Mind Ya Business About What You Look Like In the Bedroom
Imagine this, you and your boo thang are capping off a romantic date night in the bedroom. Ya’ll have rolled around the bed for the past 20 minutes, you’ve each had your tongues and fingers everywhere imaginable, and now it’s time to get busy. The entire night you’ve been anticipating this moment, you’re on your back looking at your partner, they smile at you, giving you that “it’s about to go down” look and you stare back, but instead of bracing yourself for what could be the best sex of your life you’re wondering if your fro is mushed or if you’ve sweated out the twist out you spent 4 hours doing yesterday.
WTF?! Instead of living your best life and focusing on having what could be some bomb sex, you’re really worried about what your partner thinks of your hair! Spectatoring ain’t shit
Here’s the Tea
The sad truth is, as you were reading what could be the start to a great novel, you thought of a time where instead of mentally bracing yourself for mind altering sex, you were more concerned with what your hair looked like or if your partner will be turned off from the rolls you get in certain positions. This is what we sex therapists call spectatoring or cognitive distractions.
Spectatoring was first introduced by Masters and Johnson, the same duo who found that sexual response is divided into four phases:
(You can read more about sexual response in my post,Gettin' It: Consent )
In the 70s Masters & Johnson suggested that spectatoring is a process that occurs when a person (aka you) focuses on yourself from a third person perspective during sexual activity, rather than focusing on the sensations and/or your partner.
To keep it simple, spectatoring takes you out of enjoying the moment or moments (if your partner knows what they’re doing) and instead of enjoying the sex for what it is, you are worried about what your body and hair looks like to your partner. It can be described as an out of body experience, you’re aware of what’s going on but, distracted and can’t focus.
Masters and Johnson were not thinking about Black women when they spoke about spectatoring, but as your resident sexpert who specializes in texturism, I’ll tell you how it relates. Spectatoring relates back to Black women and natural hair because often times we Black women find ourselves worried about our hair pre, during, and post sex. We put A LOT of time, money, and effort into styling and maintaining our hair, so it makes sense that you would worry about everything staying intact. It also doesn’t help that we’ve been conditioned to think by every f*cking one that our hair defines us - and one strand out of place can easily take us from a confident sexy Black queen on a glow up to an “unkempt” basic bum b*tch.
But, the truth is spectatoring about your hair robs you of living in the moment, experiencing sensations, and ultimately the opportunity to orgasm - which is why you wanted to get busy in the first place, right?
Instead of blissfully recouping with your partner and catching your breath from a wonderful night - the only thing on your mind is where the closet mirror is.
We all want to look sexy for our partners, but honey, if ya’ll rolling around in the bed, the kitchen, or wherever you prefer, it’s okay to assume your partner thinks you’re sexy and will think so regardless if your hair getting a little messed up!
Now some of you are reading this like, “nah sis, I can walk and chew gum,” and you feel that being worried about your doesn’t affect your sex life - but the body doesn’t support that notion. As great as we think we are at multi tasking the brain really isn’t a pro at it. When multi tasking something will suffer, and in this instance it’s your sex life.
How To Stop Spectatoring?
In order to live in the moment and stop worrying about your body and hair you must practice mindfulness. This means disengaging from outside distractions and solely focus on what’s occurring. There are two ways that I encourage you to practice this:
Masturbation is a great way to practice becoming more mindful and enjoying the moment. Somehow you allow yourself to zone out and only focus on you. So, I want you to ask yourself,
What do you do when you are alone with yourself?
How do you love on yourself?
How do you touch yourself?
How do you get yourself to a place that allows you to experience an orgasm?
Whatever it is that you do, you need to bring those same efforts to the bedroom when you’re with your partner.
**Side note: I have a book recommendation by Afrosexology's Dalychia and Rafaella called Solo Sex. It's on their website: http://www.afrosexology.com/shop/solo-sex-workbook
And yes, I have a copy. Not to mention as a Sex therapist in the Washington D.C. area, I have recommended it to more than a few of my clients, both single and with their partners
Masturbation also helps because knowing your body means you know what you want, and don’t want, which allows you to teach your partner exactly what to do to please you. By being both the teacher and the receiver you are more able to focus on the present because instead of worrying about how your hair is laying, your attention is focused on where their fingers are. In some instances, this can be another form of spectatoring but once they got it, you can lean back and enjoy your work.
Getting your mind and soul right can also be practiced through meditation. While this isn’t centered around your vulva and may not end with a moan, it can help you practice living in the moment. You might be surprised what 5 minutes of meditation a day can do for you. And once you’re able to do this on your living floor, you can take what you’ve learned to the bedroom.
Spectatoring is real and is holding you back from a brag worthy sex life! So, right now, and I mean RIGHT NOW I want you to declare that you will mind ya business about what you like (in the bedroom!)
PS - Check out my post, The Gaps to Your Orgasms for more tips to reach “O-Town”