ADHD is a real thing, so if you suspect it, get tested, preferably by three or four independent sources. It increases your chances of objectivity. So once you’re officially diagnosed with the condition and have started a treatment programme, (how) does it affect your sex life?
Let’s start by understanding the condition a bit better. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder makes patients impulsive. They have a hard time paying attention or staying focused. Untreated, it can result in anxiety, depression, and inability to function. Mundane activities can become impossible. These elements of ADHD can have a direct effect on your sexuality because they affect your sex drive, as well as your interest in formerly pleasurable activities.
In this article, we are going to look at the changes (diagnosed) ADHD can make to your sexuality. Then, we shall look at ways to tackle those problems. Obviously, the first step is to get medication or other treatments for your ADHD. Then, it’s a good idea to sit with your doctor and explore the potential and actual side effects of your meds. Review regularly and observe your sexual behaviour and response. You’re essentially trouble-shooting yourself.
A more direct correlation sometimes exists, because ADHD medication can make the patient lose interest in sex. But even without medication, low attention spans and difficulty focusing can be bad for your sex life. Firstly, sex itself involves observing your partner’s sexual cues, making the sensual moves they enjoy and being present throughout the process. If your attention keeps straying, sex won’t be fun for either of you, and you’ll seek it less frequently.
Secondly, the tips that help you last longer in bed require cued concentration. So if you can’t keep your mind and body still on demand, your performance will suffer. At the emotional level, risky impulses could lead ADHD patients to indulge in pornography and infidelity, which breaks the trust in their relationship and leads to sexual problems. As a result of these habits – plus other ADHD symptoms, the patient’s self-image is dented, and that further affects their sex life.
Low self-esteem is a big driver of seeking premature ejaculation solutions, and it’s cyclic. ADHD may make it hard to keep up at work or school, so they might keep dropping out or quitting jobs. This makes patient doubt themselves, and their value as a person. This (unrelated but) crippling self-doubt can paralyse them in intimate moments, so they can’t perform. Then their lack of performance dips their self-worth further, leading to added incidences of early ejaculation.
Two other issues that may arise are hyposexuality and hypersexuality. If your long-term partner suddenly loses interest in sex, you might start to doubt your own attractiveness, which widens the sexual gap between you. On the other hand, if their sex drive suddenly doubles or triples, you may have a hard time keeping up. You can develop guilt and inadequacy about your inability to satisfy your partner. Or you may get anxious that their needs are being met elsewhere.
At the sensory level, some ADHD diagnoses come with an enhanced response to stimuli. Ordinary sights, sounds, and scents can annoy, irritate, overwhelm, or even repulse the patient. So the natural components of sex could end up putting them off altogether. Consider dimming the lights, softening the mood music, and opting for milder flavours in your sex accessories.
Experiment with unscented lube/massage oil, or try showering together to avoid using strong ‘sexy scents’ for pre-game prep. Women with ADHD might be unable to orgasm because their minds keep straying from what their body is experiencing. Men with ADHD might lose focus on their partner’s sensual responses and end up making the wrong move at the wrong time.
Mindfulness can alleviate both these challenges. Talk about your sex life, offering ideas for new positions, techniques, or locations that can get you more present and relaxed. Find innovations you’re both comfortable with, keeping everything safe and sexy. Set aside time for sex, and during your sex date, commit to being completely focused on your partner. Keep communication lines open, both with your partner and your (sex) therapist. You might find the changes in sexuality aren’t all a result of the bedroom (in)activity.
For instance, you may assume sex is no longer enjoyable because the affected partner isn’t in the moment. But it could be something else entirely. Say in a fit of ADHD, your partner made an impulse buy you disapprove of. Or forgot a significant date in your relationship. That could affect your intimate as well, so resolve matters as soon as they arise, before their mind jumps to something else. Festering never helped anyone or anything, especially in matters of sexuality.
Your goal is to assess your ability to last longer in bed, confirm how much of it is related to your ADHD, and work with your doctor to find solutions. They might need to change medication or prescribe something to counter your sexual side effects. This covers the physiological/medical of your sexual challenges. But ADHD doesn’t just influence you at the therapeutic level, so there are other elements to attack. For example, an inability to stay present during sex.
A sex therapist might be more helpful here than a medical doctor, so you and your partner may consider seeing one for (sexual) couples’ counselling. Yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises can all help you stay in the moment. This will help you stay focused longer, and train you to gently call your attention back when it starts to stray. Sometimes though, the trouble is with excessive attention, because ADHD patients can be super sensitive.