And make the process as pleasant and comfortable as possible.
Worrying about reaching an orgasm, the state of your body, or problems at work can all interfere with a healthy intimate life. Scientific studies and sex educators explain why difficulties arise and how to relax during sex.
What can make it hard to relax during sex
Sex education based on fear
Psychotherapist Rachel Wright believes that conversations about sex often focus not on pleasure, but on what not to do. According to the specialist, much more often we are told how not to get an STI or an unwanted pregnancy. Because of this, we begin to fear sex, because it supposedly goes hand in hand with various dangers. Therefore, in the process, people may think not about pleasure, but about the harm that intimacy can bring.
Influence of porn
According to Rachel Wright, people who have not received sex education turn to pornography for help . However, films for adults, according to the expert, are created for entertainment. Learning to have sex from pornography is not worth it – it creates unrealistic expectations. Because of this, anxiety about their skills can develop. As a result, it is more difficult to relax during sex.
A study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that about a third of female students become uncomfortable during sex. Reason: They didn’t like the way their body looked. Shyness and complexes made it difficult to enjoy sex and get an orgasm.
According to Rachel Wright, sometimes self-doubt manifests itself due to the fact that a person considers himself a bad lover . He worries that he does not get an orgasm himself or cannot please his partner. The specialist says that if you focus on these fears, they will only grow. And if you ignore them or push them away, then during sex you will be even more tense.
Household chores, which are still mostly done by women, problems at work and other everyday difficulties increase the level of stress. Because of this, girls have a reduced libido and it is more difficult for them to focus on sexual arousal.
Sexualized violence in the past
Rape Crisis England & Wales, an organization fighting sexualized violence, believes that violence can affect sex life. Unpleasant memories pop up in the head of the victims, and some actions are perceived as triggers.
How to Relax During Sex
Talk to a partner
A study by American psychologists shows that couples who openly discuss their needs and desires maintain a healthier sex life. According to the survey, women who talked more with their partner about sex were more likely to reach orgasm.
Rachel Wright advises to talk openly about your feelings and experiences. For example, if you are nervous that it will take a long time to reach an orgasm or not reach it at all, share this with a partner. According to the specialist, voicing feelings will help normalize them, and negative thoughts will not be confusing during sex.
Research shows that masturbation can actually improve relationships with the body and sexuality. With the help of masturbation, you can understand which practices are more pleasant for you during sex, what positions you like, in which place it is more pleasant to touch. If you learn how to act alone, sex with a partner can be more enjoyable. You will feel more confident and less stressed in the process.
Rachel Wright suggests adding fantasies about a partner to masturbation. The expert believes that this is how the brain will get used to the fact that it can be as comfortable with a partner as it is alone with yourself.
Try Self Acceptance Practices
If you’re concerned about how you look, you can try the practice described by sex educator and author of The Way a Woman Wants, Emily Nagoski.
Stand in front of a mirror as naked as you feel comfortable and look at your reflection. Then write down a couple of things you like about your body. Even if it’s the little things like eyelashes or the shape of toenails. Repeat the practice every day, noticing something new. Over time, Nagoska says, you will become more comfortable and come to love the body for its unique beauty.
Create a safe environment
Emily Nagoski believes that sometimes our brains can accept sex as a threat to safety and health. For example, if you are afraid of getting pregnant, although there are no prerequisites for this. In order to avoid these experiences, you can try to create a comfortable atmosphere. According to the expert, a safe context consists of three aspects:
Low stress. You should not have sex if you feel that you are too anxious. First, it is worth dealing with depressing thoughts, otherwise in the process you will not be able to disconnect from experiences.
Strong attachment. Near the partner you are attached to, it will be easier to open up.
High level of trust. If you know that your partner can be trusted, you have built communication and you can talk at any time, it will be easier for you to relax.
If nervous thoughts are still spinning in your head during sex, Rachel Wright advises taking a break. Do not discard thoughts, just as you should not think about them in a circle. You can tell your partner that you need to go to the toilet, and in the bathroom think about why you can’t relax.
If you feel unsafe, don’t want to have sex, or even feel pain, don’t continue. If the problem is in other experiences, you can try breathing practices. Take several long breaths in and out. According to Wright, they will help you calm down and focus on the present.
Contact a specialist
If unpleasant thoughts still creep into your head and it is difficult to get rid of them, you can contact a sexologist . He will identify the causes of the problem and develop a strategy that will help you relax during sex.