Have you ever found yourself in a situation during any type of sexual activity (either by yourself or with your partner(s)) where you are mentally present and in the moment, but then all of a sudden lose focus on the situation at hand (where your desire, erection, or orgasm is compromised)…maybe you think about the dishwasher running, the kids needing to be picked up at school, a work event later, whether you look sexy enough, or the garage door being open? We all lost focus from time to time, or are “just not that into it” in certain moments. Sometimes however, loss of erotic focus happens regularly, and significantly diminishes the joy and pleasure of sexual experiences with or between you or your partner. Losing focus consistently during any sexual event, whether masturbation or intercourse can lead to problems with orgasm (male or female orgasmic dysfunction), or even erectile dysfunction.
Many, many issues can lead to a loss of erotic focus, from a too stressful or overly extended life to first time parenting. If you find yourself struggling to stay present during sex or masturbation, and are experiencing difficulty with orgasm, erectile function, or general sensory pleasure, sex therapy can help. There are many techniques that are useful in focusing back in on the experience at hand, and help with gaining mastery over your sexual response.
A helpful beginning strategy for staying present in the bedroom is practicing mindfulness.
• Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction is a form of mindfulness that is clinically aimed at lowering anxiety through attentive breathing exercises, body scans, guided meditations, as well as other practices.
• The point here is to work toward lowering anxiety and remaining present in any situation without “checking out or drifting.”
• Start with the 4-7-8 breathing exercise, also known as Mindful Breath. There are many great examples of the 4-7-8 breathing exercise online. It only takes a minute or two to practice. I often suggest all clients start here prior to taking on more intensive meditative techniques.