Increase sexual satisfaction

Sexual presence anxiety

Getting out of a sexual routine

We often talk about sexual performance when it comes to having good or bad sex. Many people desperately search to be sexually performing in bed so that they can get their ego’s rubbed the right way. They want their partner’s to notice how good they are and leave their mark. Others will find this dynamic to be unfulfilling and transition towards more of a sexual presence to avoid the sexual routine.

From performance to sexual presence…not so easy

When people realize the advantages of letting go of being performing sexually and becoming more present with their partner during sex, they inevitably find it natural to progress to the next step. Although, this task isn’t as easy as one would want it to be. Our old tendencies are hard to push aside. We are educated at a young age to perform in sex and many aspects of our lives. We want to have results that are quantifiable such as a number of orgasms, a score between 1 and 10, the frequency of sexual relationships, the number of partners, the length of the penis, duration of sex, the amount of lubrification, the percentage of penis rigidity.
How do you define your sexual satisfaction?

Sexual presence isn’t clear cut

Sexual performance is based on techniques, sexual positions and quantifiable aspects of sex. Sexual presence is more fluid and organic. It feels completely different than the sex you’ve had so far. Each person experiences and feels sexual presence differently. It is not an esoteric kind of sex, but more of a new mindset. Although, some people find this kind of sexual experience through esoteric means. We must learn to manage that there are no manual or directions to becoming sexually present. This is the difficult part for most people as we are used to being told how to do things. It is more of a personal journey than something you must do in a certain way. It is changing our intentions when having sex.
This can make most people feel sexually incompetent when we try to have more sexually present sex. Who wants to feel that way at 30 or 40 or even 50 years old? It is actually quite similar to the first time we have sex and we have no idea what we are doing. We are stressed out and in unknown territory. Why would we want to have sex where we feel sexually inadequate?

Getting past our insecurities

Sexual presence brings us face to face with what we have wanted to avoid in sex for a long time, which is our vulnerability and our insecurities. We often talk about how sex must be comfortable and easy going to be satisfied. This isn’t false, but we do have to feel some type of unease if we eventually want to grow and mature in our sex life and achieve a more fulfilling and joyful sex.

By confronting our insecurities that make us vulnerable with our partner’s, we eventually succeed at getting past them. We learn to experience our sexuality in a different manner that changes our dynamic during sex. Once we get a taste of sexual presence, we realize how anxious and uneasy we were during sex when we were trying to perform. Most of the time, people that come to therapy never want to go back to that type of sex.

How do I become sexually present?

If you were paying attention, there is no way TO DO sexual presence but more of a way of BEING. There are things you can experiment with to start experiencing it. Such as looking your partner in the eyes for prolong periods of time while having sex. Really taking the time to enjoy touching and being touched rather than just trying to give each other orgasms. Putting your pleasure first and letting your partner handle their own. This allows for both partners to eliminate the stress of having to sexually please the other person, while still enjoying seeing the other person enjoy themselves during sex.
Another obstacle with having sexual presence is that it creates and intense and profound connexion with our partner. This is where our difficulty with sexual presence anxiety comes into play.

Sexual presence anxiety

The sexual intensity that we feel with sexual presence is for most difficult to tolerate at first, as we are not used to it. It takes a couple of tries before we are completely comfortable with being connected to this degree. It creates more attachment towards our partner which can be exhilarating, but also very scary. It is scary because the more a person becomes important to us, the more we have to lose when we inevitably end the relationship either because of major disagreements or one of the partner’s death. It is, therefore, easier to just keep the emotional distance with our partner and focalise on sexual performance.

Will you risk it?

Sexual performance is a natural step in sexuality that we all go through. We experience sex the first time with that in mind and it allows to build some form of sexual confidence. We have to keep in mind though that it has its limits and it will inevitably lead to sexual insatisfactions if we stay in this dynamic in the long run. It eventually loses its initial attraction and doesn’t make sense after many years with a partner. Sexual presence is the next step in our sexuality that we often forget but will catch up with us often after sexual difficulties in our relationship and sex.
It is now up to you to decide if you desire to explore this new option that is available. It is important to know that sexual presence requires working on one’s self and our relationship. It will make you feel strong emotions that can be enjoyable or unpleasant about yourself and your spouse. We must acquire a certain dose of patience to fully enjoy sexual presence. Do not hesitate to consult a sex therapist & psychotherapist if you need help achieving your new sex life.

Learn more about the author

Francois Renaud M.A.

Sex therapist & psychotherapist in Downtown Montreal
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