Distracting thoughts in the bedroom?

July 21,2020

Welcome to Week 2 of the Slay Your Shoulds challenge! 

In case you missed the announcement last week, we’re spending the month of July breaking down the most common blockages around sex. Specifically, we’re dismantling your ideas of what you think you “should” and “shouldn’t” do when it comes to sex. 

Last week, we tackled the belief, “I should be confident in the bedroom.” (Missed that post? Just click here!

Today we’re back to tackle the 3rd most common bedroom “should”…

Sexual Should #3: “I Should Have A Clear Mind During Sex”

Other variations of this should include, “I shouldn’t have distracting thoughts pop into my head during sex” and “I should be focused during sex.” 

Most of us expect to achieve some sort of zen state during sex. We’re supposed to be completely relaxed, present, and deeply in tune with every single second. 

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that is just NOT going to happen!

Your brain is an active creature, and it just looooves thinking about things. Goofy thoughts, loving ones, angry ones, totally random ones. Reminders, warnings, questions daydreams. The brain just loves to think!

 And if you’re a multi-tasker, your brain is used to thinking multiple things at the same time. Washing the dishes while compiling your grocery list. Giving the kids a bath while rehashing that annoying conversation with your neighbor. 

I think there’s a big disconnect that comes up for people around our distractions inside the bedroom and outside the bedroom. We get really frustrated when we start thinking about politics instead of pleasure, and we start to beat up on ourselves for not being able to focus on the moment at hand. 

But we don’t often think about the fact that we spend ALL DAY LONG  in that same distracted state!

You’re not just having random thoughts about the weather during sex; you’re having them while you’re eating breakfast and walking the dog and sitting on the toilet too!

Our brains don’t just magically go into hibernation mode the second we take our clothes off!

Here are some of the thoughts I’ve had during sex:

You might be laughing at my list, but I know it’s also frustrating in the moment when you’re trying to focus on being present and enjoying time with your partner!

Slay This Should

The bottom line is that there’s absolutely no way to have a completely clear mind during sex. It’s just not gonna happen!

So here’s how you’re going to slay this should.

First, lower the bar for yourself. 

You’re never going to have a completely clear mind, free of thoughts for every minute that you’re having sex. So let go of that as your goal. 

Keep in mind that you don’t need to be absolutely, perfectly present to enjoy anything in life.

For example, think of the last incredible movie you saw, or the last great conversation you had with a friend. Were you 100% distraction-free every single moment of that memory? 

No way!

You were able to have some distractions in the background and still enjoy yourself!

Now let’s talk about how to handle distracting thoughts in the moment, when they come up.

Typically what happens is you get distracted, then you get angry at yourself for being distracted, then you get even more distracted. Basically you’re just sending yourself on a maddening distraction spiral. 

Instead of going down that old familiar path, here’s a simple trick: 

For every random or distracting thought you have, take a second to make yourself think a sexy thought too.

So for example, let’s say your partner is caressing your breasts, and you randomly start thinking, “I wonder what my life would have been like if I had majored in Art History.” 

Don’t start beating yourself up for thinking about Michelangelo during sex! 

Instead take a second to tell yourself, “OK, there I go with the random thoughts.” 

Next, think about what’s going on in the moment itself. Something like, “I like how soft her touch is right now” or “I’m ready to take this a little further.”

You’re gently bringing yourself back into the present moment and directing your attention to what’s going on. 

So again, you’re never going to be able to have a completely clear mind during sex. That’s just not how our brains work. 

But you can learn how to bring your attention back to what really matters. 

Now, I want to know – what’s the most random thought you’ve ever had during sex? Reply to this email and let me know!

P.S. If you want to learn how to be more present during sex, check out these courses. I go deep on strategies for getting more enjoyment out of sex!

Otherwise, I’ll be back next week to share another one of the top 4 “shoulds” with you.


How Much Sex Should You Really Be Having?


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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!