How ADHD can affect your sex life

This year, Mashable celebrates the time of like with Horny on Main, an exploration of the many ways that thirst for sex affects our lives.

For Nayeli, a 27-year-ancient who has ADHD living in Pennsylvania, twisting and BDSM is the only reason he has a working sex life.

Nayeli and his wife, a non-binary lesbian, have a dynamic dom / sub. For her, this makes sex simpler because it allows her to focus.

"My wife lets me use my cellphone all through sex [because] I have adhd AND LIKE when I ignore him anyway," she told me over the Twitter DM. "But it's [because] I can't focus."

Sofia, a 26-year-ancient bisexual woman, also said BDSM's activities are helping her get attention. "I … suspect I like to drown and scrape because it reduces my focus area only to sexual," he said, "but idk sure."

Sofia stressed that ADHD is much more than "I can't pay attention" but that she has difficulty focusing all through sex. After considering my Twitter call to share their experiences on this track, she followed what she plotting about the next time she had sex with her boyfriend. It was virtually unstoppable: He was thinking about a conflict at work, who would win the Top Chef season they were having together if he had time to run the next morning – the list went on and on.

People of all genders have ADHD, but the difference lies in social expectation

Nagiel and Sofia are not alone. Kathleen Nadeau, a licensed psychologist and founder of the Chesapeake Center for ADHD, Learning and Behavioral Health, told me that many women report being distracted all through sex and "didn't know it was incorrect with them".

"They were trying to delight in it, but at the same time they were thinking of dozens more," Nadeau said.

People of all genders have ADHD, but the difference lies in social expectation. (To be clear, my sources have spoken in terms of cis men and women, or at least people have been socialized as men and women). ADHD appears differently in girls and boys. since boys tend to be more hyperactive and show less self-control, this could be a trigger for diagnosis.

Consequently, men are more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age than women. Women with ADHD are struggling with lower self-esteem and shame than men, according to Nadeau. The pressures women face – getting married, maintaining a home and having children and "doing it all" – occur in combination with hormonal changes that neither men encounter.

Shawna Kirby, a clinical forensic neuropsychologist, also said that gender bias and discrimination affect women with ADHD. Kirby has ADHD himself and was diagnosed at 23. "It is more likely that women are going to be diagnosed older, especially if there is nothing to cause it," Kirby said.

Women have come to Nadeau wondering if they really like their partner because they couldn't delight in sex when it was completely a neurological issue.

This dread can take place to people of any gender, but. Ross, a 22-year-ancient in Las Vegas, told me that he gets excited when he's familiar with his boyfriend. "We can be comfortable sitting on the couch and it will flirt and try to touch me a lot or kiss me, and I will be focused on something else already, and that is starting to overflow," he said, "makes me want to pull away or they just overall feel overwhelmed with all the touching and kissing. "

Sometimes over-stimulation makes Ross not very excellent to sex. it seems like a "work that many people with ADHD are worried of as corporal work or paperwork". Ross annoys him because he likes his partner, but all the tasks that go into sex can feel overwhelming. "I reckon I had to take off all my clothes, go to bed a lot, do the cleaning after the example and then go back to normal," he said, and they'll all place me out of the mood. "

What does it mean when a name with ADHD can't concentrate, even when it's something "fun" like sex, and not something "dull" like bureaucracy? Nadeau has simplified the science by unfolding the DMN network that people fall for when they do nothing specific. Examples of when a DMN kick in is when you are looking out a window or waiting for a doctor's appointment. When neurotypical people have something to do (work to be done), the DMN closes and the work-oriented network comes in.

For people with ADHD, but, the DMN is not interrupted. Both networks work simultaneously and thus, people with ADHD have internal postings. This, of course, affects people with ADHD in every aspect of life – counting gender.

The disruption can be the result of not only ADHD, but also anxiety and depression. The two often accompany ADHD in women, according to Nadeau. Psychiatrists can diagnose anxiety and depression but at the start lose ADHD. The problems in the bedroom could be caused by a combination of these.

"A excellent sex life requires that you be able to turn off all other cares and thoughts," Nadeau said. "When you're in a constant thump state, you're not going to feel very sexy." And when a name is overwhelmed and nervous, interrupting the world is not going to take place – no matter how sexy your outside environment is.

There are also people at the hyperactive-offhand end of unremitting ADHD, which could lead to supersexual behavior. Nadeau notes that those who are more offhand want to do more risky things and seek excitement in their lives.

Hypersexuality can lead to tea disgust, but in other words ADHD affects women differently than men. This was Kirby's first plotting when he considered ADHD and sex issues together. "You have ADHD and then you have impulse control," he said. "Are you talking about gender bias and discrimination regarding sex mud?"

In terms of her temperament, Kirby's therapist told her: "You can't let the 15-year-ancient Shawna ride the bus. You have to figure out a way to get her to ice cream." Impulsivity is not necessary. terrible, Kirby said, we need to learn to manage it.

"When you're in a constant thump state, you're not going to feel very sexy."

The way ADY's sex life is affected is "reflective of how it is, how they interact in all areas of their lives," Nadeau said. "If you are more hyperactive and offhand and looking for excitement, you will have a very different relationship to your sexuality than a woman who is nervous and … unable to focus on anything clearly."

If a name with ADHD wants to change their behavior – in or out of the bedroom – there are tools they can use. Medication is one. Nadeau said he can turn off the DMN. For some people, but, it can affect sexual performance, such as causing erectile dysfunction.

While she is not currently on medication, Nayeli said she has helped improve her sex life. "I've been to drugs in the past and it certainly makes the difference that I have a lot more sex when I take medicine," she said.

Sofia is taking a small dose of Adderall and said she does not reckon she has sex while taking medicine because she is taking a small dose in the morning. But he wants to try it. He told me: "I was sexed while on [Adderall] and I reckon that encouraged her so it would be fascinating to have sex after taking drugs."

But medication may not be aptly for everyone, and that's just an option. Other tools include finding non-destructive but at the same time stimulating activities for those on the hyper-offhand end. Kirby said she got into martial arts and changed her diet, which helped her.

Meditation of attention is the practice of learning to concentrate and learn to bring your mind back to work. Today it is even used as the main treatment for ADHD. Nadeau mentioned the work of Lidia Zylowska, who has a specific awareness program for people with ADHD. "It could prescribe drugs," Nadeau said, "but instead of prescribing meditation."

In terms of gender, exploring and learning preferences is a remarkable business – ADHD or not. Nayeli and Sofia, for example, know that they delight in aspects of BDSM.

Sophia has learned what brings her to orgasm, with or without her boyfriend. While masturbating with her hand makes it "nearly impossible" to come, a shaker does the job. "The best," he said, "is if I go under my boyfriend because I literally have enough brain power for both things."

Eventually, no matter what one's preferences or the tools they use to manage ADHD, this does not mean that anything is incorrect or not "normal".

"Normal is a laundry meeting that still destroys clothes," Kirby said. Sexuality and sexual preferences are as complex as any aspect of the human encounter. If you're consensual and secure, Kirby continued, "Why not get yourself an ice cream?"

Updated: February 14, 2020 — 8:24 am

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