Women

Lost Your Sexual Confidence? 5 Ways To Get It Back!

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Sexual confidence can mean many things from doing it with the lights on, to giving him a cheeky wink and whipping out the handcuffs. But considering a recent study found that 75% of us need a glass of wine to get jiggy, even with long-term partners, it’s clearly something many of us are lacking. ‘You can have sex without confidence, but you won’t have good sex,’ says Dr. Lori Boul, author of DIY Sex & Relationship Therapy. Certain situations, though, can really test a gal’s sexual self-esteem. Here’s how to keep your nerve – and then some!

Description: Lost Your Sexual Confidence?

Lost Your Sexual Confidence?

1.    Confidence crusher: you’re with someone new

‘We’re hyper self-conscious in a new relationship; it’s as if our “I’m not good enough” button gets pressed repeatedly,’ says sex coach Joanna Benfield. ‘This can make it difficult to be yourself or you may worry that you’re not doing things right.’ Try these three solutions:

Be brazen: As far as he’s concerned, you’re a woman who knows what she wants and will be happy to make it happen. ‘Trust me on this one,’ says womanly wiles mentor Goddess Star Monroe. ‘Chances are he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and there’s nothing sexier than a woman asking for what she wants in the bedroom.’

Pop a pill: ‘Try Natrum Nuriaticum if you were hurt in your last relationship and worry about rejection,’ says homeopath Liliana Bellini.

Don’t apologise for your body: ‘Women tend to self-deprecate, but he’s unlikely to notice “flaws” if you don’t bring them up,” says Dr. Debby Herbenick, co-author (with Grant Stoddard) of Great in Bed.

2.    Confidence crusher: He’s had an affair

Any kind of relationship upheaval can upset your willingness to make love, but nothing knocks sexual confidence like an affair. ‘Even if you forgive him, you’ll still be asking yourself, ‘Wasn’t I good enough?”’ says sex therapist Dr. Lori Boul. What now?

Treat it like a new relationship: Whenever he touches you, it’s natural to wonder if he did that with her, too. ‘But chances are your partner slept with other people before you got together and you didn’t fixate on them. Treat the affair the same way – to stay together, you have to let it go,’ says Dr. Boul.

Be mindful: If, during sex, your thoughts wander, use mindfulness tactics to bring you back to the now.

Concentrate on one sense – tough is probably best – and focus on the sensations as you feel your partner. Let all other thoughts go.

Make eye contact: ‘Looking at each other as you make love is the ultimate way to deepen your connection and bring back the intimacy,’ says tantra teacher Rebecca Lowrie.

3.    Confidence crusher: Married forever

When the man you love has seen you on the toilet or clipping your toenails, it can be hard to work up the courage to suggest something new. ‘I’m always surprised by how many people can have sex together for years, but never talk about it,’ says Dr. Boul. So how can you shake things up in the bedroom without feeling embarrassed, or denting his ego?

Remember this: ‘A study of sexual health and behaviour showed men are most easily aroused and have their strongest erections with a long-term partner,’ points out Dr. Herbenick. ‘And it’s like he’s as keen to try new things as you are.’

Post-sex chat: The best time to bring things up is after sex. ‘It stops that awful “Can we talk” moment that often puts men on the defensive,’ says Dr. Boul. If you’re still a bit nervous about saying anything, slip notes into his sock drawer what you’d like to try. ‘Or simply dress up in some gorgeous lingerie and get under the covers,’ says Dr. Herbenick.

Use the sandwich technique: This is Lowrie’s top way to avoid denting his ego. ‘Surround one potentially negative comment with two good ones,’ she explains. ‘So, if you want him to do something differently, say “I love it when you do X; I wonder what would happen if you did Y. It would drive me wild.”’

4.    Confidence crusher: You’re gained weight

 

Description: You’re gained weight

Sex couldn’t be more physical – or exposing – so if we’re not happy with our bodies, it’s no wonder our confidence suffers,’ says orgasm coach Dr. Lisa Turner. The solution?

Don’t hide your body, disguise it…: If ever there’s a time for sexy lingerie, it’s when you’re feeling less than confident. Basques pull you in, bras push you up – and if you’re suspenders he won’t notice anything else anyway. ‘We women are so much harsher on ourselves than men will ever be,’ points out Goddess Star Monroe.

Embrace the jiggles: According to therapists Em & Lo: ‘Men like the visual stimulation of things bouncing and wobbling, even if that jelly belly makes you cringe.’

Take Back Crab Apple Flower Remedy: It’s renowned for boosting body confidence. If homeopathy is more your thing, Bellini says Thuja is good for fighting low self-esteem.

5.    Confidence crusher: You’ve just had a baby

Description: You’ve just had a baby

Your body shape has changed, which brings in the issues above, but it’s hard to feel sexy when you’re tired, lactating – and someone’s mum. Try this:

Be patient: ‘It can take a year for your body to return to normal,’ says sex therapist Rachel Foux. If things aren’t that tight below, do Kegel exercises (repeatedly contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles).

Be sensual: ‘Switch the focus from being sexual to being sensual,’ says Dr. Boul. ‘This could be as simple as wearing a silk nightie rather than a cotton one, or just moisturizing before bed.’

Remember: he wants to have sex. “Most men tend to find post-pregnancy sex very erotic – your breasts are bigger and he’s feeling all-powerful as a father,’ says Foux. Plus, he hasn’t had any action for a while. So don’t stress about stretch marks or bulgy bits – he certainly won’t!

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