Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

How Your Mental State Can Affect Your Sex Life

Do you know what the most potent aphrodisiac is? It’s not oysters, it’s not ginger, and it’s not chocolate.  


It’s the brain.  


Yes, it’s true–your mental state affects sexual performance. I know everyone thinks sex is physical until they have to stop halfway through because their mind is on something else. 


Your state of mind 


Your state of mind is one of the most significant factors when it comes to sex and performance.  


Why is that? 


Your brain has a job of sorting out priorities. Food, shelter, emotional health, problem-solving, and sex are a few big-ticket items. Sex is important, but it is not always the number one priority. If you find that your sexual appetite or performance is suffering, there’s a good chance that your brain puts sex on the back burner because something else needs your attention.   


This is intuitive. Let’s say you just got off the phone with your mom, who delivered some bad news. Is now a good time to get under the sheets with your partner? If you’re nodding your head, good luck with that. 


Even if you can get going, your performance isn’t going to be your best. Your brain needs time to digest the new information, fears, and problems that life gives you. You will be distracted.  


If you’ve ever had good sex, you know that one of the beautiful things about it, and what we love about it, is that it makes you present. It magnifies the moment so that you notice the details and feel everything with a heightened awareness. You cannot get to this state when you are thinking about something.  


Being in the present 


Even though this is quite intuitive, most people have no idea how to be in the present. But you‘re in luck because there are some easy solutions. 


The key to having the right mental state for sex is to set the stage. You need a way to distinguish the regular brain from the sex brain. 


Sorting through your brain 


First of all, you need to not be in crisis. If you have a crisis, deal with it. Sex comes later. But if you’re simply working with your emotions and stress, there are a few simple steps you can take.  


Firstly, if something is on your mind, get it out in an appropriate way. Maybe you call your friend, write in your journal, or send the email you’ve been avoiding. If thoughts aren’t leaving you alone, it’s because they need your attention! 


Next, create a boundary between your previous state of mind and the sexy state of mind you want by “setting the mood.” Use props like candles, music, and food, or whatever else makes you feel sexy.  


You might even consider creating a special ritual, which could be as simple as lighting a specific candle or putting on a particularly amazing pair of pants. You just need to be sure to define that ritual. “When I do x, I am heading into a sexual state of mind.”  


Getting into the moment 


When you enter this zone, practice being present. When you touch your partner, do it with intention. Pay attention when you place your hands on them or kiss them. All this buildup is important for setting the stage for a really great time in bed.  


If you think sex begins at penetration, you’re dead wrong. Sex begins well before that when you start to shift into a new state of mind.  


If this strikes you like a lot of work, the chances are that failing to set the stage is your biggest problem when it comes to sex. Most people are lazy about it, and then they wonder why their sex life is so boring or unfulfilling. Tinker with it to find what works well for you and your partner. You will learn to love and look forward to the whole process of sex, not just the physical part.