Why Do I Get Distracted During Sex? What To Do About Zoning Out

A lot of us can find it difficult to relax during sex. Sometimes it’s because we’re self-conscious about our body, sometimes we’re stressed about an assignment from work, and other times, we just can’t help but think pretty much everything but sex. What’s for dinner, what’s for breakfast, is the gas on, why is that girl from high school a Beachbody coach and inviting you to so many goddamned events? The thoughts can really wander. The first thing to do? Breathe.

“If you suffer from performance anxiety, be sure to breathe,” Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, tells Bustle. “Focus your inhale and exhale using a non obvious pattern to keep you present. If you’re thinking about your inhale or exhale then thoughts can’t pop in your mind. If a new distracting thought enters send it away (say something like” ‘Bye bye thought!”) and go back to inhale exhale.”

The big problem is you can start to feel guilty, like you’ve done something to your partner, when you’re distracted during sex. But the thing is, it may have nothing to do with your partner. It’s not even always about the sex being good or bad. It can definitely happen when the sex is good, but that doesn’t make it any easier for either of you. Instead of focusing on it as a problem with your sex life, try to unpack the problem.

Why Does It Happens?

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Sure, your mind is going to wander if you’re not enjoying it, but it can also happen for a lot of other reasons — some people need emotional engagement during sex and if that’s not there, they can start to wander. Sometimes you’ve got so much stress in another area of your life that you can’t shake it long enough to have sex and really enjoy it. Sometimes it’s about low-body confidence or self-esteem. If the sex is just bad, that’s easy enough to fix. It’s the other things that make the issue a lot more complicated.

What You Can Do About It:

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Breathe deep, just like Levine said. I know “relaxing” is way easier said than done, but you’re not going to enjoy sex if you’re feeling super stressed, so the first thing to do is try your best to let go. Focus on the sensations that are happening, your physical body instead of your mind, and that should help get you down to earth.

But if that doesn’t work, try taking over. If you’re in a more passive sexual role — receiving, being on bottom, etc.— it’s way easier to zone out and get distracted. If I’m not feeling engaged enough during sex, I normally take matters into my own hands. Being in a more active position — whether that’s on top, performing oral sex, or just doing a whole lot of dirty talk — means that you become more involved and can lessen your distractions.

What If It Keeps Happening?

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If this is a consistent problem that you can’t seem to shake, you may need to look at some big picture stuff about your sex life, your relationship to sex, and your relationship generally. Is there one thing that always is on your mind? You can tackle the specific problem.

“If you’re always worried about what you need to do during the day, try jotting down a to do list before you get it on. You’ll get those worries out of your mind and down on the paper before you even begin,” Levine says. “Focus on the positive. If you’re worried about your body, then think about the parts that make you feel the most sexy. What’s at least one body part you love? Focus on that and flaunt it.”

Dealing with the specific problem underlying the distraction is a big help if there is one. And if there’s not? Start with talking to your partner and coming up with ways to keep you more engaged. I’m sure they’ll be happy to help.

Originally posted on Bustle