How to Focus During Sex: 6 Ways to Stop Overthinking and Start Enjoying

If you’re wondering how to stop overthinking during sex, you’re not alone. With busy work schedules, overexposure to technology, and fast-paced lifestyles, many of us are experiencing shortened attention spans, higher anxiety levels, and a general disconnection from our bodies.

These things aren’t only impacting our daily lives. They're also causing us to lose focus during sex, even when other ingredients, like attraction, connection, and intimacy, are there.

Put simply, not being present takes away from the pleasure of sex - pleasure that comes from being immersed, connected to your body and the person you’re with, and focused on each delicious sensation.

Losing all inhibition is where the magic happens, while overthinking can lead to frustration, increased anxiety, trouble reaching orgasm, or just bad sex.

Close up couple holding hands at home

Why practice mindful sex?

Mindfulness movements are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean they’re a fad that’s only beneficial for people who do yoga and drink green tea.

Being present in your body is a skill like any other. It can be learned with practice and has a ton of benefits for mental health, our ability to handle stress and anxiety, overall well-being, and, of course, sex.

What is sexual mindfulness all about? At its core, this practice is about paying purposeful attention to sexual intimacy, without judgment and with intention.

It’s about noticing the unwanted thoughts that come into your mind during sex or daily life and learning to redirect them toward emotions, sensations, and interactions that are happening in the present moment.

Side view woman straddles man on couch at home

While feeling distracted during sex is something that can happen to anyone, having mindful sex will be more challenging for people living with anxiety disorders, PTSD, sexual trauma, and ADHD.

Mindfulness is an effective way to reduce sexual anxiety and low self-esteem and make sex even more amazing for you and your lovers. But how can you learn to stop overthinking during sex? Here are our top tips.

6 Ways To Be More Present During Sex

1. Start outside the bedroom

How to focus during sex? You can train your brain in mindfulness by making small but meaningful lifestyle changes.

One exercise to practice daily is to notice habitual multitasking and aim to focus on one thing at a time. This means that when you’re eating a meal, don’t watch TV or respond to work emails simultaneously. Just eat.

When walking, try to avoid listening to something through headphones and instead focus solely on the walk and the things you see. Don’t stroll Instagram during a movie. Just watch the movie.

You might have trouble with these things at the start, but after a while, you’ll notice your ability to focus growing exponentially.

Woman in blue outfit doing yoga pose outside

2. Breathe

Breathing is the foundation of many mindfulness practices, and it’s there for a reason.

During sex (and the tantalizing time leading up to it), notice your breath - the movement of your chest and stomach, the sound, the rhythm, and how it feels as it flows through your body.

Directing your thoughts toward your breath brings you immediately into your body and away from intrusive thoughts and worries.

You can practice this anywhere - on your own at home, during masturbation, or during partnered sex. If you enjoy it, you can explore breath play even further.

A hot way to be even more present during sex is to match your lover’s breath. Hello, tantra.

3. Hold eye contact

Eye contact is a compelling connective tool. Some of us find holding another person’s eye contact impossible because the intensity is too much to bear.

Anyone who’s gazed into a lover’s eyes knows it’s impossible to think of anything else while it’s happening. So, if you’re having trouble relaxing during sex, slow down, face your partner, hold their eyes, and feel everything wash away.

Intimate couple in bed at home

4. Don’t rush to penetration

Pressure to stimulate the genitals or rush to penetrative sex can easily leave your mind wandering because you haven’t had time to be in the right mental zone.

Spend as much time as you can ‘warming up.’ This can include touching each other’s bodies in soft or surprising ways that engage your senses - stroking, massage, kissing, using toys or sensory items like feathers or warm oil - all over the body.

Giving time to this not only builds tension and enhances emotional and physical connection but also gives your mind the time and ability to focus on the present moment’s sensations.

5. Don’t punish yourself for wandering thoughts

How to relax during sex? When unwanted or anxious thoughts come in, don’t fight.

Instead, acknowledge them, then gently but intentionally bring yourself back to the present moment by directing your attention to something physical, like the smell of skin, the sound of breath, or the feel of your lover’s hair.

Couple touching hands in bed

6. Remember that you can always take a break

When it comes to anything sex-related, you should never feel pressure, either from yourself or a partner.

If you’re struggling to stop overthinking during sex, pausing and saying, I’m finding it a little hard to focus today, do you mind if we cuddle for a while? is far better than pretending.

Saying how you feel is healthy and empowering and always leads to better emotional connections and more satisfying sex.

How to focus during sex? Don’t force it, and take it one step at a time. It might be a struggle at first, but be patient. Your sex life with thank you.