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Lately, During Sex With My Boyfriend, I Just Can't Focus 

Dear Athena,

My boyfriend and I have a good relationship, but, lately during sex, I can't focus. Sometimes I just avoid it all together. I've been really stressed lately. I know that is probably playing into it, and I know he is starting to get really bothered by it. But I don't know how to get into sex anymore; I'm less and less interested each time. I'm afraid I might lose my boyfriend, or he might cheat on me with some other guy. What do I do? Help, please!


Out of It in Bed

Dear Out of It,

Too stressed for sex? What a thought! Sex is exactly what you need to relieve the stress. But you need to be in the right frame of mind, and it sounds like your mind is always somewhere else.

Where is it? Let's find out what's distracting you from experiencing joy. Is it work? Money problems? Family or friend issues? Are you stifling old feelings about something or someone? Any one or combination of those things can become overwhelming and take a toll — physically, mentally and emotionally. Stress will be the kryptonite to your Superman if we don't find a way to limit your exposure.

So, first things first: Locate the cause of your stress. Second: Find ways to manage it. Start an exercise routine, talk to a counselor or write in a journal. Go for walks, make weekly dates with friends for a drink or a hike or both. Maybe you need to request some time off from work. Everyone needs to recharge and relax now and then. Just as our bodies require nourishment, they also need to decompress to remain healthy, and to get back to the good stuff. Like sex with your boyfriend.

And by the way, have you talked to him about all this? Sharing your worries and concerns with the one you love is a form of intimacy, and it just might lead to feeling closer and, you know, sexier with him.

Here's another suggestion: Have sex even when you think you don't feel like it. As with going to the gym, you always feel better afterward. I hate to compare sex with working out, but, believe me, the benefits of both outweigh any effort involved in getting the ball rolling. Try it, you'll see! Besides, you say your boyfriend is getting "bothered" by your lack of interest. Who can blame him? Time to nip that in the bud. If you care for the guy, do it for him.

You might try a little role-play, too. Allow yourself be someone else for a little while, and if your boyfriend is amenable, invite him to "play," too. My advice? Choose a funny persona. Get as far from your stressed-out self as possible. You'll both likely have more fun. Just as importantly, your partner needs to know you are doing something to strengthen your bond. He needs to know that the stress isn't more important to you than he is. Still attracted to him? Show it, my friend.



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