want any sex anymore.
Both the inner critic and the habit of “observing from the outside” – spectatoring – can pull out of excitement. We think about how we look, whether orgasm will happen, how long the sex will be. All this is by no means a pleasure.
It is important to be attentive to your feelings and, pardon the tautology, attention.
What you are currently focused on. And at that moment, when thoughts begin to drift somewhere to the side, it is important to catch the focus point and return back to the moment. What matters to us is pleasure in the moment.
Short, clear affirmations help here too. It can be phrases like “I’m here”, “I’m here”, “only sex.” You can try to focus on some part of the partner’s body, if it’s not solo sex . For example, whenever your attention begins to wander, focus on your partner’s shoulder or neck, touch his skin with your fingers. This technique will help you return to the contact of the bodies, in the moment you are in.
Being in the moment is a skill worth cultivating in order to enjoy life more in general. Some people recommend meditating to learn this, but to be honest, I’m not very fond of meditation. I love simple and effective tricks.
One of these techniques is the “Here and Now” exercise, which I received from my psychotherapist at the stage of struggling with a depressive episode. It takes literally 5 minutes a day, and you can do it anywhere: even in the office kitchen, as I did.
Sit with your feet touching the floor and your back supported. The posture should be comfortable and stable. Breathe deeply, straighten your shoulders, relax your stomach. Look at your palms.
Now list 10 things that please you right now, that you feel right now, in the moment, and they give you joy. For example:
- I have a beautiful sweater;
- I have a fresh manicure;
- I smell a pleasant aroma.
When listing, bend your fingers. This gives an additional connection between the process and the body. When finished, take a deep breath.
This exercise trains our ability to be in the moment, in the here and now. When during sex thoughts begin to drift away in a different direction, you can return to the moment with an effort that is already familiar to you.
One of the most effective techniques to help focus on sensations during sex, I call “There”. If you have already learned how to catch fleeing thoughts by the tail (for example, using the “Here and Now” technique), then you can easily master this technique.
Choose a point on the body that is most involved during sex. Most often this is the head of the clitoris or the G zone. Catching the fleeing thoughts, shift your focus to the selected area. Try to feel everything that is happening there now. Let the sensations take over, consume you, push out everything else.
Relax and be open to new experiences. Without this, none of the techniques will work.
Arousal can be helped
The fact that arousal is reflex in nature allows us to better understand and control arousal. What do we know about reflexes? That the same stimulus comes with the same response. In order for arousal to come faster, we need to make sure that the brain interprets the situation as unambiguously sexual.
This does not mean that the prelude to sex should be the same. This is not about techniques, but about context, environment, external signals.
The simplest example is the bedroom. When you enter the bedroom, you smell that unique smell, you see the bed, the brain should read this as preparation for either sleep or sex. Hence the conclusion: excitation will come faster and become more stable if nothing else happens in bed except these two actions.
In my marathons, this moment causes quite a lot of indignation from the participants. Many of us are used to working in bed, eating, just surfing the Internet. But cognitive-behavioral psychology says: there must be an algorithm, consistent responses to context.
And when the brain does not understand what exactly will happen now: sex, food, work, sleep, it is difficult for it to choose exactly excitation from the whole variety of reactions.
Therefore, in bed – only sleep or sex. If you do not have much space and, for example, as a sleeping place – a sofa on which you sit during the day, work, and so on, then the easiest option is to remember to pack the bed, fold the sofa when you wake up and start the day . This makes it much easier to get in the right mood.
Another important point is based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy – ritualism. A ritual is a repeated sequence of actions. The brain gets used to the fact that action A is followed by action B, and it does not have to make an effort to readjust. Catching a wave of excitement also becomes much easier.
Attunement rituals for sex can be the simplest and have sexual connotations only for you and, possibly, your partner. Our evening ritual with my husband – I look into his eyes and say: “I’m going to take a shower.” He picks up: “I’m coming after you.” These 15 minutes that you spend in the shower are enough for the brain to rebuild from routine everyday thoughts to the anticipation of sex.
I especially recommend Habitual Rituals for couples who live together and both work from home. When your partner is constantly there, but at the same time immersed in their tasks, you begin to perceive him as a coworking colleague.
Get in the habit of doing things together at the end of the work day. It is important that you are close, able to touch and talk to each other. Noisy cleaning will not help, but drinking tea together is a great option. Look at each other, communicate, your task is to restore contact, help the brain “remember” a person, his attractiveness.
This is how you draw the line: that’s it, I’m no longer a human worker, now I’m your partner again, my time and my thoughts now belong only to us.
And remember: consistency and sincerity – without this, “excitation helpers” do not work.
Have you ever heard “Don’t stare, it’s impolite!” or “Stop looking like that, it’s indecent!”? Meanwhile, just the observation stimulates the libido well, helps to make the excitation stronger and at the same time relatively controllable.
I recommend starting observation not with your own, but with an unfamiliar man. It can even be just a picture from the Internet. Take a close look at the person and think:
- what do you find attractive about him (hands, smile, turn of the head, facial expression);
- how would you describe this attractive detail (arms are muscular, with large male palms);
- what do you think this detail feels like (velvet hairs on the hands, and the palms are slightly dry, with rough skin).
Now imagine that you are actually touching that person. What do you feel?
Oddly enough, it is harder to see attractive in your partner than in a stranger. Perhaps the very suppressed grievances and unspoken words interfere. But gradually, step by step, you will learn to look at your partner again.
Watch your partner in action. When is the best time to look at him? One of the participants in my sexuality course said, for example, that she couldn’t take her eyes off her husband when he was tying his tie. And enjoy! You don’t have to hide your emotions.
Observation allows you to reconsider those features and gestures of a partner that are attractive to you, but because of the routine you stopped noticing them. You again feel your partner not just as a boyfriend, husband, father of your children, but also as a lover. And when you decide to have sex, it becomes easier for the brain to turn the arousal lever.
Sex, drugs, rock and roll
Women’s “Viagra” does not exist. Nonconcordance is to blame for everything – a discrepancy between genital and psychological arousal <…>. And the fact that there is no “magic pill” haunts many of us.
People who look in sex shops for a “drip into the glass and she gave” remedy invariably disgust me. Because these people are not looking for intimacy with a person, they want power, control. They objectify the woman to the very foundation, turning her into an object for masturbation. And for this they are ready for violence.
Many women themselves admit that in order to turn off their heads during sex, get excited, have fun, they need doping in the form of a dose of alcohol. But alcohol destroys us, makes us addicted and sick, and doesn’t really help us enjoy intimacy.
In young women who drink moderately, high doses of alcohol impair arousal control. Basically take your foot off the brake pedal. However, we do not always slow down for no reason, sometimes common sense and the desire to maintain health stop us. A 2009 study shows that women who are intoxicated are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, including agreeing to have unprotected sex, for example.
Alcohol, like other mind-altering substances, is categorically not acceptable in practices that require special safety precautions, such as anal sex, BDSM.
In the English-language literature, the term alcohol myopia, that is, “alcoholic myopia”, is accepted – this is when the level of our critical thinking, our ability to read and analyze the context, decreases under the influence of alcohol.
The action of “alcoholic myopia” can be explained by the fact that those people who you did not like before suddenly become attractive .
Sexologist Andrzej Griszewski says that a couple of glasses of wine at dinner before sex as a relaxing one will not hurt. But this position seems to me too simplified: for me, for example, two glasses is a portion sufficient to knock me down.
The regular use of alcohol to “take your foot off the brake” forms an algorithm beyond which arousal may not occur. The brain gets used to the fact that part of the work is done for it, and then refuses to do this part. Changing this algorithm is quite difficult.
“When I drink, it’s as if my visor falls. Anything, in any position. Sober, I wouldn’t be able to. But below, as if wrapped in cotton wool: I am pleased, but in order to finish, you need a lot, a long time, a lot. You need something extra, you know? one girl wrote to me. “In the morning I’m not ashamed, I’m tormented by such a hangover that it’s immediately clear that alcohol was weird in me at night.”
Some sex shops offer exciting drops, pills, even chocolate in their assortment. But in fact, these funds either do not work, or simply increase the pressure and increase the heartbeat. If you don’t want a heart attack, it’s best to stay away from them.
And another group of “stimulating” means, questions about which I regularly receive: poppers. And I will say right away: no, no and no. And you can call me a bore.
Poppers are psychoactive substances (alkyl nitrites) consumed by inhalation. They cause a feeling of euphoria, dizziness, excitement. The sphincters of the user relax for a short period of time, and this may seem like a great option for anal sex. But no.
Are poppers addictive? What effect do they have on the body? Research, mainly among homosexual and bisexual men, is still at the very beginning. There is not much data, but cases of complete loss of vision as a result of inhaling poppers are already known. In addition, it has been proven that the use of these substances can lead to potentially fatal methemoglobinemia, a condition of high levels of methemoglobin in the blood. Its symptoms are severe headache, shortness of breath, nausea, sometimes convulsions and arrhythmias.
As you already understood, I believe that for good sex, mind-altering substances are not needed at all. Your brain and your body have the potential to give you pure, drug-free pleasure.
Elena Galetskaya is a very delicate author. She does not impose her point of view, does not condemn, does not prohibit, does not try to remake the reader. It just helps to explore yourself and your partner, the nature of attraction and new ways to achieve orgasm. And all this is based on scientific sources.