During sex we see and are seen—sometimes physically, always intimately. In mapping the terrains of our bodies, we open ourselves to a journey of expected peeks and valleys. We explore sensations that can transport us to what feels like another dimension.

But sometimes, we experience feelings and thoughts that we can't always control. Sex often involves areas of the body that have been saturated with cultural and gendered norms. So it is understandable that these moments might trigger us. For some this feels like dysphoria, for others they might dissociate.

Try these practices to ground yourself if distress pops up while traversing the lusciousness of your body or someone else's.

🌀 Notice what you're feeling. Don't try to push away or ignore the feeling.

🌀 Communicate often. Tell partners what you need from them — words, actions, reassurances, or a break.

🌀 Remind yourself of your agency. Practice on-going consent and stop whenever you want.

🌀 Come back to this moment. Reconnect with your senses one by one to tune into the environment around you.

🌀 Chart out comfort zones. You set your boundaries of acceptable touch—not anatomy or societal convention.

🌀 Try new words for your body during sex. See if more affirming or neutral terms bring you back to you.

🌀 Explore yourself. Stimulate your body solo and respond to your touch with self-awareness. A sensorial intimacy serum can help.

🌀 Test out clothed-play. Wearing clothes and gender-affirming intimates can reduce the sense of feeling exposed during intimacy.