Overcoming the Negative Effects of Stress on Pleasure

Overcoming the Negative Effects of Stress on Pleasure

Your alarm goes off, with any luck, at 7 a.m. You neck a coffee slumped against the wall and then it’s either car and traffic or train and commuters. You get to the office — again, with any luck — and you spend your day watching the clock. Time drags on and with every hour that passes each tick seems further away from the next tock, until the sound eventually gets inside your head and collides with your brain. You feel stressed, trapped and bored. Your back hurts. Your doctor says you should do more exercise, so you spend three days a week in another aseptic space like your office, with the unnatural light piercing your eyes as you run nowhere like a hamster on a wheel.

“Gym,” they call it. A quick shower, a clean shirt and then a beer or three. By the time you get home, you’re spent. You wolf down your dinner in front of the TV then collapse next to your partner, to whom you’ve mumbled about three sentences since you walked through the door: “Nice,” “thanks,” “I’m going to bed.” You have sex because that’s what couples do, and for a second you wonder whether you’re a couple because you have sex or if you have sex because you’re a couple. Just a quickie tonight because you’re exhausted and it’s already past midnight. You don’t know if she came. Before long, your alarm wakes you again at 7 a.m.

Slow sex is a trend that is gaining in popularity, seeking to heighten pleasure by focusing on the path to orgasm rather than the orgasm itself.

We live life in the fast lane where everything is ipso facto: food, messages, Instagram, Amazon ... everything, here and now, and if not, you’re out. You select your series à la carte, you order your food to your door, you buy your clothes with a click and you have more of a relationship with someone who lives 5,000 miles away than the person next door. The world spins madly on, faster than a Bugatti with no brakes, and we barely even have time to blink. Slow sex not only invites you to “blink,” but also encourages you to touch, taste, listen, explore and feel like never before. And, nope, there’s no online search tool that can give you what slow sex gives you in less time — zero results found. It’s time to put in some work and get out of that funk.

Slow sex is a trend that is gaining in popularity, seeking to heighten pleasure by focusing on the path to orgasm rather than the orgasm itself. To accomplish it, we need to unlearn everything we’ve been taught, banish prejudices and free ourselves of any sense of obligation in sex. Keep the stress of the day away from the sheets and invest quality time in our sexual partner(s) and ourselves. In other words, we need to be present, free from life’s burdens and brimming with desire.

Tearing down prejudices

Slow sex knows no prejudices and to master it, you’ll need to forget everything you know — or think you know — and start again from scratch, as though your body were a blank canvas on which to paint.

Generally speaking, until now our sex education has focused on health and procreation, but doesn’t encourage us to freely enjoy our sexuality or dismantle myths such as that anal sex is for gay men or that women can’t live without penetration. The stigmas are many and slow sex encourages you to disregard them all, so you can start enjoying your body, desires and intimate moments with your sexual partner(s).

A right, not an obligation

You have to be hungry to eat, just as you have to be horny to have sex. Every Saturday, something in the air tells us, “you’re getting laid today,” as if it were a ritual, as if we had to clock in, take attendance or contribute our share of pseudo-pleasure to the world. But let’s not kid ourselves: you’re tired and all you want to do is sleep.

One good sex session is worth more than three mediocre ones. If you’re not feeling it, don’t do it. Don’t feel like you have to “make the grade,” have more than one orgasm or even feel aroused in the first place. Forcing yourself to have sex when you don’t want to takes all the pleasure away from an act that should be inherently pleasurable.


Unfortunately, understanding the pressures of the modern world doesn’t mean we can change things overnight. Rushing around, our fast pace of life, and the noise ... it’s all inevitable to an extent. But what we can avoid is taking that relentless barrage of klaxons, timelines and stress to bed. Slow sex embraces pleasure and the present. Think of it as a kind of sexual mindfulness where the only thing that matters is feeling, without worrying about how. An interpretation by two (or more) bodies, unraveling through touch, taste and sound. Slow sex to sex is what Da Vinci is to art: imagination, trial and error and virtuosity.


Way slowly. Let those flavors develop. Forget going at it like rabbits, where the only goal is orgasm, and enjoy every inch of your partner as they enjoy you. Orgasm is not the aim; the aim is pleasure. Explore each other’s bodies. Trace your own route and make a mental note of the tastes involved: salty, juicy, liquid. Listen to the sounds of sex, the percussion between your skin and theirs, the unbridled beat. Feel their touch, every curve, every twist and turn, the hairs standing up on end, the heat.

Start having slow sex

  • Forget what you know and start again from scratch. And banish those taboos!
  • Explore yourself from head to toe, leaving your genitals ‘til last. Before you enjoy it with someone else, learn to enjoy yourself.
  • Forget time. Sex is to be savored without haste.
  • Learn something new with every encounter. Ask questions: communication is key.
  • Tap into your senses — what you’re feeling and what you want to feel.
  • Don’t focus on finding pleasure, enjoy the journey.
  • Orgasm is not the aim; the aim is good sex.

Sam Martinez is Bijoux Indiscrets’ creative copywriter and journalist.


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