The clitoris, the clitoris, the clitoris. THE CLITORIS! I will say it until I’m blue in the face: For anyone lucky to have one, the clitoris reigns supreme. And yet while clitoral stimulation is usually a sure bet when it comes to orgasm, there is more to truly electrifying sex than a general knowledge of sexual anatomy.
As a certified sex coach, what I often see with my clients is an inability to get out of their heads long enough to focus. This is a shame, because your mind is your biggest sex organ. It plays a huge role in arousal and desire—a bigger role than we ever give it credit for.
Getting into your body during sex takes patience, practice, more practice, and, crucially, a willingness to expand your comfort zone. Here is how you get out of your busy, busy mind and into your body for better sex.
Don’t forget to breathe
Oftentimes you’ll find yourself focusing incredibly hard in the middle of sex, especially when you’re on top or in a dominant position. When we’re straining ourselves in any way, we automatically forget to breathe, tense up our muscles, and focus every ounce of energy we have on the task we’re performing. This is, unfortunately, not a great way to stay connected to your body during sex.
Our breath is critical to staying centered and relaxed, allowing for the calm focus required to experience orgasm and pleasure. Deep inhales and exhales are great, but having a specific method of breathing will help tremendously. Kristie Overstreet, Ph.D., CST, a clinical sexologist and psychotherapist, suggests using the four-count breathing rule.
“You inhale for a count of four seconds through your nose,” she says. “Second, hold the inhale for a count of four seconds. Third, exhale for a count of four seconds through your mouth. [Lastly,] hold the exhale for a count of four seconds.” Repeat this same process three or four times and your body will naturally release tension.
In addition to focusing you in the moment, breathing will help you feel the sensations from your partner more acutely. You might find that your threshold for pleasure is even wider than you ever imagined.
Give yourself regular positive affirmations
We tend to get bogged down in a cycle of negative self-talk. We tell ourselves we’re not good enough, question our credibility at work or in bed, and wonder if we’re physically attractive. Overstreet says getting out this habit is hugely important to being present during sex.
Daily affirmations can rid your mind of the cynicism and gloomy outlook that you might have about yourself, she says. “Write out three to five of your favorite affirmations and put them on Post-it notes,” Overstreet suggests. “Stick these on your bathroom mirror, in your car, beside your bed, and at your office desk.”
Every time you go to do your makeup, buy groceries, or hit the sack, read your affirmations. If they are in your face, you’re forced to see and absorb them.
Believing positive things about yourself is key to being comfortable in your skin. Confidence is a big part of feeling good during sex. When you feel hot, wanted, and worthy, you are able to let go of inhibitions and focus on your pleasure.
Give meditation a try
Meditation is a great way to get focused in your everyday life, but it’s also beneficial for sex. Practicing mindfulness and taking time away from your hectic schedule to center your thoughts will reap benefits in the bedroom. It’s about becoming aware of yourself and your body,
What meditation means is different for everyone. “Explore how you define it and how it can naturally help you be present in your body,” Overstreet tells SELF. You might find that sitting peacefully for 15 minutes is your jam, or you might find silence for that long is anxiety-inducing. You might prefer guided meditations, or you may enjoy listening to peaceful piano music to ground yourself. How the process works is different for each person and there is no “right” way to meditate.
Getting into a meditation groove takes practice, which means doing it every single day. Worried about making that much of a commitment? Just think of all the orgasms in your future. “You will find that the more you practice meditating, the easier it is,” Overstreet says. “You can use the same meditating technique prior to sex, so that you can quiet your mind and be present in the moment.”
Work on truthful communication with your partner
Communication with your partner is not only important for making your relationship stronger, but for helping you feel present and comfortable in bed. Being able to openly and honestly share your needs and feelings helps you establish trust. If you don’t trust the person you’re having sex with, you will feel distracted and on edge, and never fully enjoy the sex.
“Your ability to tell your partner what you like and don’t like is everything,” Overstreet explains. “If you struggle to share your thoughts and feelings as they relate to sex, then you need to work on this immediately.”
Share what you want in bed and also share what you don’t want. “Use humor and laughter to help if you are feeling anxious about telling them something you don’t like that they do,” Overstreet says. “It will help you feel more comfortable—just make sure you get your point across and they know that you are serious about your concern.” Whether this is a long-term partner, a casual hookup partner, or a FWB situation, you need to feel like you can be truthful without risk of judgment or defensiveness.
We all want more orgasms and to enjoy sex even more. Take steps now to get more comfortable in your body so you don’t miss another second.