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What Is 'Spectatoring' During Sex (11 Ways To Stop)

Nobody ever plans to spectate during sex. Actually, a person could make a mental decision to do nothing during the entire activity. If you’re part of that group, that’s a bit rude. Other times, it just happens, everything feels so weird, including the bedroom, so you begin the spectator sex by default. 

Spectatoring can only be described as doing absolutely nothing while the entire sexual activity is going on. The only way that's fun for your partner is if he likes being utterly dominant in bed or he's trying to teach you a new trick. 

However, if you're wondering why you'd rather do nothing while indulging in a sexual experience meant for two people to enjoy, there are numerous reasons for that, some of which are health-related. 

First, let me put it out there that spectatoring isn't a new issue. As long as people focus on other things like their body image or feel anxious about the sexual experience, spectatoring is bound to happen. It's not such a terrible thing to have spectator sex, as long as that’s what you and your partner desire. 

However, if you’d like to do more but find yourself lost in your thoughts during the sexual experience, here are 11 reasons why you may be doing so, and 3 tips on how to stop.

11 Reasons Why You're Spectatoring

1. It's your first time

If this is your first sexual experience, don't beat yourself up about spectatoring. That's definitely what you are supposed to be doing for the most part. Sex is not like what you read in books or watch in porno movies; it's way messier and every sexual ‘encounter’ is possibly different. 

For a lot of women, it’s hard to focus on the arousal, or the sexual experience itself, probably because their thoughts are fixed on how awkward or even special everything feels. This attitude is very involuntary. You don’t know what to do, and I doubt your partner would mind if he’s aware you’ve not gone down that road before. 

It’s wise to tell your partner beforehand so that they know what they’re getting into and know how to proceed with caution.

2. You're not into him

You're not into him

In your adult life, at some point, you may begin to have sex just because of the ecstasy it gives at the end. However, that may include having sex with men you don’t fancy at all. Another reason for spectatoring during sex is not being romantically involved with your partner or whatever. 

Your focus is probably on getting the experience over with that you lose mindfulness of the sensations your body is feeling. If you’re just using him for a happy ending, you’re most likely going to relax and do close to nothing while he does all the work. That’s selfish, but it works perfectly if the other party likes you a lot more than you do him. 

3. You don't enjoy sex

Yes, there are people who walk this earth who don’t enjoy sex, and you may be one of them. I mean, with the way so many people have described sex and half the world is going bonkers about it, you’ll think there’s an irresistible force that sucks you into loving it, but there isn’t. 

You can be a spectator simply because it’s not fun for you. Probably because of how he’s doing it or what it is he is doing in the first place. It can irritate you enough to make you drown into self-focus with little to no mindfulness of what’s going on. 

4. You're learning a new move

I mean, it’s only right that when you are learning something new, you have to be quiet or, at the very least, pay attention to what’s being taught. The same thing applies to sex. If your partner is teaching you a new move he likes or is too busy getting feisty, it’s normal to kick back and enjoy the feeling while picturing what he is doing. 

However, self-focus doesn’t play a part here, so your thoughts should be more on what your partner is doing, the sensations or satisfaction you feel, and not just on yourself.

5. You like being submissive

Women use this excuse for self-focus a lot, but it could be true in this case. If you are submissive, not participating during sex may come to you naturally, especially when BDSM is involved. Your mindfulness would be on the instructions given and your desire would be to stir up sensations by being submissive and playing your part. 

So, if your arousal cues are gotten from being given instructions to obey, that could be one of the reasons you're spectatoring. 

On the other hand, a lot of that self-focus could be coming from a bad sexual experience where you were either hurt during sex or in the relationship as a whole. In this case, your boyfriend would have to do more to encourage you to participate willingly and passionately.

6. Body image issues

Many women have body image issues, and this causes a lot of sexual tension. So much goes on with a woman’s body that at some point while growing up, you may not like the way yours looks so much, and that’s completely normal. However, although sex is a built-in physical attraction, at that point, it hardly matters what your body looks like. 

Body image issues will keep you from participating in or enjoying sexual activity if you’re continuously worried about your appearance. Such thoughts take your mind off the experience and encourage self-focus on your body image alone. It takes more focused mindfulness to enjoy every moment instead of doing nothing and being ashamed of your body image.  

7. You're distracted

You're distracted

You could be physically involved in sexual activity but mentally distracted, and this can cause you to spectate during the entire exercise. Being distracted by something like body image as we discussed, or maybe another thing happening in the outside world during sex is common. 

When you’re distracted, there’s no way you would actively participate/enjoy the sexual experience, let alone an orgasm. 

Once your mind gets distracted, your body begins to give in, and before you can catch your breath, you were doing nothing the whole time. They’re many ways to keep focus during sex, some of which are incorporated into being stress-free before engaging in such an act. 

8. You're shy

This reason is already self-explanatory. If you’re shy in bed, you’re not going to want to try anything at all. You’re embarrassed continuously by the moves you think up or what your partner is doing to you so much that you just lay there, waiting for it to pass. 

This happens to the best of us, even when you’re in a stable relationship. There’s no reason to panic about it. Shyness and spectating during sex go hand in hand with each other. 

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9. You're tired

These reasons would not be complete if I do not include tiredness. I bet you have seen movies where a couple sleeps off on the other during sex. If you haven’t, it’s true, those things happen. 

When you are absolutely tired before indulging in sexual activity, there’s no way you’re going to be putting in any work. The human body is not a machine you can run endlessly, when it’s tired, it needs rest. Don’t beat yourself up about it, just have adequate rest before you begin the sexual journey. 

10. You're anxious about performance

If you think that you are terrible in bed, you are going to be a spectator throughout because you are worried about making the wrong move. Like I said earlier, sexual activities are a lot messier than we see or read. 

Nobody expects it to be like it is in the movies, give yourself a break or cut off some slack. Self-focus will only distract you and weaken your sex life over time. So, rather than being shy, use every opportunity to get better. 

You get better with practice,  and if you spend all your opportunities wishing you could do more, you will never grow. So, use every experience to learn the ropes, and it will improve your skills and help your relationship as well. 

11. You're bored

Even with other aspects of life, when you are bored, you hardly want to do anything. Plus, it’s so easy to slip into self-focus here, and use the time to either day-dream or just watch your boyfriend go. 

Perhaps he’s one favorite move isn’t your thing or whatever he’s up to isn’t just hitting the spot. If you’re bored during sex, you will use the opportunity to spectate, that’s normal. 

3 Ways How To Stop

1. Think about sexual experience first

Before indulging in sexual activity, mentally prepare yourself for it. Avoid distractions and try your best to be stress-free. Learning more about it also boosts your confidence level enough to want to step outside the box. You could also use those first few minutes before the action to psych yourself up by either masturbating or watching a clip that could stimulate you.

2. See a therapist

Most times, the problem with being a spectator during sex is more psychological than physical. It’s advisable that you see a professional about any traumatic experiences or to help you understand the way your body functions during sex. 

3. Let go

Keep in mind that sex is a give and take activity, don’t use self-focus, fears, or even insecurities to dampen the moment. Let go of whatever worry you have and focus on having an amazing time with your partner. 


How do I stop performance anxiety in bed? 

Good sexual education helps to stop performance anxiety. When you learn about how sex works and how the entire activity is supposed to function, you wouldn’t be so anxious. Stress also heightens sexual anxieties.Having therapy and perhaps, sexual counseling would help you keep calm before, during, and after sexual activity. Also, stop rushing sex, ease yourself into it. When you’re in a hurry, you’ll end up messing around and doing nothing important. 

How do I stay calm during sex? 

When you’re not calm during sex, you’re experiencing sexual anxiety. There are a ton of ways to handle this sexual dysfunction. If you can, it’s important to de-stress before indulging in the act and you can do this by taking a bath prior. When you’re clean, it’s easy to feel confident in your body and practically nothing can stop you from enjoying the time when you’re confident. If you’re constantly anxious, nothing your partner does would get you to the happy ending you deserve. Another way to stay calm is to take deep breaths in between, let go and use other methods and ‘tools’ as well. 

Does sex eliminate anxiety? 

Well, I don’t advise you have sex as a cure for anxiety. But sex does make you feel good. It’s known to have a positive impact on your general mood and it’s one of the activities that could easily de-stress you. Sex will help you think about other things that distract you from your anxiety for a while, but as I said, it doesn’t cure anxiety. 

Does masturbation affect sex? 

It’s said that masturbation is completely normal. However, there are some claims that it can affect your sight, mental health, and other things, but these things are very untrue. It’s also said to cause infertility but this is untrue as well. However, masturbation helps you discover yourself more and could improve the experience in many ways.

How do guys feel after sex?  

Hungry! Guys feel hungry after sex. He will get up and look for the next things that can help replenish the energy he just lost (that’s if he did any work at all). Some guys have reported sadness, withdrawal, irritability, and the need to be distant after sex but most of these are all rare occurrences. 

In Summary

I hope you enjoyed this article. I carefully wrote out reasons why you are a spectator during sex and three robust solutions that would help you. I would love to read your opinion on the subject. Write them down in the comments section below, and please share this article with your friends. You can never tell who's spectatoring.

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


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