How to Feel More During Sex
If you haven’t taken the time to examine your relationship with your sense of pleasure, it can seem like a straightforward matter of ‘it feels good or it doesn’t.’ That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many factors that come into play when discussing sensation in sexual pleasure. Have you ever felt like you’re not feeling as much sensation as you think you could be during sex? Or like you numb out and don’t feel totally present in your body?
Or that you tend to feel a lot more when you’re masturbating versus having sex with someone else? These are common, yet incredibly frustrating things that people experience when navigating their sex lives. If you feel like you want to learn how to feel more overall while having sex, we’ve got some tips for you.
What’s Under The Surface?
The amount of sensation you feel during sex usually doesn’t just come down to having the right technique or toys. There’s so much under the surface that influences what you’re experiencing. Your mental state, connection with your partner, environmental setting, and so much more all influence how much and what you’re feeling. If you’re experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue, you’re more likely to be stuck in your head, which limits your ability to feel what’s going on in the rest of your body.
Your connection and relationship with your sexual partner, whether it’s a fling or a long-term relationship also has an impact on your levels of sensation. If you don’t feel totally comfortable with this person, or you’ve had a disagreement with them you might not be present during sex. When it comes to a new partner, sometimes it’s just a matter of not knowing them well enough to have built the connection your body needs to feel the pleasure you’re capable of. It’s incredibly common for people with vulvas to not orgasm with a new partner.
Another factor to take into account is your physical setting. If you’re somewhere where you’re scared someone might hear or walk in on you (unless you’re into that), you might subconsciously hold back and not feel all the nuanced juiciness of this sexual encounter. Low levels of sexual pleasure could also be because of an underlying health issue like vulvodynia, endometriosis, or even menopause – not that that’s an issue. Consult your healthcare provider if you experience pain or discomfort during sex, as that can certainly interfere with your ability to feel as much as you want to.
Hopefully, this helped you be able to pinpoint why you’re not feeling as much during sex as you’d like to. Now let’s look at how to change that.
Mental and Physical Health
If you think your physical or mental health is what’s interfering with your ability to feel deeply during sex, your first step is addressing that and taking steps to heal. Again, if it’s a reproductive health issue, consult your gynaecologist or general provider first. To help treat other blocks around pleasure, you can see a specialist whose main job is to support people in experiencing sexual wellness. This could be a sexological bodyworker, someone who uses somatic techniques like breathwork and therapeutic touch to help people overcome sexual blocks.
Sex therapists also work with people to help them get to the bottom of why they’re not having the sex they want to be having, and other issues around sexuality. You can see a sex therapist as an individual or with your partner. Outside of seeing a professional, managing stress levels and maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps you to feel better all around, which ultimately can lead to more fulfilling sex. Breathwork, yoga, and meditation are all ways you can help manage your stress levels.
Do it Yourself
If seeing a professional isn’t the right move for you, we have some other tips on learning how to feel more during sex.
- Slow Down: Sometimes when you move too fast, your body and mind don’t have time to adjust and catch up. It can take some time (like a half-hour) before you feel aroused enough to have sex. You can warm up by having intimate conversations, cuddling, making out, and whatever else you consider foreplay.
- Increase Your Connection: When having sex with someone else, your connection with them plays a huge role in how much you can feel. If you feel a block there try increasing your communication, being honest about what you want during sex, and increasing intimacy outside of sex.
- Toys and Technique: Sometimes having extra reinforcements can make all the difference. Bringing a new sex toy into the bedroom may help fill in whatever gaps you’re feeling. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your partner, you just have to know what works for you so that you can both have better sex all around. This can also mean using lube – you’d be surprised how much of a difference this can make!
- Masturbation: It can be easier to feel nuances of pleasure without another person there. Try going slow and experimenting on your own, see if you’re able to feel more with different techniques or toys. Then bring what you learned back to your partner.
While many things can keep you from feeling as much pleasure as you want to during sex, there are also so many tools and tricks you can use to help you overcome those obstacles. You are worthy of all the pleasure and sensation you desire. Don’t forget that.
Natasha (she/they) is a full spectrum doula, reproductive health content creator, and sexual wellness consultant. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more pleasure, softness, and sensuality. You can connect with Natasha on IG @spectrumoflovedoula.