Chantelle Otten talks ADHD and sex: symptoms, support and solutions
ADHD doesn’t make you any less sexy, but it can have an impact on your sex life. Educating yourself is one of the best things you can do, so why don’t we talk about how ADHD can impact on sexuality.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a health condition that causes a person to have a bunch of symptoms that may impact on their attention, hyperactivity, and may include impulsive behaviour. ADHD can have a big effect on a person’s life, including difficulty in the bedroom.
It is hard to measure the effects of ADHD on sexuality, because everyone’s sexuality is different. But it’s important for me to list some of the common symptoms of ADHD. The symptoms include depression, emotional instability, and anxiety, plus fatigue! Fatigue happens because it’s very difficult for a lot of people with ADHD to maintain order and organisation, so they may run out of juice after all of that mental hard work, making it tough to engage in eroticism!
Fatigue happens because it’s very difficult for a lot of people with ADHD to maintain order and organisation, so they may run out of juice after all of that mental hard work, making it tough to engage in eroticism!
ADHD can also impact a couple’s emotional and sexual relationship, and can contribute to sexual concerns in a whole heap of different ways. Some people with ADHD may have very high sex drives. Some have very low sex drives. And, as those with ADHD have an increased risk for depression, this can also dull desire and cause sexual difficulties.
Another thing that can also cause sexual difficulties, is criticism that the person suffering with ADHD can get, especially as a child. This is common in ADHD patients, especially if they are not diagnosed as children, as they may have had difficulties where they have been criticised for their behaviours, yelled at, or completely off with the fairies so they get in trouble. A lot of these kids become naturally resilient and shut out criticism, but this can cause difficulties later in life, especially in adult relationships. With many of these children feeling lonely and difficult to love. These feelings can cause difficulties within relationships later in life.
There may also be troubles with paying attention during sex, with their mind wandering during foreplay, or erotic activities. This may seem pretty normal to you if you live with ADHD, but can be confusing for your partner.
People with ADHD may also like variety in sexual partners, which may make it harder to keep long-term relationships and can raise the chances of risky sex.
So. . . what can we do about this?
IFirst of all, learn as much as you can about ADHD, and invite your partner to learn with you. The more that you and your partner know about your symptoms, such as irritability, or distraction, the more power you have to recognise how ADHD is impacting on your life and relationship. It’s also great to be able to reassure your partner that it’s not their fault if you’re not feeling that great.
Secondly, set up your erotic space in a way that helps you focus during sex. Having sex when you can see things that will distract you, or that may make you lose focus, can be avoided by having sex in the dark, or with music playing that helps you focus.
Set up your erotic space in a way that helps you focus during sex. Having sex when you can see things that will distract you, or that may make you lose focus, can be avoided by having sex in the dark, or with music playing that helps you focus.
Be open with communication. If you like being touched in a certain way, and that way changes the next time you’re with your partner, be sure to tell your partner what you like. This can prevent any hurt feelings and miscommunications.
Focus on pleasure, not performance. If you can just focus on what feels good in your body, and not aim for orgasm, it can ease the pressure and help you and your partner enjoy yourselves without feeling like you have to reach a goal.
Focus on pleasure, not performance.
Come see a sexologist, and make sure you’re getting support from a psychological point of you for your ADHD symptoms. Your therapist can also help you communicate with your partner in and outside the bedroom.
If you are prescribed medicine, take that medication. Medication is there to help you, and can boost your ability to focus and enjoy erotic activity. If you do find that it does lead to a loss in sexual desire or ability, you need to talk to your doctor and your partner about this and find a solution that works for you.
ADHD makes boring things more interesting. You know that with ADHD you can pay attention, it can just be a tad inconsistent, so work on creating your ADHD zone and focus it on bedroom activity.
Regardless of what is happening in your sex life, finding a solution is possible with a number of personalise treatment plans. All you need to do is find the right therapist for you. And look! ADHD makes boring things more interesting. You know that with ADHD you can pay attention, it can just be a tad inconsistent, so work on creating your ADHD zone and focus it on bedroom activity. Once you tap into that sexual space, and your sexual partner is there to help you keep focus, then you can get a lot done, and you can do it well!
So plan out that sexy night, create your erotic playlist, and be honest with your sexual partner about wanting to keep on track. You’ve got the energy, you’ve got the creativity, turn your ADHD into your sexual superpower.
You can book in with Chantelle here.
You can buy Chantelle’s first book, The Sex Ed You Never Had, here.
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