18 Apr

Distracted minds sabotage our ability to focus during sex

Our distracted minds make it hard to pay attention to sexual cues, which in turn makes it harder to feel in sync with our partner. This inhibits our ability to immerse ourselves in the sensual pleasures of sex. Furthermore, the increased stress response we experience as a result of multitasking makes it harder for people to relax enough at the end of the day to even get in the mood for sex.

I asked Adaeze about how distraction affected other areas of her life. Sure enough, she admitted to feeling stretched too thin most of the time. I decided to switch up our treatment plan.

What Do We Do?

Mindfulness helps some (Newcombe & Weaver, 2016; Stephenson & Welch, 2020). When intrusive thoughts or distractions occur, mindfulness teaches us to respond without judgment. This lessens the frustration we feel about distractions and helps us refocus on pleasure and sensation. But this isn’t enough. Don’t forget the research cited above that highlights how long it takes workers to refocus on a task after being interrupted. Most people don’t even have sex for as long as it would take to refocus on it after an interruption.

We need to take it a step further. We need to minimize the number of distractions coming in. This begins with cultivating an uninterrupted life

If you haven’t seen “The Social Dilemma” yet, I’d recommend watching it. Nearly every former social media executive interviewed for this documentary discourages the use of social media. At the very least, turn off your notifications—for email, social media, and any other app that pings at you. When you work, focus on work. When you exercise, focus on your body. When you eat, savor your food.

I asked Adaeze to live this way for a few weeks and then reassess how things felt sexually. It wasn’t easy, but she made a concerted effort. I’m happy to report that she noticed a big difference. She felt calmer and generally more relaxed. She noticed it was easier to focus on the things that mattered. And, most importantly, she and Mark reconnected in a way they hadn’t for a very long time.

Our distracted minds make it hard to pay attention to sexual cues, which in turn makes it harder to feel in sync with our partner. This inhibits our ability to immerse ourselves in the sensual pleasures of sex. Furthermore, the increased stress response we experience as a result of multitasking makes it harder for people to relax enough at the end of the day to even get in the mood for sex.

I asked Adaeze about how distraction affected other areas of her life. Sure enough, she admitted to feeling stretched too thin most of the time. I decided to switch up our treatment plan.

What Do We Do?

Mindfulness helps some (Newcombe & Weaver, 2016; Stephenson & Welch, 2020). When intrusive thoughts or distractions occur, mindfulness teaches us to respond without judgment. This lessens the frustration we feel about distractions and helps us refocus on pleasure and sensation. But this isn’t enough. Don’t forget the research cited above that highlights how long it takes workers to refocus on a task after being interrupted. Most people don’t even have sex for as long as it would take to refocus on it after an interruption.

We need to take it a step further. We need to minimize the number of distractions coming in. This begins with cultivating an uninterrupted life

If you haven’t seen “The Social Dilemma” yet, I’d recommend watching it. Nearly every former social media executive interviewed for this documentary discourages the use of social media. At the very least, turn off your notifications—for email, social media, and any other app that pings at you. When you work, focus on work. When you exercise, focus on your body. When you eat, savor your food.

I asked Adaeze to live this way for a few weeks and then reassess how things felt sexually. It wasn’t easy, but she made a concerted effort. I’m happy to report that she noticed a big difference. She felt calmer and generally more relaxed. She noticed it was easier to focus on the things that mattered. And, most importantly, she and Mark reconnected in a way they hadn’t for a very long time.

This article was reposted and used with permission from Emily Jamea.

About the Author

Emily Jamea, Ph.D., LMFT, LPC is a sex and relationship therapist with over a decade of experience. She maintains a busy private practice and researches how to create optimal relationships and sexual experiences.

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