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Have a Better Orgasm: Eliminate Distraction

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In the same way that stressing about trying to get off can make it that much harder to reach orgasmic bliss, distraction—whether mental or physical—can make it near impossible to reach the finish line.

“Often, women will reach a certain level of arousal and have a bombardment of thoughts—What if I do? What if I don’t? Will I know I’m having it? All these thoughts are the opposite of arousal,” says Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., author of Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life. So what’s a girl with wandering thoughts to do? Acknowledge that they are there, then let them go and return to the sensations you’re experiencing, Nagoski says.

And, yes, we know this is easier said than done. “Noticing a sensation in your body can activate critical thoughts about your body—how the fat on your belly is moving, how your thighs look, or whatever it may be,” Nagoski says. While these voices are normal and natural, she says, the key to having an orgasm is to focus on the pleasure, not that nagging voice in your head.

Since the brain is the largest sex organ, it’s also important to prime yourself for the main event, says Emily Morse, sexologist, and host of the Sex With Emily podcast. Recall past sexual scenarios that pushed your buttons or think about the situations that you know will get you turned on. This way, when the action starts, your brain (and body) will already be well on their way, she advises.

In addition to a wandering mind, there are also the physical distractions—your cell phone buzzing incessantly, your kids or roommates in the other room, your cat scratching at the door, etc. They key is to structure your physical environment to make sure you are as comfortable as possible, says Nagoski.

Case in point? Women were far more likely to reach orgasm when wearing socks, Dutch sex researchers found in one study. No, the socks aren’t the secret—their cold feet were simply distracting them. (For other study-backed factors, read these 8 Surprising Things Affecting Your Sex Life.) So, whether it’s adjusting the thermostat or making sure your phone is out of sight, plan ahead so you can create a pleasant, worry- and distraction-free environment that will allow you can focus on the task at hand. “The context that facilitates great orgasm is different for everybody, but you need to embrace and love it and make it happen,” Nagoski says.

Because when it comes to sex, you need to get out of your head and focus on the task at hand—or whatever body part makes you feel best.

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