Are you a sex spectator?

by OneTaste Living Library  Jul 12, 2011


One of our favorite sex bloggers (not to mention New York Times bestselling authors) is Ian Kerner. Ian cares a lot about comfort. In his most recent blog post, he makes the case for “comfort sex.” For sticking with what works in bed. The tried and true, rather than the novelty.

We’re in. One of our favorite mantras is “nothing extra.” Simplicity. Paring things down to just the basics. Two people and a stroke.

But something that really caught our eye about his post was a quote. It’s from Emily Nagoski’s book, The Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms. In the book she talks about a phenomenon called “spectatoring,” which she defines as “the art of worrying about sex while you’re having it.” Uh, we know about that one.

She goes on -

Rather than paying attention to the pleasant things your body is experiencing, it’s like you’re floating above the bed watching, noticing how your breasts fall or the squish of cottage cheese on the back of your thigh or the roll at your belly... You’re worried about the sex you’re having, instead of enjoying the sex you’re having.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve been a spectator at times in your sex. It’s what keeps you from really sinking in. Feeling deep nourishment. Getting connected to your partner and your body.

We have three suggestions for getting past the phenomenon of spectatoring -

  1. Set a time limit. You’ll be taking away one thing you would otherwise worry about.
  2. Get comfortable. We mean Ian’s definition. Choose a sex act that you don’t have to think too much about. Drop the fancy positions. Stick to the basics. (Better yet, OM.)
  3. Speak your sensations. The antidote to spectatoring is paying attention to “the pleasant things your body is experiencing.” Try telling your partner what you’re feeling in real time. It will keep your attention where you want it: on your own experience.

If nothing else, working these three tips into your next sexual encounter will help keep your mind occupied with something other than what am I going to cook for dinner? Try ‘em out and let us know what you think—as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts!