Sexual confidence isn’t something we’re taught about very often. It certainly wasn’t covered in the sex education curriculum at school anyway although that definitely shouldn’t be a bench mark for importance!
At Love Not War, we know that being truly sexually confident can be challenging, for many different reasons ranging from shame and lack of education to consent and worrying about making a mistake during sex. It can also have a huge impact on how you feel about your body, sex in general and your partner.
The bottom line is this, sexual confidence is about choice, it’s about taking an active role in your own pleasure and knowing what you like and want from any sexual experiences. Here are some starting points to help you tap into your sexual side and reap the benefits of bringing out your most confident self in the bedroom.
WHAT IS SEXUAL CONFIDENCE?
Before looking at how we can work on our sexual confidence, we first need to understand what it is.
In recent times, sexual confidence was seen as just being empowered enough to say “no’ to sex, it has also been associated with negativity surrounding the sexual liberation movement. However we would argue that this is simply not true. Sexual confidence is about so much more than how many people you’ve slept with, it’s about knowing yourself on a deeper level, knowing who and what you want in a partner, knowing the type of sex you want to have and in turn being able to communicate all of these wants and desires in a clear and mature way.
Connected to our self-esteem, sexual self-confidence plays a huge role in determining how we think, view, and speak out about ourselves what we want in the bedroom. When we are at our most confident, our self-esteem is high and we are more likely to be active in the bedroom and speak up about what we enjoy, how we want to be treated and, also more importantly, what we don’t want to do in the bedroom.
Overall, being sexually confident is about understanding the respect you deserve and recognising that experiencing pleasure is a positive thing, not something to shy away for or feel awkward about. It is understanding your boundaries and feeling comfortable enough to communicate them no matter what others might have to say.
The pleasure revolution and sexual liberation only work if everyone is respected and accepted for just being themselves. By starting with accepting ourselves and working on our own self-esteem we can also work on accepting others for what they want as well.
HOW CAN I BECOME SEXUALLY CONFIDENT?
At Love Not War, we are huge advocates for people learning what they like in the bedroom, whether from masturbation or enjoying time with your partner, pleasure should be fun and leave you feeling content and happy. Sexual confidence, pleasure and wellness are all intrinsically interlinked but for many, it can feel elusive. So for anyone looking to start their journey towards sexual confidence, here are some of our top tips to get you started.
Connect with your Body
Get to know your body and what it likes. Meditation, dance, breathing exercises or even masturbation, all allow you to do this. It’s important to take note of how your body reacts to certain emotions or stimuli and what feels enjoyable to you. How do you like to be touched? How does your body react to arousal? These should be questions that you focus on as your body communicates with you its needs and desires.
To relate to your body and to further develop confidence during sex, it’s a good idea to focus on your genitals. For many vulva owners, old school teachings about sex created a sense of shame around our sexual organs that can make us feel insecure. For many, pleasure is still seen as something dirty and an alarming majority of people don’t know the anatomy of their vulvas or do they regularly check to make sure everything is ok. Why not try taking a mirror and getting to know intimately what your genitals look like.
Another way to connect with your body can also be learning to love your body, look at yourself in the mirror and find things that you like about yourself, whether it’s the way your hair sits or your smile or your legs, as you slowly connect your body to feeling good about it you should see your self-esteem and confidence rising.
From stress release to improving sleep; masturbation is known for having benefits. It also allows us to get to know ourselves intimately and helps us to discover what it is we enjoy, putting ourselves centre stage and focus on our own pleasure.
It is important to remember that the goal shouldn’t be to have an orgasm but for exploration to be the main goal.
Practice Self Love
A huge part of confidence in general is that it comes from within. As you learn to develop a positive relationship with yourself, an emotional connection can be developed. Whether you journal about your feelings or say positive affirmations in a mirror every day, by telling yourself what you like about yourself, you can strengthen your self-esteem for yourself rather than relaying on other people to validate you.
Changing your mindset to be appreciative and positive towards ourselves can help us to accept that pleasure is something we deserve, making us more likely to actively seek it and enjoy it, putting our own needs at the forefront of our actions.
Try new things
Whether you’re on your own or with a partner, why not try new things in the bedroom? From Kink and BDSM to role play and new positions it’s all about broadening your horizons.
If you’re with a partner, why not discuss beforehand what you’re both looking for and what you'd like to try, then at the end discuss if you both enjoyed it or if it was something you’d want to try again.
Everyone talks about setting boundaries but when it actually comes down to it, it can feel scary and overwhelming. What if they don’t listen? What if you can’t explain yourself properly? What if they think I’m strange for feeling this way?
These types of doubts can plague us and knock our confidence so it’s important that before you communicate with your partner why not try practicing on your own? You can do this in multiple ways, writing down your boundaries or what you enjoy during sex such as: “I don’t enjoy penetrative sex” or “I enjoy when X touches my nipples.” Or why not practice in a mirror what you want to say to your partner about trying something new in the bedroom before you have the conversation.
Being sexually confident doesn’t have to mean sleeping with multiple people, it’s about taking control in the bedroom and understanding your body and your desires. It’s about having the confidence to set boundaries.
Overall sexual confidence is something that can be learned and developed over time as you focus on yourself and what you want, whether that is in and out of the bedroom.