How to Relax Before Sex

Anxiety can make sex and time in bed feel awkward, uncomfortable, or even stressful. It’s especially problematic if it stems from body image issues or gender dysphoria, which require therapy and self-love to overcome.

In such cases, the only solution is to relax physically and mentally before getting in the mood. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises can help you calm down and relax, especially during high-stress situations. They can also be used to increase sexual arousal and induce orgasm. Many breathing exercises are quick and easy to do, making them an ideal way to prepare for sex before you head to the bedroom.

Try taking 20 deep belly breaths, inhaling and exhaling deeply into your abdomen. Repeat this exercise several times to feel the effects. This breathing technique can be done seated or lying down and can be performed alone or with a partner.

Another great breathwork exercise is the 4-7-8 breathing technique. This breathing exercise is a natural relaxant and can be performed seated or while lying down. Start by inhaling through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and then exhale through your mouth with a whoosh sound for a count of eight. Repeat this several times before starting your sex routine.

If you find yourself nervous during sex, take a moment to address the negative thoughts and refocus on the positive ones. It is important to remember that these nerves may be a sign of something deeper, such as fear of intimacy or being unsafe. If this is the case, it is essential to seek professional help. However, most of the time, these nerves are just a normal part of the process and will pass once you become more comfortable with your body and sexual experiences.

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Deep Breathing

Breathing is the body’s most essential function, and focusing on your inhalations and exhalations can bring you back into the present moment. It can also help you overcome distractions and focus on the sexual experience. It might not calm you down completely on the first try, but it’s an easy tool to use anytime and anywhere you need a little extra relaxation.

The way that breathing influences the nervous system has been studied extensively. Your autonomic nervous system controls involuntary functions like heart rate and digestion, and it has two parts: the sympathetic nervous system that activates your fight-or-flight response and the parasympathetic nervous system that helps you relax. Deep breathing can help quiet the sympathetic nervous system, which can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

To practice deep breathing, sit or lie down in a comfortable position and close your eyes if you want to. Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest, and focus on feeling the breath move through your body. As you inhale, feel your belly rise; as you exhale, feel your stomach lower. Repeat this cycle for a few minutes.

You can do this daily to reap the benefits, but it might take time for it to become a regular habit. You may need to work on your breathing for a few weeks before you can see real results, and it’s best to use it as one of many tools in your mental health toolbox.

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Focus on Your Body

It’s important to get in touch with your body, and focusing on the sensations of your body is an easy way to do this. You can use this trick to reconnect with your body before sex and any other time you want to be more present. Just scan your body from head to toe and notice how each part of your body feels.

It can also be helpful to contract and release the muscles in your body for a few seconds, which helps bring you back into the moment and relaxes your body. The key is to practice these techniques not only before sex, but throughout the day as well, so that you can learn to focus on your body and become more in tune with it.

When your mind wanders during sex, it can take away from the pleasure you’re feeling and can lead to problems like an unsatisfactory sexual experience or premature ejaculation. This can be especially problematic if you’re trying to impress a new partner.

If body image issues are the root of your bedroom anxiety, this type of work is likely to be lengthy and requires professional help. However, it’s still important to try to overcome your issues and start to associate sex with pleasure rather than fear. This can help you relax and enjoy your sexual experiences, which will also benefit your partner as well.

Meditation

For those who have a hard time letting go and being fully present during sex, meditation is a powerful tool for increasing pleasure. It can be done alone or with a partner, and there are many ways to approach it, including mindfulness, body scanning, or visualization exercises.

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Mindfulness, the ability to be fully in the moment, is a key component of sexual pleasure because it helps you connect with your physical sensations and emotions more fully. This is especially helpful for people who lead stressful lifestyles, or for those with anxiety and depression, which can interfere with sexy feelings.

If you’re new to meditation, it may take some practice before you feel ready to try it before sex. But you can begin by focusing on your breath and observing any thoughts that come up—try not to judge them, just notice them. Then, when you’re ready, try a guided mediation. This one, by Emily from Glow Guides, focuses on sensual inspiration and is enhanced with solfeggio frequencies, which are specific sound tones that support various aspects of the body and mind’s health.

You can also try a body scan meditation by sitting or standing back-to-back with your partner, and mentally checking in with how each part of your bodies feels from head to toe. Focus on things like texture, pressure, temperature, and more—it’s not meant to be an orgasm-inducing exercise, but rather a way to become curious about the feeling of touch in your body.

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