Distracted During Sex

Hello, I am new on this site, and just hoping to find some resources/help. My partner has ADD and we have what I feel is an excellent relationship - we communicate well and each try our best to cope with problems/issues as they arise. One issue I'm really having difficulty with is our sex life. Almost every time we have sex, he gets distracted, loses interest, gets it back again, repeats, and eventually gives up on reaching orgasm. He doesn't have any lack of interest in having sex, and we have a very loving and passionate relationship. The issue is just his inability to climax due to his mind wandering and then after a while he just gets frustrated and doesn't want to try anymore (and often a lot of time has passed from when we began, and we just simply can't go on anymore) I admit that sometimes I feel inadequate - that I can't hold his attention - but I also know that isn't the problem. I would love to hear if others have this same issue and how they have dealt with it, and if you have any solutions/suggestions of things we could try. Thanks!

Distracted During Sex

You are most certainly not alone!  People with ADD are often distracted during sex.  Don't start to doubt your own attractiveness just because he's distracted (the distraction isn't personal - it's in his brain wiring).  As you are together longer, you may find he is somewhat generally distracted from you, as well.  Again, don't take it personally - ADD and distraction go hand in hand - but do work on figuring out how to get around the distraction.  You do want to work out a system whereby when you feel he is getting distracted you can signal him that you need/want him to refocus...

As for the sex...Try changing the duration of your sexual encounters - for example, "rush" through things once in a while, or make it so that you are only paying attention to him, not him to you.  Perhaps this will allow you to get the pleasure of his orgasm sometimes, and when he doesn't come during longer sessions you won't be as concerned.

Does music help him focus?  Or mirrors?  The former helps many kids focus more clearly while studying...the latter might remind him what he's doing when he gets distracted (looks up, sees the two of you, which refocuses him...)

Also, try new things when you can.  Newness has a way of focusing the mind...perhaps some toys or videos, different types of foreplay, locations, clothing, watching each other masturbate...????  Talk with him about his fantasies, tell him yours...

If you want to be really clinical about it, perhaps you can take note of whether there are patterns to when he loses focus - certain things that take too long, or perhaps after a certain amount of time from initiation (i.e. he has an attention span of 35 minutes or something, then needs to wander...)

Perhaps others have some ideas?

Melissa Orlov

Re: Distracted During Sex

As someone (male) who has ADHD, I can speak to my own experience(s) and the need for heightened stimulation (visual, verbal) after being in a relationship for awhile. I think Melissa gave some great advice in terms of spicing things up and being creative in the bedroom. And by all means, don't take it personal. Actually for me, its been hard to sustain a relationship in general (longer than 5 years) because it gets boring or routine. I am very engaged at the beggining of a new relationship because the newness of it all really has my attention and its a challange. But once things settle down, thats when i enter the boring zone....Hence, im 46 and have yet to get married or start a family...Wondering if others out there share the same relationship challenges?.....Good luck and hang in there!!

this makes so much sense

My partner and I have broken up more times than I can count on my fingers and toes.  It seems the minute we get to that place in a relationship when we're no longer in the honeymoon period, he's gotta have space.  I couldn't understand why he kept doing this and then coming back, when there were never any problems, but this makes a lot of sense. 

thank you

thank you so much for your positive words and helpfulness. I will definitely take your suggestions and look forward to checking back to see if others post comments and suggestions too. I try hard to not take some of the things my partner does (or forgets to do) personally but with sex its a little more difficult to not take personally. I am trying though and with luck things will improve there. And then there is the other side of it in which I feel bad for him when he is unable to climax. This website is really a great help, I've already learned so much! thank you!

Bedroom Strategies

An interesting book I was referred to by a counselor is "Passionate Marriage" by David Snarch. It's actually pretty raw at times and at others complex. But the take away message is to forget about measuring successful sex with whether or when orgasms occur and rather strive only to CONNECT with your partner. And it's not even intended for ADD folks! You start with hugging until relaxed (holding each other way longer than your comfortable doing so initially) like for 15 minutes. Then have "eyes-open" sex, where you never close your eyes or take them off your partner's. Talk about spicing things up in the bedroom-- this is fun. Then strive for "eyes-open orgasms" which only the extremely enlightened can achieve and only on occaission.

RE: Distracted During Sex

Upon checking this site i had no idea what this "ADD" is all about but i have managed to pick up that i am one of those who has it. I am usually distracted during sex because i came to know that my partner had several sexual encounters before our marriage and i was a virgin when we had our first encounter. I always find my mind wandering during sex because i had a problem of her still befriending those sexual partners that failed her. This fact stressed me to the extend that i couldn't handle it in my sexual encounters, i just quickly give up.

I too have a husband that I

I too have a husband that I believe has ADD. Although he has not been diagnosed, I am certain that he is. I've read almost all of the comments in this blog and he's done exactly everything you women are experiencing. He makes promises to pay more attention, even during sex but he still gets distracted. I'm not big on taking meds so I wouldn't dare ask him to medicate himself, so, I came up with some strategies that helps us and maybe it can help you. First, as you already know, communication is the essential key of it all and the willingness on his part to comply. Sticky notes work wonders (E-mails too). I place sticky notes in places where I know he will read them, etc. I found that it even helps me as well. I don't make his things-to-do list strenuous because I know I will just find him sitting around doing nothing and he will tell me a quick lie in a minute just to get me out of his face (Nagging) but I don't. I had to learn patience with him but be firm. I don't beg anymore I demand. These men are not children and if they can hyper focus on the things they love they can hyper focus on working on their issues. Now how can this be done? What are the things that interest your husband the most but causes hi to get caught up in the moment when nothing else matters? Set a limit on it! Collecting old movies over the internet is what wires my husband and he can do this for hours on end. So, we both agreed that he can search the internet on Fridays for his movie collecting hobby and the rest of the week is for simple stuff like checking email, weather, sports highlights. I also try to involve myself in the things that interest him and I partake in it so that he doesn't feel that he has to totally disregard them. We make sure we plan and write down what we expect from eachother on the weekends since he's off on those days. I leave sticky notes on what I need him to do for that day and I make sure he does those things before he engages in anything else (because PROCRASTNATER should have been his birth name)! As far as the low desire for intimacy, I found out that he is really into "dirty talk" while in the act so I make sure I do lots of it and Oh Boy does that help!...So, if "dirty talk" is what turns him on I make sure I "talk dirty" all night long!! LOL! He's also into role play, so I go out and buy sexy outfits (I encourage him to do this as well, so that he can get to choose what he wants to see me in). I also have found a way for him to initiate sex since I was the one who always initiated it which can get very frustrating at times. So, I sat him down and explained to him how often I would like to have sex. For example, I'm a woman with needs at least every 4 to 5 days so I tell him to keep track of the last time we were intimate. If we have sex Monday, he knows around Friday or Saturday I'm ready again!!! If I want it sooner, we've come up with ways to give him ques. For example, when he comes home from work, I'll be wearing nothing but stiletto heels and my birthday suit or when we're in bed I'll begin to start without him right in front of him...( if you know what I mean) he really gets the point then, for some reason men love it! I personally don't care for it but as long as it's not degrading or sacrificing my dignity I do what it takes to keep it funky in the bedroom. My point is ladies, there is hope if you combine it with a lot of communication, creativity, and of course PRAYER!!! How will you ever figure it out if you don't pray and ask GOD to teach you what needs to be done concerning your marriage. He knows what you're going thru and He put you their with your husband for a reason. GOD knew it would take a strong woman to deal with a man of such caliber and only a strong woman can conquer this challenge and what a CHALLENGE it is!!! Get on those knees ladies and PUSH...Pray Until Something Happens!!! God Bless, StrongWomanInControl

Staying focused during sex

I am a sexuality educator who also has ADHD, so I am painfully familiar with this issue! I recently wrote a blog entry which lists 12 Tips for Staying Focused during sex. It is directed toward the AD/HD person, and many of the tips won't work for everyone, but perhaps you or your husband might find something useful? http://embodiedsexuality.blogspot.com/2008/08/staying-focused-during-sex... (I hope it is ok to give a link to another blog in a comment--if not, feel free to delete!)

I'm the ONE

THIS IS ME!!!!!!

My husband thought I didn't love him anymore.  I wanted sex.....but it wasn't fun because my mind was inundated with CRAP that meant nothing.  So, I avoided it.

I had no idea it was ADD.  Got diagnosed, got meds............now, we keep it novel.  Never the same thing twice in a row.  Different room, different position, different mood, sensual, dirty talking, text msgs, you name it.  And it is awesomely better for us both.  I don't feel so frustrated that he's aroused and I'm not even starting to heat up yet.  I hated that!  Or there was a noise, the dog moved, etc. etc. etc. that would simply render me so distracted that I was done.

Granted, it's much easier when we have daytime opportunity cuz the meds help a LOT!  But being able to stick to my diet and loosing 10lbs in the last 5 weeks has helped my view of myself greatly.  It's hard to think that someone wants you or thinks you are sexy when all you focus on is the things you don't like.  Working on some other self esteem issues has helped as well.

It's not a cure.  I'm not perfect -- and never will be.  But, I can say this -- our sex life is important and we weren't treating it that way and it suffered even more drastically because of my ADD.  It is more important than dirty dishes or watching tv......and when we treat it that way, it really is a good thing. 

Hope this helps someone :)  It helped me!

Having Sex With My ADD Husband

My husband has bad ADD and sex was very difficult for a long time.  It actually took us quite a while to have sex because it would take him so long to orgasm.  Honestly, I would grow too tired to orgasm anymore while waiting for him to reach his.  Then I came up with two different approaches that have worked really well for us:

1.  Its a hard balance to achieve, but make love to my husband (tender touches, passionate words, sensual looks) and (bleep) his ADD.  And by that, I mean make the intercourse as hardcore as possible.  Go as fast and hard as you can.  Basically below the waste, let your vagina take control.  Above the waste, let your heart guide you.  I find that if the feeling of sex is so intense, his mind does not wander and we're able to be romantic and passionate at the same time.

2.  This approach works well when its not about lovemaking.  But rather when we're just plain horny.  Pure and simple, switch it up frequently.  I usually cycle randomly between hand, oral, and vaginal sex.  And when its not oral, I keep the dirty talk and fondling extremely intense.  My logic here is that by bombarding his senses with sex, his mind becomes too overwhelmed to wander.  It works very well for us.  We're both usually exhausted by the end.

Hope this helps and I hope I wasn't too blunt for anyone.  Apologies of I was.



I'm an ADHD spouse in love with a very desirable wife. My problem is that "performance anxiety" and distractability are a big problem. I've tried to tell her that I do desire her, but she doesn't always understand or believe me. How do I make my actions speak for me and show her how I feel? Several physical exams have found no physical cause.

I realized...

Today, I cried cause of how frustrated I became. I became frustrated to the point where I even told my partner to leave me alone leaving him wondering i don't find him attractive which is soooooo not the case. Lately, when I engage sexually, I'll have an erection, but it wouldn't last long..... My mind starts going. I start thinking of dumb shit(excuse my language). I start thinking of my insecurities. I start thinking of the people he's slept with. I here someone walking down the stairs outside my apartment aaaannnddd my mind is fixated on the noise. Thinking about cleaning the table.... Etc. My partner is... Gorgeous. My type for sure. I like to say I'm lucky. Hes Successful, goal oriented, father to my child kind of guy. I hate him sometimes, but... That's because we don't see eye to eye sometimes. But I feel like I screw up a lot. Like as if I'm not enough. Now he assures me that I'm the one for him so I have no reason the be acting like I do. I just feel like I don't do enough and that's all because of me being all distracted and shit. My job? Man oh man... My boss would be talking to me and I'm trying.... I'm trying to listen and I am, but I'm literally thinking about why the desk looks dirty to just zoning out. School never worked out. I am going back though this August. I need to try again. But to go back to my sex life, when he wants it, I can't stay hard. My mind is racing. Like I said today was like the tipping point. I cried cause I wanted to do it more then what he may perceive and my stupid brain will wander. I searched and I'm reading these comments and I am realizing I have to talk to a doctor now. I have had an appointment scheduled in June so that I can finally talk about this. The comment by ADDWife hit me hard. You explained everything i have had in my head so long but never said anything. It's hurting my relationship I feel and it's making me more insecure with myself and I know I have no reason to be. I really want to fix this. I hope my doctor figures it out. Maybe he'll prescribe me something. I just want to be "normal" Writing his took longer then expected. I kept getting distracted. And that's the honest truth. Staying strong.

I thought I was the only one

It's good to know that I am not the only one. I think I have that  too, and I frustrates me. Every time single day for the past 2 months , I am having this problem . Now to make thing worse , now every time I try for the second time, I get  nervous  and I and up not getting an erection at all. Even if I try for play it does not work. Don't get me wrong I lovely wife but I think this might cripple are marriage  because Which all of that makes her feel like I am rejecting her. 

Sex and other subjects :)

My wife gets very distracted in this same manner...it is quiet frustrating to be deep into love making and have her out of no where start talking about something that just floats through her brain...:) Its not a huge turn on :)...Melissa gave you some excellent points...Our best sex has been standing up in the closet and after a shower together, just set her on the counter...Also, she seems less distracted with the lights on, maybe the visual influence helps her focus...The mornings are bad, because she can't wake up, and nights are bad because she is to tired and she can't get motivated...So I have found out the best time for my wife is midday or after she has been up and going for a few hours...One more thing...I think she likes it better when it's her idea...this one maybe more of a female thing :)

midnight_09's picture

ADD Boyfriend

It's quite frustrating to be turned on and in mid-stroke with your partner then all of a sudden they begin rambling on about something totally not meant for the bedroom, ie THE SUPERMARKET! Now I know most times it's not even my partner's fault. I feel that he can't help himself, and his mind NEEDS to wander, but... his busy mind has definitely placed a damper on our sex life. We went from sexual activity 2 or 3 times a day, to maybe mutually masturbating once or twice a week. We'd try and try, and I'd be up and ready to go.. but him, not so much. At one point, I figured he just wasn't attracted to me anymore. But he tells me every day how gorgeous he thinks I am, and how he's lucky to have met me and such, which in turn cures me from my self doubt, but also confuses me even more as to why he can't concentrate on making love to me. Then on the rare occasion we do seem to get things going, it takes me about a normal time frame to reach a climax, but for him.. some days it takes a pretty decent amount of time. It gets pretty tiring to the point where we just kind of decide to stop and watch TV or something. But its because he can't allow his mind to concentrate on the awesome sex he's having bc he's thinking of something else. I just need to know how to get and KEEP my ADD Boyfriend's attention so we can both fully enjoy sex again.