Daily Archives: March 17, 2016

What Are You Thinking During Sex?

I am a recovering perfectionist. I hate getting things wrong, but I’ve learned through the years quite a bit about my fallibility and my need for humility. Thus, it should be no surprise that I might have messed up with Monday’s post, Q&A with J: “He’s Going Into His ‘Spank Bank.’ “

The querying wife explained that her husband closed his eyes during sex and was “going into his spank bank” for past porn images to maintain his erection. My answer addressed him doing just that. When there was another possibility: that he was closing his eyes for reasons that had nothing to do with past porn use.

Honestly, my automatic acceptance of the wife’s explanation was influenced by how damaging ongoing pornography use can be to an individual and a marriage. But I might have had this situation wrong, and it’s unfair to draw firm conclusions without more information.

Indeed, I often encourage spouses to give their mate the benefit of the doubt and extend grace wherever possible. It’s a bad idea to assume what your spouse is thinking, feeling, wanting — even if you believe you know them so well after umpteen years of marriage. We just can’t know everything going on in between each other’s ears.

The comments to Monday’s post revealed that we could be thinking all kinds of things during sex. Which brings me to my question: What are you thinking during sex? Does it even matter?

I think it does.

What Are You Thinking During Sex?

What wife wants her husband thinking about some other woman, even if she’s orgasming off the charts? What husband wants his wife picturing her latest book boyfriend while he’s pleasuring her? Or even from a non-third-party perspective . . . What wife wants her husband solely thinking about his own climax and not her pleasure? What husband wants his wife mentally sorting through her to-do list rather than paying attention to their intimate time together?

Of course, the entirety of our sex lives together is not comprised of I’m all about you thinking. Stray thoughts zoom in, and some overstay their welcome. It could take a while to shut down all of the mental activity of the day to focus on what’s happening with your bodies. You could be going and blowing with some fabulous foreplay, and suddenly you remember that your son’s science project is due tomorrow and do you still have poster-board in the house? You might be midway through a rockin’ good time, and all of a sudden your leg cramps and your only thought is Ooowww! Real life intrudes into our minds. Constantly.

But we can train our minds to focus in the right direction. That’s a biblical principle, you know. (See Romans 12:2, Philippians 4:8). What is the “right direction” in the marriage bed?

It’s a little easier to define the wrong direction. Because I think we have a pretty wide range of acceptable thoughts when making love with our mate. You might be thinking about any of these:

Practical concerns

  • How your body looks and feels
  • How his/her body looks and feels
  • What you want to do or don’t want to do
  • Whether you’ll reach orgasm and how to get there

Fantasy-type thoughts

  • Picturing yourselves in an exotic locale
  • Remembering the first time he/she touched you this way
  • Considering all the possible activities and positions you can try
  • Imagining what actions or words can stimulate your lover even more

Pleasure-focused matters

  • How attracted you are to your spouse
  • What’s turning you on at the moment
  • How the physical sensations feel to your body
  • The effect your body and actions have on your mate’s pleasure
  • What you can do to increase your pleasure and his/hers

Deeper meaning feelings

  • How grateful you are for this unique connection to your spouse
  • The depth of your love for him/her
  • God’s approval of this unity of your lovemaking
  • How amazing it feels to be “one flesh” with your beloved
  • Why sex binds you so closely together

Sometimes we think about small stuff, sometimes big stuff; sometimes solely about our beloved, and other times our own pleasure. Our minds can go all kinds of places that keep us committed to healthy, godly sexuality.

But while you know what you are thinking during sex, you don’t know what your spouse is thinking. Unless he/she tells you.

Of course, you can ask. Just like with any other moment in your marriage, isn’t it a valid question to say, “What’s going through your mind right now?” They might share or might not, but it’s an innocent enough question in the right context and with the right attitude. I’ve asked during sex, and the answers my husband has given are always interesting. I’m happy to share what I’m thinking too.

You can volunteer what you’re thinking to your spouse. Tell them how turned on you are, how good something feels, or how meaningful this experience is to you. Or hey, inform your spouse that something doesn’t feel all that good and you’d like to try something different. Communication can be key in creating a mutually satisfying sexual experience.

If your spouse honestly has difficulty concentrating — because their work day was horrible and they’re still stressed, or whatever — maybe it’s good to know that and help them get their head back in the game. For myself, even if the answer was “I’m struggling with old images popping in my head, although I really want to be here only for you because you are the one I love,” I’d be okay knowing because then I could walk alongside my husband and help him find ways to be wholly and thoroughly in the moment. I believe that his battle is our battle.

Must you share what’s going through your minds? Of course not. My hubby and I usually don’t — although I pretty much assume it’s good stuff — because we’re kind of busy doing other things. (Also, sometimes I can’t entirely form words, but I’m pretty sure he knows what I’m thinking in those particular moments.)

Sometimes, when we do share, it’s not sex-focused. It’s some stray thought out of nowhere, and these days that usually makes us laugh. “What? You had a thought about the Republican debate?” *laugh* “Well, I’ll get your mind off that right now.” And then, we do! Because we know we’re ultimately focused on one another and this precious time together.

What do you think about during sex? Is it different from what your spouse might expect? Do you struggle focusing on what’s happening in your marriage bed? What has helped you get your “head in the game”?