#SexColumn: Put down your phone and be present for intimacy with your partner

TVs, smartphones and tablets (both types) are passion killers, writes Sharon Gordan. Picture: Pexels

TVs, smartphones and tablets (both types) are passion killers, writes Sharon Gordan. Picture: Pexels

Published Mar 15, 2024


By Sharon Gordon

It’s been a hell of a stressful week. It feels like everything that can go wrong is going wrong – twice. I of all people know that sex is a great stress release, the only problem is getting in the mood and staying present.

All I want to do is doom scroll, eat éclair toffees and nap. But that’s not how it works.

TVs, smartphones and tablets (both types) are passion killers.

So, before you begin, I’m going to ask you to do a digital detox. I can feel the nervous ticks starting to develop. If every night is just too much, then start with date night or Friday night.

Turn your devices off, or far away in a wardrobe, on silent if you can’t remember your sim code and don’t touch them till the next morning. Commit to it. Don’t be intimate and then go straight back to your phones.

Before anxiety gets the best of you, tap into your breath. When last did you give your breathing any real thought? Anyone who meditates will tell you that when the mind bolts or wonders the simplest way to bring it back to the present is to concentrate on the breath.

Breathe in through the nose, slowly. You can even count in your mind 1-2-3-4-5 than hold the breath for 3 counts, now breathe out through your mouth for 6 counts.

Repeat until you are present again.

Give attention to how it feels to draw the breath through the nose and into the lungs and then out through the mouth. Another trick to stay present and focused when you start worrying about the laundry that hasn’t been done, or if the kids packed their project, go back to basics. Concentrate on one sense.

Listen to the sounds in the bedroom, your partner’s breath, the sounds you are making and enjoy them. They are the sounds of pleasure.

Another trick to try is to put your thoughts in a box. I haven’t succeeded at this one. But many report great results. Maybe I just lack imagination.

All the noise in your head hindering you getting in the mood– imagine putting that particular disturbance in a box (I’d make it soundproof and lockable). Put it in, seal the box and put it in the next room, under the bed if necessary.

Don’t forget where you put it so you can fetch it and deal with that particular stress the next day.

Now that your head is in the game, it’s time to work on the physical. Just touch, feel, breathe and make an effort to focus on what you’re touching. What is the texture and temperature. Stroke and change pressure. Find a rhythm.

Breathe deeply and enjoy the motions without a specific goal in mind. Don’t just concentrate on Prime Property, and by that, I mean breasts and genitals.

This exercise helps lay the groundwork for being more present. You’re enjoying the journey not just the destination.

I hate this word ‘communicate’. It’s a skill that we’ve largely forgotten. Our phones are more important than the person sitting opposite us, and I don’t know about you but when it comes to our children it’s a yes or no but more often a grunt or whatever!

We don’t communicate. One of the reasons we don’t voice what we want is because we are afraid of being judged and humiliated for what we really want. So maybe you want to start with baby steps.

Share if you’re nervous or excited, or just talk about something you have on your mind. It’s normal to get distracted by all the stress in your life and it’s okay not to be in the mood for sex but don’t let it rule your life.

You need to practise being present in and out of the bedroom. Remember to take it easy on yourself. You may want to experiment with something new. Depending on your intimacy levels take it up one notch. So, if missionary position is your go to, maybe try doggie style.

If you’re not ready for a sex toy, start with a lubricant or massage oil.

If that is still too much maybe just visit the Lola Montez website together and check out what’s available.

Have a giggle and discuss what and where you could use the toys. They are toys after all.

This week, try to be present, pay attention, enjoy your partner and play together.

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