WHY GOING SOBER MAKES SEX FAR BETTER
Doing surreptitious vodka shots while I dished up plates of pasta for the kids began to feel normal
DR JOLENE BRIGHTEN, NMD, FABNE, is a pioneer in women’s medicine and a certified sex counsellor. here, she tells us why drinking can lead to uncomfortable sex and even fewer orgasms and offers advice on how to stop wanting that cup of liquid courage before sex…
■ WHILE your inhibitions may dwindle under the influence, your response ‘down there’ will also likely decline. Alcohol can act as a blockade to the blood flow needed for a good time. Without the necessary circulation, things can feel drier, making for friction-filled sex.
■ ALCOHOL diminishes nerve sensitivity. As your alcohol intake increases, your ability to orgasm decreases. When you finally do, it can feel pretty ‘meh’.
■ SOMETIMES people feel a bit more attracted to their partner when drinking, but alcohol can actually interrupt your ability to stay present and connected with them in — and out of — the bedroom. Feeling close to a partner is what many women attribute to a satisfying and pleasurable experience.
■ FEELING more confident in bed without a drink takes practice, especially in a society where every company is marketing to your imperfections. Finding lingerie or an outfit you feel great in, turning on music that gets you in the mood and dimming the lights while you work on body confidence can all help put you at ease and move your mind into a ‘sexy’ state.
■ WE’VE all been taught certain ‘shoulds’ of the bedroom, but focusing on what makes you feel good is an important way to increase arousal, achieve an orgasm and connect with your partner.
■ WORK on mindfulness outside of the bedroom so you can train your mind to be present when you’re with your partner in bed. If you find yourself distracted during sex, bring your awareness back to a sensation in a particular area of the body.
Using food as a starting place for mindfulness works really well for many people. Be present when you’re eating. How does the food smell, taste, look and feel in your mouth? This is a simple act of mindfulness that can translate to other areas of your life.
■ ACKNOWLEDGE that sex is awkward and that’s OK. Sometimes there’s noise. Sometimes you’ll end up in a position that makes you wonder how your body looks, rather than how it feels. Awkward moments in bed are completely normal.
■ IS THIS normal? by Dr Jolene Brighten (£18.99, orion spring) is out April 6 in paperback, eBook and audiobook.