Day 5: Getting In The Mood (Why Context Matters)
Today I want to talk about getting in the mood. The language we use around “getting in the mood” makes it sound like getting in the mood is something that happens to us, outside of our control, like the weather. Sometimes it’s sunny, sometimes it’s cloudy. Sometimes we’re in the mood, sometimes we’re not.
But being in the mood isn’t exactly like the weather. Getting “in the mood” has a lot more to do with the thoughts & the context of sexual cues rather than the circumstances of our lives. Nothing is ever accomplished without having a thought about it first. You’ve never felt “sexy” and in the mood without accompanying positive sexual & romantic thoughts first.
For instance, you might have heard that lingerie gets women in the mood. However, it doesn’t paint the whole picture because it’s the thoughts you have about the lingerie and the context in which you’re wearing it matters far more than the lingerie itself. And yes, some women find lingerie to be flattering, empowering, and it helps them feel more confident — precisely because they’re invoking those thoughts while wearing it!
We don’t experience sexual desire (aka “being in the mood”) all the time for good reasons. Feeling your partner’s sexual advances while you’re in the middle of helping your middle schooler with her algebra homework and trying to console a moody toddler at the same time may feel like a turn-off. Sometimes a certain touch feels really good, and other times the exact same touch feels like an invasion of your privacy. The context at which we intercept various cues matters.
We may pick up on certain cues differently from the next person too. For instance, when I see my wife coming out of the shower with her wet hair and beautiful body, my mind quickly metabolizes these cues and my body immediately begins to respond. I feel desire pretty easily! However when my wife sees me step out of the shower with my hulking biceps, sculpted abs, and wet hair, she doesn’t experience the same response. And that’s ok. However, other contexts I don’t yet fully understand tend to get her aroused.
If you’d like some help “getting in the mood” more often, you can marshall your thoughts to create more sexy context in your life. Humans have a remarkable ability to create feelings on purpose by thinking certain thoughts.
Wanna see if this works for you? Try this experiment. Think about a wonderful time or situation you felt really turned on. Can you recall the details? What were you wearing? What time of day was it? What was spoken or not spoken? What about that event made you feel the way you did?
Got it? Are you picturing that moment with as much vivid detail as you can? Are you able to recreate those feelings to an extent? Notice those feelings. Where do you feel it in your body? How would you describe these feelings?
Now, while recalling these feelings, go flirt with your spouse if you want to. See if it helps you more easily transition into being in the mood.
Sometimes getting in the mood is more of a matter of getting your body in motion first trusting that your heart will follow, as it usually does. For instance, do you ever not want to wake up early to exercise, but you put on your workout clothes and running shoes anyway? And after you were finished you felt pretty good about yourself? Desire can often show up after you’ve experienced some arousal in the right context.
There’s more you can do to create more positive sexual context in your relationship, such as taking time to connect, sexting / being flirty and naughty, sharing your mental load, accomplishing things together, showing genuine care and concern for each other, investing in each other’s thriving, and so on.
So if you want to get in the mood:
- understand what your cues are
- marshall your thoughts that invoke “in the mood” feelings
- And realize oftentimes desire shows up after some arousal
What have you found that helps you get in the mood? Let us know in the comments below!