How To Get Out Of Your Own Head During Intimate Moments And Enjoy Yourself

If you sometimes struggle to stay present in the current moment during sex or intimacy with your partner, you are neither flawed nor alone. In fact, over 60% of women surveyed by Healthy Women reported that they aren't satisfied with their sex lives. With the hustle and bustle of modern life, including a lack of paid time off from work and a pervasively unfair division of labor inside the home, this is no surprise (via CNBC and The New York Times). It can feel nearly impossible to get out of your head enough to enjoy sex when it's overfilled with to-do lists, financial stressors, and insecurities about your body or performance.

While it can sometimes highlight your personal struggles, sex is vital to a healthy relationship and also offers a significant list of individual health benefits. Enjoying a healthy sex life isn't just fun and fulfilling. It has a direct positive effect on neurotransmitters that can impact health markers like blood pressure, immune system function, and heart health, according to Oregon Health & Science University's Center for Women's Health. Here's how to drop back into your body and feel fully present during physical intimacy. 

Focus on body neutrality

For many women, the primary roadblock when it comes to feeling engaged and present during sex is body image struggles. As reported by Psychology Today, women are much more likely than men to become distracted by worries about their physical appearance during sexual encounters. In a culture that often values women more for their attractiveness than their accomplishments, this preoccupation with appearance can quickly spiral out of control and consume a large quantity of your mental energy.

The rise of body positivity might be screaming from the rooftops for you to love your body, but it isn't that simple. For someone who has spent years truly despising their body, jumping into trying to love it can feel like just another unattainable goal. Instead, aim for the goal of body neutrality. Rather than trying to force yourself to find things you adore about your body's appearance, practice acceptance (via InBody). Get to know and appreciate your body for the way it feels and functions and take the focus off of its appearance. Understand that your body's job during sex is to provide pleasure to you and your partner, not to look pretty. Don't shy away from seeing your body but don't dwell. When you view it, remind yourself that this is what you look like and that it's the least interesting thing about you. 

Create a pre-sex routine

Humans are creatures of habit and routine. When it comes to feeling present during sex, this can either work for you or against you. If you're still wearing your work clothes or smell like baby spit-up leading up to an intimate encounter, you're likely going to struggle to keep your mind from wandering to those tasks. The solution is to create a routine that will eventually serve as a signal to your mind and body that it's time to transition from the daily grind to a more sensual mode (via Dose).

Your routine can be as simple as showering or bathing and then putting on clothing or pajamas that you feel particularly sexy in. As you cleanse your body, focus on how each sensation feels on your skin. Notice the warmth of the water and the texture of your hands, washcloth, or loofah. Try to drop all your awareness into your physical body now before you start getting intimate with your partner. Consider choosing a fragrance that you only wear when sex is on the table. According to The Harvard Gazette, scent is so closely associated with memory and emotionality that popular brands are beginning to explore it as a marketing strategy. Before long, you and your partner will both associate the scent with pleasure and intimacy.