Society tells us that sex is taboo, sinful, meant solely for procreation. Society tells us sex should not be talked about outside of a heterosexual marriage. Or at least they did. We’re starting to move away from that, but the unrealistic ideas from movies and TV shows still remain. Before you even have sex, you have pre-conceived ideas of what it is based on societal and familial influence. This inherently guides your relationship with sex without you realizing it.
The good news is, you can decide if you will let society’s notions have control over your sexual confidence. It’s completely normal to not have assertiveness when you’re learning what you enjoy sexually or going through periods when your self-confidence is lacking. It happens to everyone. Here are some tips for helping you forget the unhealthy mindset and learn a new perspective that will boost your sexual confidence.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
Take the idea of being your own worst critic and flip it: become your own best cheerleader. This could be having daily affirmations or journaling about five physical attributes you love about yourself that day. You could also put some clothes on that make you feel sexy and take pictures for you and you only. Not only is positive self-talk necessary outside of the bedroom in order to correlate to while your having sex, you should also take inventory of how you’re feeling during sex. Are you experiencing performance anxiety or do you. worry about making a weird face or smelling bad? Realizing when you have those bad thoughts can help you transition to having a more compassionate self-dialogue and gain sexual confidence.
Establish Communication and Trust with Partners
In a perfect world, you’d be completely open and honest with your partner and never feel ashamed. That first time having sex with someone can be awkward, so it is important to build a basic level of trust with your partner, even if it is a random hookup. It’s all about consent and communication. This can be telling your partner what you don’t like in bed and what you do like, as well as asking them the same. If this is done, triggers from past trauma can be avoided and certain kinks can be enjoyed by both parties. Sexual confidence goes both ways and your partner’s confidence can be contagious. Listening and getting consent are great practices that will help you build trust and sexual confidence.
This may sound simple, but in order to enjoy something, you have to know what you’re supposed to be enjoying. Aka masturbate! For men, this is something that is joked from a young age, but for women it is something that can be seen as taboo or inappropriate. How are you supposed to tell a partner what you want if you don’t know yourself? Look in a mirror and see where all your parts are. Learn what makes your body feel good and what turns you on, whether that be using toys, watching porn, or being in a specific position. Once you know what makes you organsm, never apologize for it. Your body is yours to love and feel confident in.
Explore Your Desires and Know Your Boundaries
Sex is meant for pleasure and sometimes pain can lead to that pleasure. Just as you learn anything in life, maintain a sense of curiosity in the bedroom. This does not inherently mean push yourself past your limits, but it does mean find new ways to be creative with your partner. Communicate your fantasies to your partner and listen to theirs. By knowing your sexual interests and sharing them with a partner, you’ll feel more confident putting those thoughts into action. At the same time, be clear on what your boundaries are and build that relationship of mutual trust and communication. Articulating your inner desires and personal limits will make you feel more grouned in your own convictions.
In order to gain sexual confidence, you need to learn to love yourself. Yes, you should explore your body physically, but mental health is just as important. It does not mean you need to suddenly say you’re perfect, it means looking in the mirror and saying you’re not perfect. There are flaws that are in and out of your control, but it is not something to feel shame about or stress over. You can determine which of those are worth changing to gain confidence and genuine happiness. It could be as simple as getting a haircut or as serious as a breast reduction. Don’t let societal shame prevent you from loving yourself: flaws and perfections.
Build Habits and Routines
Rituals are so important to building confidence in all aspects of life. The more you walk the path to your class every day, the better you will be able to map out the directions there to someone else. In terms of sexual routines, it could be lighting a candle, dimming the lights, setting the thermostat, showering with a specific soap or anything that may remind you of a positive sexual encounter and get you in the mood to have another one.
If you’re struggling with your sexual confidence, know you’re not alone and you do not need to battle it alone. Reach out to a partner, a friend, or a medical professional and talk through your insecurities. Be patient with yourself and realize confidence does not just appear overnight. Practice love and understanding with your physical and mental health in order to be the best and most confident version of yourself.