So, you want to learn how to relax during sex. We’ve all been there, you're getting intimate with your partner but your mind is also busy worrying about what you look like or if you’re doing things “right”. You're tense, and feel disconnected from both your partner and your own body.
You’re stuck in the mind.
Sex is physical, sure, but did you know that pleasure begins in the brain? If your mind is busy thinking of other things during sex, it’s going to be very hard to relax into the experience.
Sex, especially great sex, requires a certain level of surrender.
Before you can surrender, you must first relax.
If you want to learn how to relax during sex it’s all about getting out of your head and back into the body. In this article, we’ll explore how to do just that.
Here are 5 tips on how to relax during sex that everyone should know
Try one or try all these tips to help you relax during sex. However, this is not a one size fits all situation. Remember to customize your approach AND give new relaxation interventions a fair effort.
#1 Connect to your breath
The breath is a wildly underutilized sex tool.
During our day-to-day lives, most of us breathe very shallowly and almost never get a full breath in. But the breath sends important messages to the entire body.
If you can breathe deeply before, and during sex, you’re going to start to send messages to your brain and nervous system that “you are safe”. When you breathe properly, especially during sex, the body has an amazing ability to release tension and quiet the mind.
Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system which aids relaxation. Breathwork can be an instant stress reliever.
Just a few minutes of simple breathwork (intentional breathing) before sex can be life-changing.
- Take a deep breath in, at the count of 4.
- Hold that breath for 4 seconds.
- Release that breath, through the mouth, for 4 seconds.
- Hold again for 4 seconds.
During sex, make an intentional effort to stay connected to the breath. Breathe deeply, and slowly, if you can.
READ MORE: A Guide To Orgasmic Somatic Breathwork
#2 Ground yourself in your body & stop aiming to please
Whether we know it or not, a lot of us deal with sexual performance anxiety. Worrying about how our tummy looks, or if we're pleasing our partner well enough. This is also known as spectatoring. Critiquing our current experience takes us out of the experience, and thus, out of the body.
Coming back to your body and the sensations you’re feeling may relieve a lot of stress and mental load.
When having sex make the effort to stop worrying about how you are performing for the other person and connect to how YOU feel.
How does your partner make you feel? What’s turning you on? What doesn’t turn you on? What noises does your body want to make? Don't go third-person (spectatoring) stay in the first person, main character, POV.
And back to point one, BREATHE. Your breathing can help instantly ground you in the moment.
#3 Pleasure yourself on your own terms
Partnered sex is magical. But so is solo sex. A great way to relax during partnered sex is to masturbate on your own terms. Explore your pleasure without the pressure to please.
Solo sex can be educational as you can learn what arouses you, how to deepen your orgasm, and how you like to be stimulated. The sexual empowerment and confidence you’ll find in solo sex can help you relax during partnered sex.
Try new things during solo sex like erotica, and mindful masturbation, or try out new sex toys.
Don’t solely rely on your partner for sexual exploration, you can get to know yourself and use that knowledge to deepen your partnered connections.
This is a huge one. Communicating your needs is a great way to find ease in the bedroom.
Communicate with your partner before, during, and after sex. If you can communicate openly, you’re far more likely to relax, build trust, and surrender fully during sex.
Try asking your partner to take some deep breaths with you. Communicate that you’re feeling tense, which might affect your pleasure. Ask that you both do some grounding exercises.
You may also be feeling tense during sex because you aren’t getting the type of stimulation you want. You might not be getting enough foreplay or enough build-up. Don’t be afraid to ask for what feels good. Guide your partner, they want you to experience pleasure.
#5 Stop with comparison
“Comparison is the theft of all joy” –and orgasms.
Your sex life is not going to be exactly like a rom-com or erotic porn, nor should it be.
Sometimes we can’t relax during sex because we’re busy comparing the sex we’re having to the sex we think we should be having.
When you start to compare, you start performing to compensate.
Remember that movies and porn aren’t real. Real sex can be clumsy, funny, sweaty, farty, and talkative. Fake sex, made for entertainment, is often serious, overtly erotic, objectifying, and performative.
Those moans? That orgasm? That entire connection? It’s fake. But your sex is real.
If you want to relax during sex, don’t compare your sexual experience to anything. When it comes to sex, comparison is the thief of orgasms and relaxation.
Listen, relaxing during sex can be hard
There are many reasons you may be having a hard time relaxing during sex. Some reasons might be simple, some may be complex.
If you’re dealing with mental illness or trauma consider speaking with a professional. We’ll be the first to admit that some things can’t be solved with deep breathing or adding a spicy sex toy to the bedroom.
Since you’ve sought out this “how to relax during sex” article, you already know that your sex life might need some adjustment. Figuring out what works for you will be a process of discovery and elimination.
Remember to be patient with yourself. Give any new relaxation intervention a sincere and concerted effort before looking for a new fix.