When you're looking to increase sexual desire or sensation, people might tell you things like "shut your mind off," as if it were that simple. But for most people, it's not. Unless you're a meditation master, you're going to think about something, so what should you think about during sex?
"The latest brain research indicates what a lot of us who’ve had orgasms have known for a long time, and that is, when you are fully immersed in the sensations leading up to orgasm and during orgasm itself, you aren’t really capable of thinking at all," Laurie Mintz, professor of psychology at the University of Florida and author of Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters and How to Get It, tells Bustle. "This knowledge can help us answer the question of what to think about during sex — and that is, nothing! To experience orgasm requires allowing yourself to fully and completely immerse in the sensations of the moment."
But how do you reach that point? Sometimes, you have to trick your mind into shutting off. Yes, you can think yourself out of thinking. Here are some things to think about during sex to turn yourself on and turn your mind off.
1. Your Sensations
"The way to learn to turn your brain off by focusing on in-the-moment sensations is through mindfulness — which is just that, a practice where you focus totally on the here and now," says Mintz. Being mindful during sex means zeroing in on the sensations you're feeling. You can even try to name specific sensations, like, for example, pressure on the left side of your clitoris or a buzzing in your stomach. Sometimes saying out loud "I love when you __" helps you feel more of that sensation. Practicing mindfulness outside the bedroom through meditation can also help.
2. Your Fantasies
Don't feel guilty about pulling out your solo sex fantasies with your partner. If it gets you hot and bothered, everyone wins. "Anything goes for fantasy, even something you would never want to do or someone you are not currently having sex with," says Mintz. "It’s all in your own head so feel no guilt — just enjoy the fantasy to get you to that point of high arousal and then turn your brain off." If you're not sure what to fantasize about, you can try reading erotica or watching porn for inspiration. You can even bring these things into the bedroom with your partner.
3. Your Best Sexual Experiences
Aside from fantasizing about fictional scenarios, you can reflect on past sexual experiences you've enjoyed, Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and creator of Finishing School, an online orgasm course for women, tells Bustle. This can also give you ideas for what you might do with your current partner.
4. Your Emotional Connection With Your Partner
Sex isn't just about physical pleasure; you can also get a lot of enjoyment out of you and your partner's emotional connection. "Thinking about the emotional connection that you're feeling with your partner and the mood between the two of you can help you feel more present and connected to them," says Marin.
5. What You Want From The Sex
It's always good to make sure you're getting what you want out of a sexual experience. Thinking about your sexual desires is "another way of checking in with yourself and seeing if you want to make any requests or give any feedback," says Marin.
Really, though, there is no right or wrong think to think about sex because there's no thought police. Think about whatever makes you happy, because when you're happy, your partner is, too.