I wonder if there is any other topic than sex that is surrounded by so many complicated and mixed notions. It can be as simple as an erotic act and as complex as our deep-set desires and beliefs. In a world where sex is either served wrapped in toxic messages such as it is sinful and wrong, or packaged in dehumanizing portrayal in the form of porn, how does one build sexual confidence? How do you rid yourself of shame and become sexually liberated?
There is no simple answer to these questions. Sexual confidence isn’t about being up for anything and increasing your ‘score’ of sexual partners. It’s about knowing yourself, your wants and desires, your boundaries and the ability to communicate them. Your sexual self-esteem cannot be built upon something that has been taught to you or fed to you by someone else. You need to figure it out on your own and here are a few tips to begin with the process:
Get to Know Yourself
Sounds simple, right? Only if it really was. Based on your experiences, list what you like and what you don’t about your sexuality. Then dig deeper – think about the reason for those likes and dislikes. Based on these, set your own boundaries, so you know when someone oversteps or when it’s time to open a dialogue.
Get To Know Your Body
Are you comfortable looking at your naked body in the mirror? Look at your body and internalize that the mainstream definition of sexy isn’t really true. You can’t be confident until you’re comfortable with your body. Exercise, keep your body fit and healthy and listen to it to understand it.
Fire up Your Imagination
It’s difficult to be confident about sex when you are not sure what you like and dislike. Begin with yourself first. Read some erotica, watch something sexy, explore and pleasure yourself. Sexual confidence stems from the awareness that the key to your sexual power lies with you. This is crucial for women – before you hand over the responsibility of pleasing you to someone else, make sure you know how to do that yourself.
Discover Your Sexual Script
We are conditioned by our families, society, media and friends about sex. Unlearn all of it and figure it out on your own. Let your experiences define your sexual script. If you are faced with sexual blockages or disturbed by certain experiences, reach out to someone you can talk to. Don’t let others define your story and take the control back.
Learn to Communicate
A 2017 study found that heterosexual women get fewer orgasms than everyone else. One of the primary reasons cited was that women aren’t vocal about their desires or pleasures. Women suffer from the cultural conditioning that instructs them to please and submit to a man’s desire. You have to take charge of changing that. Most of the men are misinformed about female desire and you need to take the control by explicitly stating if something is or isn’t working, or something you like and you want more. If you can’t articulate your needs, keep in mind that no-one else is going to do it for you.
All of us carry some amount of sexual shame as the result of growing up in this fucked-up culture. Slowly and gradually, with self-awareness and mindful sexual practices, we can unburden ourselves of this shame and find our sexual selves. Take it one step at a time and begin moving towards experiencing joy and connection in bed with sexual confidence.