Sex and Attention

What you think about during sex matters.

A guy who doesn't want to, ahem, proceed too quickly will think of baseball or something non-sex related. A girl who wants to proceed more quickly might focus on surrounding milieu of a loving environment. These are stereotypes, I know, but the fact that we have them does confirm that what we think about during sex matters: what we attend to changes the nature of the experience.

In this vein, Mind Hacks links to a great review of the role of attention in sex. Vaughan makes the point that we tend to view sexual dysfunction as a problem of equipment -- hence prescribing Viagra, when a more accurate diagnosis may be a problem of state-of-mind. Definitely read the whole thing.

It reminds me a funny sketch by one of my favorite comics, Dylan Moran (below the fold):

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"surrounding milieu of a loving environment?" Please tell me you're joking.

This is why we women tolerate men watching baseball on TV once we marry them and have our loving environment.

The key is telling your body there wonât be any more famines. There are two primary ways of doing this:

1. Eat real food. When youâre eating quality food and itâs assimilated efficiently, the body begins to receive what it needs to function at its best. This is one very important step in turning off the famine response. The presence of nutrient-dense food in the diet signals to the body that there is plenty of food available and thereâs no need to pile on fat stores. Digestion is also an important part of this equation because you want to make sure the real food you eat is assimilated properly. Including raw and cultured foods in your diet on a regular basis can improve your digestive health and ensure youâre getting the most out of your food.

2. Reduce stress. Another folly of modern society is the intense level of stress most of us are exposed to, often since very early childhood. Stress induces the famine response as much as dieting. After all, the body doesnât distinguish between types of stresses; the same biochemical reactions occur whether youâre stressed by your work, a difficult marriage, lack of real food, poor sleep habits or any number of stressors. So itâs very important to address this and take the appropriate steps to reducing and managing the stress in your life. Read more about the stress connection to weight loss here and here and here.

Without addressing these two components, a healthy body composition is virtually impossible to achieve. Plus, healthy food choices reduce stress, and reducing stress makes it easier to choose healthier food. So making one small change at a time really can add up, and the right choices will come more naturally over time. Granted, this involves patience and wonât produce results like "Lose 10 pounds in one week!" But it will set you on the path to lasting health.

These are stereotypes, I know, but the fact that we have them does confirm that what we think about during sex matters: what we attend to changes the nature of the experience.