19 November, 2019
Lifestyle

How Can I Become More Confident In Bed?

19 November, 2019

Confidence is sexy – but why can it be tricky when it comes to the bedroom?

Confidence is hands down one of the sexiest traits you can have, and it’s extra critical when it comes to a healthy sex life. However, sex itself is an incredibly vulnerable act. So it’s no wonder many of us may waver in moments of intimacy, no matter how confident and accomplished we are in other aspects of our lives.

Lack of sex confidence can be traced back to a number of factors, from fear of rejection to the societal taboo of sex as dirty and shameful. Coupled with the role of movies, pop culture and mainstream pornography in creating unrealistic expectations about the kind of sex we should be having, it’s a recipe for insecurity across the board, making us over-think, doubt and feel guilty about our sexuality. As such, many of us have learned to either over-perform (e.g. faking orgasms) or to suppress our natural desires.

So what can we do to change that? Well first and foremost, it’s important to remember that confident lovers are made, not born. Sexual confidence isn’t something that happens overnight. Rather, it’s something we acquire over time, with experience.

As a professional sex coach, I often encounter the common perception that sexual confidence is linked to some kind of sexual prowess, like learning how to give the perfect blowjob, or even how many lovers one has. But I have to disagree. These things are all great and they could very well be the traits and behaviours of a confident lover. However, I believe that the journey to true sexual confidence starts with healing the sexual relationship with yourself first.

After running Asia’s-only sex and sexuality podcast and teaching people about sexuality for a decade, I have distilled how to build sexual confidence into three fundamental steps – “Education”, “Exploration” and “Communication”. Keep reading to find out more.

Dating And Sex: Sexual Confidence

1. Education

Do Your Sex Homework
Knowledge is power, so naturally the first step to building sexual confidence is education. Specifically, pleasure-focused sex education. Many of us received limited lessons on sex when we were growing up, leaving mainstream porn to fill in the vacuum. Yet porn is only a fantasy representation of sex. Instead, a better starting point might be OMGYes – a platform dedicated to the latest science on sexuality, with real women at its core, or the Sex Nerd Sandra podcastInvest some time in doing your sex homework and you’ll be surprised at what you can learn.

Become An Expert In Your Own Sexuality
All your thoughts, associations and experiences of sex go into shaping who you are as a sexual being. To understand where you are sexually, a good place to start is to reflect on your most meaningful sexual encounters thus far and ask yourself what you liked and didn’t like about them, and what you would be curious to try next time.

I would also encourage you to think about the childhood messages you received around sexuality and the impact it’s had on you. Working through the past can sometimes be complicated, but in doing so, you’ll be able to more easily identify where your barriers to confidence lie and how to deal with them.

Read more: How Can I Have More Intense Orgasms?

Dating And Sex: Sexual Confidence

2. Exploration

Become A “Sexplorer”
The second step to building sexual confidence is exploration. This is where you put everything you’ve learned from step one into practice.

Engaging with different people, different contexts and different sexual activities will help us grow as sexual beings. However, due to the big taboo around sex, this is something that people tend to shy away from. I believe that only by approaching sex with an attitude of genuine openness and curiosity can we build the foundation for greater awareness, and therefore confidence.

This doesn’t have to mean pushing past any hard boundaries. It may simply be about letting go of certain inhibitions that are holding us back, or inventing new ways to engage sexually within a current relationship. Sometimes small changes can have a big impact.

Learn The Art Of Sex-Pleasure
The best way to feel good about yourself sexually is to make yourself feel good. Kinda obvious, right? Masturbation brings a whole range of health and wellness benefits. And when you masturbate regularly, you’ll understand that sexual pleasure is something you can access with or without your partner. This realisation in itself is a form of sexual confidence and empowerment. In particular, masturbating in front of a mirror can help you tune into your body, boost radical self-love and remedy negative body image.

At the end of the day, knowing how your body works and what it responds to will make it easier for you to become more confident in asking for the right kind of stimulation from your partner.

Read more: Feminine Awareness: How To Feel Sensually Empowered

Dating And Sex: Sexual Confidence

3. Communication

Make Sex An On-Going Conversation
Honest communication is intimate, vulnerable and a little bit scary. Nevertheless, it’s also critical in building sexual confidence. Talking about sex deepens our connections, which ultimately makes us better at providing exactly what our partners want.

For me, I think it’s always a good idea to talk about sex at a time that isn’t just before, or during, the act. The best conversations about sex are always when everyone is relaxed and open. I always suggest broaching the topic of sex in a broader, more general way if you’re starting out. Zeroing in directly on what’s going on with your current sex life can sometimes put your partner on the defensive. Some great conversation starters could be: “What does sex mean to you?” or “What importance does sex play in a relationship?”

Conversations about sex should always be ongoing and not a one-off. This sets the precedent within your relationship that sex is always a topic that can be discussed and not something that is only talked about in a crisis situation.

Sassy Tip: Struggling to get over the awkwardness? Make it into a game instead! Write down what you love doing (“Yes”), what your boundaries are (“No”) or what you would be up for trying (“Maybe”) during sex and get your partner to do the same. Discuss!

Read more: How Do I Tell Someone What I (Really) Want in Bed?

Talk With Friends
If you’re lacking a partner to talk to about all things sex, then the above conversation starters also work just as well amongst friends. The whole idea is to practice talking about sex so as to eventually remove the taboo. We want sex to become a normal part of our everyday conversation – as normal as talking about a holiday or what you had for dinner! Another option is to sign up for a sex coaching session, where you can work through your thoughts with a professional.

Confidence is an aphrodisiac and, as it grows, it is likely that you will find yourself desiring and enjoying sex a whole lot more. From there, it’s only a matter time before you begin to radiate the kind of sex appeal that comes with inner strength and independence, and knowing yourself inside out.

Featured image courtesy of Michela Ravasio via Stocksy, image 1 courtesy of Charry Jin via Pexels, image 2 & 3 courtesy of The Gender Spectrum Collection via Broadly.

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