Ask a Sex Therapist: Why Is It So Hard to Make Eye Contact During Sex?

Gazing into your partner’s eyes while making love adds intimacy. Still, for some people, it can cause anxiety. According to sex therapist Vanessa Marin “most people” find it difficult to make eye contact during sex, even for just “a few seconds.”

Ask a Sex Therapist: Why Is It So Hard to Make Eye Contact During Sex?

She confirms that eye contact during sex is “one of the most vulnerable things” you can do with a lover. Since people reveal a lot about themselves through their facial expressions and in their eyes even nonsexual eye contact with someone can be difficult. People invite interaction, indicate attentiveness, and get the feeling of truly being seen when they make eye contact with others.

Thus when we make eye contact during sex and pair these two intimate activities it raises the level of intimacy to higher levels. This can be challenging. If you want to get better at eye contact during coitus, there you have options.

First, try making better eye contact with yourself. Try standing in front of a mirror and looking yourself in the eyes. Do this often and try to hold eye contact for a longer period of time for each session. 

Practice with strangers. When you buy your morning coffee, make eye contact with the barista when you say “thank you.” When you go out for a meal, look your server in the eyes when you order. 

If this is too much for you, go on YouTube. Find vlogs where the speaker talks directly to the camera. Practice making eye contact with the speaker. The speaker obviously will not know you’re doing it so it’ll be easy.

Here’s another tip from a sex therapist. Look at the bridge of people’s noses. They’ll think you’re actually looking into their eyes but you’re not so it won’t make you feel vulnerable. 

Finally, ask your lover to discuss making eye contact and say you want to practice. Then, when you’re both ready to practice, find a comfy spot outside of your bedroom and sit facing each other.

Practicing outside the bedroom separates it from the act of sex. You’ll feel less vulnerable. Now take a couple of deep breaths, close your eyes for a moment to clear your mind then open them again and make eye contact. 

Practice working up to a few seconds at a time. Slowly close your eyes if you feel as if you have been making eye contact for too long. Allow yourselves to take brief breaks for a few seconds whenever you need to do so. Allow yourselves to giggle.

Even with these practice sessions, making eye contact might still make you feel very vulnerable. You might only be able to do it for a few seconds at a time. So don’t be too rough on yourself. 

Making eye contact at any time can make you feel vulnerable and very open. Making eye contact while making love can be even harder because you are opening yourself up both body and soul. Just remember, practice makes perfect.