Sex Therapist Breaks Down Embracing & Overcoming Your Sex Insecurities
Yeah, sex is fun and all, but sometimes you have to jump through a lot of mental hurdles in order to *actually enjoy* doing it.
Like, with all the societal pressures we feel when it comes to our appearance and performance, sex can quickly go from being a fun, relaxing activity to something that makes us feel kinda bad about ourselves.
Talks with our experts
At Beia, we hear you when it comes to your #sexstress. That’s why we tapped sex therapist Dr. Jess O’Reilly, Arcwave, We-Vibe, and Womanizer Sexologist & Relationship Expert to give us the low-down on how to stay your most confident in the bedroom and beyond.
“Our brain is our most powerful sex organ, so it follows that any worries or feelings of insecurity generate physical responses that can interfere with sexual response and pleasure,” Dr. O’Reilly says. “Expectations stemming from stereotypes around age, body, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, or other elements of our identity can also often lead to insecurity and lack of confidence.” Got that down?
And while these messages and expectations can be hard to ignore, you can still take steps to enjoy yourself and feel more confident. The following are some tips and tricks that Dr. O’Reilly suggests…
Regularly talk about sex with your partner(s). “Openly discuss your likes, dislikes, and explore your desires, fantasies, boundaries, and concerns,” Dr. O’Reilly says. The more open and articulate you are about your feelings towards sex, the more prepared and self-assured you’ll feel.
Become more acquainted with your own body. Yup, that means get out your fav vibrator (or ol’ reliable: your hand) and engage in some self-pleasure. Why? “Learning more about your own pleasure will boost your confidence, and you’ll be better equipped to show your partner what you like,” Dr. O’Reilly says. And when you’re masturbating, do so mindfully by just enjoying the sensations, not pressuring yourself to orgasm.
Explore a range of sexual activities that might broaden horizons. Try everything from hands to lips, tongues and beyond, Dr. O’Reilly explains. It’ll help you gain a greater sense of understanding of what both yourself and your partner enjoy during sex.
Consider your own sexual values. Ask yourself: What matters most to you when it comes to sex? What are the emotional, relational, physical, practical or spiritual components of sex that you value? “Getting more acquainted with your own values can help to attenuate the effects of negative and shame-based messages,” Dr. O’Reilly says.
Accept that you don’t have to be 100 percent confident. “Confidence is a fluctuating experience—not a permanent state of being, so it’s okay to lack confidence at times,” Dr. O’Reilly says. “It means you’re human.” And if yah need it, it’s also okay to let a partner know when you’re lacking confidence and could use a little boost.
The bottom line? If all else fails? Embrace the nerves. Yup, nerves can heighten an experience, so don’t get hung up on making everything totally comfortable, Dr. O’Reilly advises.
TL;DR, you’ll likely find that you can experience more excitement and arousal if you lay the foundation for safety, but also leave a little space for discomfort.