What does being “fully present”, during sex, mean to you?
This is a spin off of this TQOTD.
I am wondering if we all define it the same or slightly different.
I am also wondering how realistic or possible this truly is? I would say it is ideal, and we should aim for it, but are we setting ourselves, our spouse, or our marriage bed up for failure, especially if this is an expectation every time or the majority of the time?
My first impression is a man has it easier, since they do tend to think with only one head at a time. 😉 A wife shows up naked and with interest, and boing, all compartments are closed but the “sex” one. But with deeper considerations, that can also be a disadvantage, because, at least in my own experience, my husband can get so wrapped up in the physical and his own wants, desires, and pleasure, it’s like I get forgotten and become unseen. IMO, that is not being “fully present”.
Because women are known to be multitaskers, and we are compared to computers with multiple tabs open and spaghetti rather than waffles. How possible is it to fully unravel everything, that is so tightly intertwined, so that we can 100% be fully present?
I think I am at peace with, I will offer all I can, in any moment, and that “all” will differ from day to day.
As a husband, I have to be satisfied with where you are at peace. I don’t know that my DW will ever fully unravel everything because God didn’t design her that way.
Honestly, I think it’s a but like magic. I just have to use methods to “trick” her mind into thinking they’re unravel’d even temporarily, so she can enjoy some “us” time. I don’t lie to her, or manipulate her, I just know how to “distract” her i guess. I know that she wants sex, she just doesn’t want me to know she does, and she doesn’t want to initiate..ever…So I just make sure I help her unravel as many as I can, and then help her forget the rest for a little while so we can enjoy ourselves. I know those things are in the back of her mind and she try’s really hard to leave it alone for a little while…
“Fully present” during sex is similar to the anticipation and experiential delight on Christmas morning to open that one present that you just know is the one you want and can’t wait to have it.
After all these years and various ways to enjoy sex with Mrs. Youngbear/Oldbear, I still can’t wait to enjoy the entire experience from thinking about to basking after sex with her.
As you pointed out, this is primarily a female issue. So that’s what I’m going to address.
In my opinion, the critical thing is that your husband be your emotional center. That you enjoy fulfilling and complete emotional intimacy with him. Because regardless of what’s going on in life, if he’s still your favorite person, your safe harbor from the storm of life, then you’re going to be present when you’re with him. Because he’s what’s most important, he’s who makes you happy. So if a woman finds herself checking out during sex, I think that’s a sign of a much deeper issue – an emotional divide between her and her husband.
So what does it mean to me? It means she wants to be there with me. That she couldn’t imagine being anywhere else, doing anything else. It means she relishes the time we spend together, and doesn’t want it to end.
I think we should be careful not to be too demanding about the other person being ‘present.’ I’ve had some random incoherent thoughts during orgasm, kind of like thinking during a dream. They say some guys think about baseball to diminish the excitement so they can last longer.
What I don’t like is if my wife tries to have a non-sexual related conversation while we are doing it, like asking me about some household financial issue or something about the kids. If I’m on top, I’m working and I want her focusing her attention down below so she’ll start enjoying my work more. If she’s enjoying herself, I don’t care what random thoughts she has.
Sometimes I intentionally try not to pay attention to how much my wife is enjoying an orgasm to extend the sex a little longer so we don’t just stop because she’s having one. If I’m not too work, I may concentrate on making the thrusts good to try to make her orgasm good and last a long time. If I’m pretty close, focusing on her orgasm can send me over the edge, so I may focus my attention elsewhere.
This goes along with a few podcasts from Sex Chat for Christian Wives! I’ve enjoyed hearing them talk about the differences for men and women and how us wives can learn to appreciate those differences more.
If I had to give a percentage of the time that I am able to shut out the world around me and shut off my mind to enjoy the moment, it would be 20% completely immersed and the rest would be thinking “please please don’t let the kids need something right now” or “maybe if I move my leg over here and tilt my hips like that…”.
But then again, I generally have to focus fairly intensely to the sensations in order to O, so maybe it’s more of an issue during foreplay and I’m able to switch it off as I’m building up to the O? Yes, I think that’s more likely to be the case.
So, SC, I think the reality is that both sexes can struggle with being fully present. But, as you point out, often (and understandably) for gender-based reasons.
Perhaps we can conclude that it isn’t good for DHs to allow their minds to objectify their wives nor is it helpful for wives to (poly)furcate their attention to their DHs. (mutual understanding between the genders is needed to be sure we don’t judge the other for their “natural” tendencies.)
I’m not sure how to define fully present besides saying it means giving your all or 100% of your attention. Maybe I’m unusual, but its not a struggle for me. I think people’s circumstances can affect their ability. I don’t have any physical problems or young children down the hall that might distract me. As far as inner voices, I can shut them off to concentrate on sex the same way I do to read a book or watch TV. To build on what JB said, I don’t think I could orgasm if I wasn’t 100% in the moment, so that’s added incentive for me.
I think of it like the art of mindfulness. You’re not thinking about what happened 2 hours ago, you’re not thinking about what you have to get done by tomorrow, you’re not entertaining anxieties about what your partner might be thinking or if you’re going to be able to orgasm, you’re just completely focused on the present experience in the moment as it unfolds.
I might have a slightly different perspective than some folks, because they may be thinking about “enjoying the moment” as JB put it, but I believe you can be fully present without enjoyment. You can be fully present during “just for him/her” sex.
As I think about it more, I would also think that it could mean being emotionally present. As opposed to an abuse survivor who detaches during sex, or an avoidantly attached person who suppresses emotions in order to lower the intimacy level. Which might sound confusing given that I said in the QOTD that I have trouble being emotionally involved, but I see a distinction between emotional presence and emotional involvement. There’s a subtle difference between stifling or hiding one’s emotions, and not having any.
I can fully be focused on the physical and easily orgasm, but that doesn’t mean I am fully present, not even close. I can disconnect emotionally. My mind can have me somewhere else.
One definition I have heard of “presence” is “to be fully engaged.” A body can be sitting at the table with their family, but be on their phone. They are not fully engaged, they are not fully present.
I do believe, no matter how fragmented we may be, there is always a spiritual unification that happens….an important reason to push ahead, even when the ideal is not possible .