The brain is an interesting organ, still so much of it is to be explored. It is also one of the most important sexual organs that you have – yup – your brain!!

So what happens when you can’t get out of your own head while intimate with a partner? Although I’m talking, and generalising about women throughout my work, it happens to men as well.

There could be a number of reasons that we get stuck, with negative thoughts floating around, feelings becoming overwhelming, even life stress getting in the way – hands up who has looked at the time and decided it was too late for sex because of everything that has to be done tomorrow? It can really be that simple!

Well, all this can have a huge impact on our pleasure, because when we are stuck in our heads, we can’t feel the pleasure!

I am guilty of it myself, my ‘larger plus size, had two kids and love ice-cream’ body is definitely NOT stereotypically ‘sexy’, after all the media tells me everyday that I need to be smaller or that I’m going to die soon. Not exactly ways to increase my pleasure.

And there have been times when I let that little voice in, when my husband caresses down my stomach, across my inner thighs and instead of feeling pleasure, I think about what he is touching. The podgy belly and the chubby inner thigh, wondering why would he even be going there! My negative thoughts take over, my arousal drops and I’m no longer ‘in the mood’.

If we struggle sometimes to get out of our own heads with something as straightforward sounding as not wanting my stomach stroked, it is no wonder that many of us (particularly women) can get stuck. Body image is just one issue.

So how can we start to get out of our heads, and enjoy the pleasures of sex?

Here are a few ideas, that worked for me and many others, so if you are sometimes stuck in your head, maybe one (or two) of these might help….

1. Explore your own body

Many of us do not even know what it is that turns us on, or turns us off. It happens in the spur of the moment, our brain goes NOPE and everything else then becomes much harder.

I love this quote from Aristotle, I use it a lot, it fits the bill nicely…

“Knowing thyself is the beginning of all wisdom”

The best way to know this, yes, I’m going to use the ‘m’ word – masturbation. One of the safest places to learn about what touch you love, what brings you pleasure and what you need to avoid is when you are alone.

2. Communicate

How many times have you been told how important communication is? I’m sure you have lost count. If you follow me at all, then this is something I drone on about. Let’s talk….

It comes naturally when you are chatting about work, but for many it is not so easy when the topic is sex and relationships. In fact, many partners do not talk about the sex lives at all.

Communicating your sexual desires, what you like, even what you dislike with your partner can be enlightening. Instead of wondering if they like a particular touch – ask them. Instead of feeling negative about an experience – tell them. If this is too much, then start with communicating more with your body and actions, moans and sighs when something feels really good, arch your back, relax your body.

3. Focus on something else

In this case, I mean sexual in nature. Not about putting the washing in or what you’ll do after you’ve had sex. I mean focus on something that you really get pleasure from.

I am pleased to say that in many cases I no longer get stuck in my head when it comes to my stomach or inner-thighs. And it actually came down to something incredibly simple. I stopped focusing on me, stopped putting words into my husbands head, and focused on him instead. What I found was so interesting, that I hardly ever worry about the touch anymore, because while he was doing these movements, his breathing increased, his erection got harder, he was getting more aroused by doing it!! WOW… ! So I moved my focus onto something else, in this case his pleasure.

4. Give to receive

This follows on nicely to focusing on something else. Be the pleasurer of your partner, make it single focused on them, move around their body how they like, pay attention to their breathing, movements, sounds. When you are in control of their pleasure, it is a powerful feeling, and one that often gets you well out of your own head and into the sexy mood yourself.

This works wonders for me when I’m not entirely in the mood, and thinking about other things.

Proviso time, there is a fine line between always giving and never receiving pleasure, make sure that you are always receiving something from the experience. It might be an orgasm, it might be a cuddle, it needs to be something to ensure balance.

5. Practice a little mindfulness

Emily Nagoski wrote in her book Come as You Are - “If there is one thing that you take from the whole of this book, is the practice of mindfulness”. Now she wrote a lot of great stuff about desire, arousal, and having great sex. Yet this was the part which she said to ensure all the readers took away with them. Why?

In this particular subject, it is because it will get you out of your head. Have you ever concentrated on your breathing before? When you think about it, well you actually have to think about it, there is no room for anything else. Deep breathing is a great way to relax, to get more oxygen into your system and it can elevate sensations.

There are many ways to breathe, and if you’ve ever taken a yoga or meditation class then you’ll likely have some experience with this. My favourite way of relaxing through breath is what I call the ‘round-a-bout’, I’m sure it has a proper name but that got stuck one day. Sitting or laying, take a deep breath and imagine it flowing up the front of your body (toes, tummy and head), breath out imagining it flowing down the back of your body (head, spine and heals). Take it on a loop around and around. You can also reverse it after 10, which is what I like.

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – remember I’m not woo, yet I’m happy to share the love around breathing exercises.

6. No orgasm!

Do you like how I left this one for last!

So when I first suggested this to my husband, in terms of an experiment, his face was something I wish I could have snapped and kept. It was absolute horror and confusion. Why, why, why would I be taking orgasm away?

There is method in the madness, and this is a great way to look at sex if you find orgasming difficult, because “it is the journey, not the destination” that can hold the most pleasure. When we focus too much on the orgasm, it can actually slip through our fingers that much easier.

So why don’t we make pleasure our goal for sex. Not the orgasm – pleasure!

Stop focusing on orgasm, stop trying sooo hard to reach it, but enjoy all the pleasurable touches, caresses, sounds and feelings. Sex can end with orgasm (although quick note, this is not a complete cycle and us lovely women do need intimacy too – the cuddle afterwards is really important!), it can also end when we’ve experienced the level of pleasure that we want.

So there are my 6 suggestions for getting unstuck from your head. Some, all or none may resonate with you. I’d love to hear what you think, drop me an email or message me through Facebook.

My PS proviso; I generalise in my writing towards women’s sexuality and supporting those already in long-term relationships. Because that is who I am! What I share with you here on my blog and in other media is my opinion from study and research – it won’t fit every mould, we are all so very different. If you want a more bespoke support with your relationship, then please do contact me, whether I can help or one of my network, together we can start your journey.

Let’s connect!

Jessica Staniforth

I’m a huge believer that opening up conversation around sex, with our partners, friends, family and communities will lead to more fulfilling and healthy sexual relationships. With conversation comes understanding, growth and a feeling that we are not all alone! I also love reading reverse harem romances, eating lots of ice-cream and nights when I have a babysitter.

Join my community

Subscribe to my regular ramblings, news and information about sex and relationships.

Related Articles

Having the Talk

Take a look at some of my videos on YouTube, including sex education and interviews with experts around the world.