Self-criticism during sex?

I’ve been reading Becoming Cliterate by Laurie Mintz, PhD. (I recommend it with reservations. It feels a little vulgar at times.)

She says, “When you’re engaged in sex with a partner, monitoring and evaluating yourself will diminish your sexual pleasure and orgasms. Psychologists call this “spectatoring.” Women’s most common form of spectatoring involves evaluating and worrying about their bodies, but women—and men—also have “performance” worries (worries bout whether they’re “doing it right,” being a good lover, taking too long to orgasm, etc.). Again, it’s impossible to have an orgasm if you’re thinking about such concerns. To have an orgasm, you need to switch your brain to “off mode.”

Do you engage in spectatoring?

Yeah, me too.

Photo by Natalia Figueredo on Unsplash

Mintz goes on to talk about how practicing mindfulness can help end spectatoring.

When you are practicing mindfulness, your mind is in your body, in the moment instead of thinking.

So before sex, you want to be aware of your thoughts and what they are. 

Choosing thoughts that will maximize confidence will help you have better sex.

But during sex, you don’t want to be thinking at all.

You want to be in your body. Focusing on the sensations. 

What do you feel with your hands?

What do you smell?

What do you taste?

What do you hear?

Notice the visual details.

When you notice yourself spectatoring, bring your mind back to the sensations of the moment, just like you do with meditating.

I have lots more to share about this book, but I wanted to encourage you to start practicing mindfulness now. Even just a couple minutes a day will help you improve your sex life.

You can do this throughout your day, while you do dishes, or as you are walking. 

Just practice focusing on all the sensations with whatever it is you are doing.

If you try this, come back and tell me how it went. I’ll be practicing myself.