Sex, anxiety and Star Wars: some tips on how to use the force to stay present in bed

So, clearly thats a headline that I never expected to write! But, I mean, why the hell not?

A post about sex and Star Wars is one you want to read, right?

I’ve written before about sex and anxiety, and in particular female performance anxiety.

So this post is about, when you’re wrapped up in your anxious thoughts and not able to focus on sex, how to relax and enjoy it.

And I’ll be using this Star Wars quote to compile it:

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“Feel, don’t think. Trust your instincts”- Qui-Gon Jinn

When we’re having sex, it’s instinctive, animalistic, innate, and certainly happens in the body and the senses rather than in the “thinking” part of your brain.

But when you worry, and the more you worry, and even worry about worrying, you feel under pressure, and the focus on sex becomes less innate and more directed by your head.

In high stress situations (like putting pressure on yourself), the area of the brain that first learned whatever skill it is you are doing is put in charge.

Your brain switches itself off tries to “actively” perform the skill, as if you were learning it all over again. And, once you start thinking about doing something, it suddenly becomes very difficult and awkward to perform.

This is why some athletes have a tendency to “choke” under pressure, because their conscious brain kicks in to try and perform rather than letting their muscle memory, instinct and senses do the job.

I feel the same with breathing- when you think about it too much, you panic- how often do I breathe for? And how long? You forget how to do it, because it’s so automatic.

Anxiety has this impact on sexual performance. Often it’s the pressure and worry we put on ourselves to perform that is the problem.

So, if you also struggle with “performance anxiety”, remember to channel Qui-Gon Jinn to FEEL rather than think sex.

For added help, here are some ways to stop sex being an intellectual process and make it into an intuitive, sensory experience:

Five of my top tips for female performance anxiety:

1. Understand why it’s hard to let go: It’s really hard to just “lose yourself” during sex if you have anxiety. Find out why it’s hard to relax and allow yourself to be vulnerable, and other tips to stay in the present, in this post about letting go to the point of foolishness during sex)

2. Engage your senses: Put music on and listen. Light a candle and smell. Bring the focus back onto the body and the sensory nature of sex to get out of your brain and into physicality. Blindfold, or really softly kiss, lick and enjoy the experience. Note: sometimes this make my monkey brain go crazy, in which case I skip to step 4.

3. MOVE your body in bed. This was a recent tip I discovered when I realised that laying in missionary meant my mind often wandered and I was more like a corpse than an active sexual partner! Get moving, wriggle that body, shake those hips, get on top- the more your body is active the harder it is to sink into the anxiety fog in your brain.

4. Initiate– When you initiate you are focused on what you are doing to your partner (with the added bonus of taking back some control of your sex life). If you’re anything like me you might struggle with being the receiver and then your mind wandering. I wrote a whole post on this here.

5. Remember this quote:

Jazz musicians say there are three stages to playing jazz. First, you must learn all about your instrument. Then, you must learn all about the music. And finally, you must throw it all out, and learn to play.

So, the idea is to learn about your body, then your partners, then sex- and then forget it all and have fun! Sex should be hilarious, joyful, passionate, fun, feel good, and relieve stress rather than cause it.

Hopefully these tips helped- happy sans anxiety bonking to you all!

L

xx

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