2. Mental/emotional wellbeing,  6. Physical health,  Anxiety

Sex, anxiety and Star Wars: how to use the force to stay present

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?

This post was inspired by a recent evening when I was in bed trying to get in the mood to have sex.

Despite wanting to have sex, I felt anxious at the thought of having to “perform” (e.g. become aroused), and instead of relaxing, my brain became more and more focused on what I needed to do.

This resulting in me feeling so anxious I struggled to function instinctively and instead tried to  “think” my way through sex, resulting in issues becoming aroused.  This is known as “performance anxiety”– yes women have this too!

Has this ever happened to anyone else? Perhaps it’s just me! But “thinking” your way through sex makes for a very unnatural and awkward encounter!

By focusing so hard on trying to get turned on, you can end up over-thinking to the extreme. Sex then becomes an intellectual task rather than an enjoyable and sensory experience. And at that moment, a quote from Star Wars entered my head:

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

It likely helped to think of the beautiful Liam Neeson at that moment in time, but it also made me remember that sex should be instinctive, animalistic, innate, and certainly happens in the body and the senses rather than in the “thinking” part of your brain.

In high stress situations (like putting pressure on yourself), the area of the brain that first learned the skill is put in charge, and it tries to actively perform the skill, as if you were learning it all over again. This is why some athletes have a tendency to “choke” under pressure- once you start thinking about doing something, it suddenly becomes very difficult and awkward to perform. 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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