Why Time Seems to Slow Down During Sex

time slows down couple sheets

Time Perceptions and Intimacy

If you have ever made love to someone you are deeply connected to, you may have noticed that a strange phenomenon that occurs where time seems to slow down. Have you ever experienced this? Some people even describe the dynamic where they step outside of themselves, like they are watching a movie.

If you can relate, it’s important to know you aren’t going crazy. And while some suggest that the slowing of time happens due to chemical reasons – like a surge of dopamine – that’s really not the cause.

Instead, it is your mind’s reaction to an intense psychological experience. Have you ever been in a car accident? If so, I’d like you to reflect on this for a moment.

Did it seem like everything slowed down? Was it almost like you stepped outside of yourself and could see everything, frame by frame?

If the answer is yes, you experienced temporal variation; a fancy term used to describe the distortion of time. Some believe it is a psychological trick of the mind that occurs because the brain is unable to keep up with the intensity of the moment.

Perhaps this is true?

But the point I am making is that when you make love, particularly when there is a strong attraction to another, the same phenomenon takes place.

And just for the record, the slowing of time doesn’t always happen when getting it on. Some people (men and women alike) report the opposite whereby time seems to speed up.

In other words, a one-hour get-together, perceptually, goes by in minutes. Obviously, use of certain substances (420) as part of intimacy will influence perceptions.

For example, if you were to use any substance with a hallucinogen, you can expect cognitive distortions to occur on a number of fronts (space, time, and reality).

But assuming that you don’t use these drugs (I really hope you don’t), it is still very normal to perceive time differently during certain acts.

Related: Why time slows down when you fly

It’s very possible that because you are so tuned into your partner, your mind has (temporarily) purged itself of extraneous material so that you can be in the moment.

New agers call this mindful lovemaking. And according to research, those who engage in this type of intimacy experience waves of pleasure. See this post on practicing Zen in the bedroom.

The bottom line is this, folks. Researchers aren’t sure of the exact reasons why distortions of time happen during intimacy, including penetration. Sure, they have theories. But at the end of the day, they really don’t know.

What we can say with confidence is this. The slowing of time when you are getting your love-making on is normal. Who knows, maybe something ethereal is going on.

Food for thought.

About John Lannoye 177 Articles
John Lannoye is editor and founder of Men's Variety. Based in Chicago, he blogs on topics related to health, grooming, wellness, relationships and men's grooming. Follow him on Twitter.