Today’s topic is one I rarely see discussed in books and articles: ADD women and sex.

ADD follows the woman into the bedroom, often creating havoc in her intimate relationships and self-esteem. It shouldn’t come as any surprise- ADD symptoms such as impulsivity, distractibility and inattention can make it difficult to connect with one’s partner. Then there’s tactile defensiveness (hypersensitivity to touch) that often plays a huge part in making intimate moments difficult.

On the one hand, many women with ADD find that sex calms down their nervous system just by virtue of the heaviness of their mate’s bodies. Many women have told me that their hyperactive/impulsive bodies crave that type of sensory experience- the sexual act itself is often secondary. A similar scenario would be the child (or adult) with ADD or Autism who calms down when sleeping under heavy blankets.

It would make sense, too, that a hyperactive woman might find sexual activity pleasurable because of the intense physical contact- the thrill of the moment- and the disinhibited physical movement involved.

But many impulsive ADD women can often find themselves in quite a bit of trouble: by rushing into a physical relationship without thinking of the consequences, which could be anywhere from becoming emotionally and physically abused, to a loss of self-worth, to contracting a STD.

Inattentive, dreamy women, have their own issues. But one they share with their hyperactive/impulsive counterparts is the “D” word: distractibility. Though inattentive women seem to be lost in their own world at times, that world is typically very very interesting. In fact, I think most women, regardless of their subtype, have hyperactive brains- they just can’t shut them down.

So…in the moment of passion, where does their thinking go? Often it jumps around like a ping-pong ball: “Did I take the clothes out of the dryer? Did I pay the bill? Will I have time to finish that report?”

Just as many hyperactive/impulsive women might crave intense physical contact to calm down their nervous system, many with inattentive ADD, especially, might find sex to be downright uncomfortable, if not painful. These women are hypersensitive to intense sensory experiences, and might flinch if their partner touches them too roughly or conversely, too lightly. They may retract and avoid sex, even.

What’s a woman to do?

First, read as much as possible to better understand how your ADD interferes with intimacy. All these years, you might have thought you were the odd one out, but I can tell you that the situations described above are quite common.

Obviously, good communication with your partner is imperative. Chances are, your difficulties have been chronic and neither you nor your partner ever understood the connection. With understanding comes the ability to solve problems, so you’ve now gotten through the initial steps of improving your sex life just by reading this.

If distractibility is an issue, discuss new ways to make sex more exciting. There are plenty of books and online sources to help spice things up in the bedroom.

If your impulsivity contributes to making poor, dangerous decisions, think ahead and come up with alternatives. If you know you’re likely to go home with a stranger you’ve just met at a nightclub, stop going! Or go with a friend who is depending on you for a ride home.

Impulsivity (and other ADD symptoms, of course) can also be controlled by ADD medications. So having a frank discussion with your doctor should help tame your behaviors.

For the hypersensitive, again- open discussions with your partner- explaining, guiding him/her with what is comfortable for you, is necessary. Don’t expect your partner to be a mind reader.

To stay focused in the moment, turn off all distractions: TV, lights (though for some, seeing more vs less is helpful).

Set up specific romance dates in advance to help you get into the mood. Many women have complained that a spontaneous suggestion from a mate is too difficult due to having to stop an activity and transition to the bedroom. Tell your partner you need hints or scheduled time in advance to help you transition into the bedroom.

These are just a few ideas, and if you’d like to share yours, please do so in the comment section below.