Sexual confidence requires a lot of inner work and dedication to becoming your most authentic self.
It’s not nearly as much about technical skills in the bedroom as you may think. In fact, it hardly is at all.
#1 Get connected to your body and heal your relationship with it
Our physical body is the vehicle through which we express ourselves and receive pleasure, and having a poor relationship with it does us a huge disservice. It makes us afraid of being seen—physically and emotionally—which prevents us from forming deep relationships with others. It makes us anxious and unable to relax during sex, which inhibits us from receiving pleasure. It disconnects us from our intuition and our truth, and being in tune with these is crucial for us to be able to live authentic, fulfilling lives. Good news: You can heal your relationship with your body and feel extremely connected to it without having to change a damn thing about it! Here's how:
Performed with consistent effort, self-love rituals will make a huge difference in your relationship with your body and will help you gain confidence in all areas of your life.
- Affirmations: Positive affirmations are a simple yet powerful way to trick our minds into thinking we're fierce AF. Some examples are: "I am worthy no matter what I look like." "I am beautiful inside and out." "I am more than my body." Find one that resonates and say it often!
- Mirror work: The more you look at your body the more you will grow to love it. It will become normal and relaxed for you the more you do it, too. Whether naked or clothed, take some time to admire your physical form. Bonus points if you recite affirmations while you do it!
- Gratitude/mindset change: Appreciating our body for what it is and can do allows for more love and less hating on it for what it isn't or what it can't do. What are you grateful for? The ability to move or to dance? The ability to see or hear beautiful things? When we learn to view our body as a miraculous, it's difficult to hate.
- Self-massage: Surprise! You don't need another person to give you a delicious, satisfying massage. Grab some coconut oil or lotion and slowly glide your hands over your body, paying extra attention to the parts of your body you dislike. Giving yourself this care and attention is like literally infusing love into your body, showing yourself that it's worthy of attention, pleasure, love, and admiration.
Self-Pleasure AKA Masturbation
Masturbation can be a great way to connect to yourself and your sexual energy. It also relaxes you, helps you sleep better, relieves menstrual cramps, and strengthens muscle tone in your pelvic and anal regions (hello, better orgasms!). Moreover, it's empowering as hell because you are in control, you're the one receiving, and you are actively proving to yourself that you are worthy of sexual pleasure.
Exploring your body will also help your sex life. If you engage in partnered sex, you will more easily be able to express what feels good to you because, well, you’ll actually know from having discovered it yourself. And if you don’t have a partner but want one (or some) eventually? You’ll be primed up and ready to tell them just what you like in the bedroom when the time comes!
Here are some suggestions to get you started or spice things up in your self-pleasure routine:
- Make exploring the goal, not achieving an orgasm. Use different kinds of strokes, use both sides of your hands, try different paces, touch areas of your body that you’ve never touched before, etc.
- Buy a sex toy. There are so many options out there for clitoral, vaginal, and anal stimulation at every price point. Treat yourself to something new that will allow you to explore your body and pleasure zones.
- Experiment with porn to turn yourself on. There are obviously a ton of free sites out there, but not all sites are high quality. People like Erika Lust are creating beautiful, ethical feminist porn, so if you think that may be up your alley, give it a go! No matter what kind of porn you choose, there is nothing to be ashamed of. We like what we like!
- Use a yoni egg or crystal pleasure wand. If you’re a little woo-woo, you may enjoy a sensual, spiritual self-pleasure practice with crystals. They’re a great way to connect with your body and your desires and add extra intention into your practice with mantras and energy work.
- Learn Your Anatomy It's so important that we know how our powerful, beautiful bodies work. Many of us have been conditioned to be ashamed of our genitals, and many of us have felt oppressed due to the patriarchy's control over our bodies and sexualities. It's time to reclaim your power.
Make an effort to learn more about what your pelvic region consists of, either by reading a book or blog, asking a specialist, or doing a quick google search. Look at and touch your genitals. The more acquainted you get with this region, the more you can appreciate and love it. It will help you be in touch with your body and sexuality and you'll feel so empowered as a result.
#2 Master Mindfulness
Mastering mindfulness, or the art of being in the present moment, is crucial for easing your anxiety in the bedroom so you can be super confident and receive maximum pleasure during sex. If you find it hard to relax and are consumed with anxious thoughts about what you look or taste like or all work you have to do this week, mindfulness will take you out of your head and into the moment so you can actually enjoy it. And I know you want to enjoy it. Here are two simple mindfulness techniques for you to implement while you’re gettin’ down and dirty:
- Deep Breathing Breathing slowly and deeply from your lower stomach calms your nervous system and removes tension from your body so you can more readily receive pleasure. When your muscles are tense, especially your vaginal muscles, it makes it hard for penetration or other sexual activity to feel good. It may even cause vaginal pain or numbness. Deep breathing will also get you to stop thinking about your insecurities and tasks that are distracting you from enjoying your sexual experience.
- Focus on One of the Five Senses Choose one of the five sense to focus on. If you choose sight, look into your partner's eyes. Examine how attractive your partner looks as they please you. Watch the sweat drip down your bodies. If you choose smell, focus on your partner’s cologne or perfume mixed in with their sweat and the smell of an aromatic candle burning beside you. You will be too busy enjoying the sensual goodness around you to feel insecure or worry about the bills you have to pay.
#3 Express Yourself Authentically
Being sexually confident means being who we are at our core without holding back. Expressing ourselves completely brings about an air of confidence that nothing else can. Take some time to assess if how you express yourself is how you want to express yourself. Expression through your clothing and overall appearance is especially important when it comes to feeling sexually confident. Do you shy away from wearing certain clothing because you think you can’t pull it off? Do you not wear makeup because you’re afraid of being judged or think you can’t make it look good? Do you shave your pubic hair or keep a certain hair color only to please other people or because it’s acceptable by society’s standards?
Maybe there are some things you’d like to experiment with regarding your appearance – subtle differences can make huge shifts in your confidence when you’re making changes that reflect your true self. For example, you may want to ditch the dresses and heels that you feel you “should” wear to look sexy and instead wear your Chuck Taylors and a t-shirt because you feel more “at home” and comfortable in them. Or you may want to dye your hair purple because the change excites you, even though your family or significant other may not approve. Go with what lights you up – the more you do, the more confident you will feel all around.
#4 Discover and Own Your Desires
When you know what you desire and when you feel worthy of having it, you are very likely to get it. So take some time to think about you want sexually and in your entire life at this present moment (who you are now may not be who you were last year or even last week). Because truthfully, once you start going after your desires in one area of your life (i.e. career), you’re most likely going to go after your desires in other areas of your life, like your sex life.
When it comes to sex, maybe you want to get a bit more kinky or try out a threesome. When it comes to your career, maybe you’re dreaming of starting a passion project and taking it full-time so you can quit your draining job. Whatever it is, own it -- and know that you are worthy of it. Think about what it would take to fulfill your desire and take a small step toward achieving it. Perhaps having a vulnerable conversation with your partner or making time over the weekend to practice your creative craft.
#5 Assess how you feel in the presence of your partner(s) (or with future partners!)
Being a sexually confident woman means knowing what you want and deserve, and, if you’re sexually active, that includes choosing sexual partners who are willing to give that to you. I cannot stress the importance of being discerning with you choose to have sex with. Partners who accept all of you and make it easy for you to be your true self, who treat you with respect, who care about your consent, comfort, and pleasure, who provide a safe space for you to express your thoughts and emotions – these are the partners you deserve, whether they are casual sex partners or long-term partners.
If you’re in a relationship, assess how you feel in the presence of your partner. Do you feel emotionally and physically safe? Do you feel seen and cared for? Do you feel like you’re able to let loose, ask for what you want, and just be your true self? If not, perhaps it’s time to make some changes within the relationship or assess if it’s the right relationship for you.
If you’re single, think about how you want to feel with new sexual partners and how you want them to treat you. And please, don’t ever settle for less.
Becoming truly sexually confident is no easy feat. It takes a lot of undoing and unlearning. But thankfully, there are lots of small, simple steps that you can take to get there. Healing your relationship with your body and taking the time to connect with it, practicing mindfulness, expressing yourself fully and authentically, learning about and owning your desires, and ensuring you choose partners who respect you and accept you for all that you are are important steps toward becoming your most sexually confident self.
Christie Federico, M.Ed., is a relationship + sexual empowerment coach. She empowers individuals, couples, and groups, to align all aspects of their lives with their authentic selves so they can lead a life of meaning, deep connection, pleasure, and fulfillment. Through empathy, laughter, and unique insight, Christie guides clients to conclusions on how to make positive changes in their lives and ensures they have the confidence to take action. Find her at christiefederico.com.