Having confidence in bed at all times isn’t always a guarantee. Even those who consider themselves virtual rockstars in bed can sometimes feel less than confident in their skills depending on what’s going on outside the bedroom. As someone who usually feels pretty confident in bed, if I’ve had a bad day but still want to have sex, you better believe I’m second-guessing everything I do and demanding that the lights be turned off before I remove my clothes.
"Sex is one of the most vulnerable acts we can engage in," Sarah Watson, sex therapist and counselor, tells Bustle "Insecurities can come from everywhere: previous relationships, media, music, our own expectations, and lack of experience. Own it and learn from it if you want to work on it."
While dealing with your own confidence issues is one thing, dealing with your partner’s is an entirely different beast. You want to make them feel good and secure, but not so much so that they feel coddled and treated like a child. Although talking about all the concerns beforehand is a good way to move past these issues, sometimes you can't totally get past them in time for a romp. It’s in these situations that you need to reach into your bag of goodies and pull out another trick of the trade: sex positions that will ease your partner’s concerns and give them the bit of confidence they need to get feeling pretty damn good.
Of course, if lack of confidence in the bedroom persists, it’s definitely something you and your partner might want to explore with a professional, but if it’s just an occasional sort of thing, then here are the seven positions to try.
1. The Butterfly
How to do it: While lying on the bed (or another surface), have your partner stand between your legs, then lift your hips up with their hands, but not so high that your pelvis is above theirs — theirs should be higher. As they penetrate you from this angle, rest your ankles against their chest or shoulders. If cradling your butt in their arms doesn’t feel comfortable for either one of you, then placing pillows under your hips will help.
Why it’s good if your partner needs confidence in bed: If you have a partner with a a small penis, something that can interfere with confidence, then this is a great position. The angle at which you’re being penetrated allows for deeper penetration.
2. Mutual Masturbation
How to do it: Both you and your partner find a place — close to each other, of course — and start pleasuring yourselves as you would solo.
Why it’s good if your partner needs confidence in bed: The one thing in the world, at least in regards to sex, that your partner is probably most confident about is their ability to get themselves off. When you practice mutual masturbation with your partner, you're giving them the keys to their own kingdom, the one they know so well, and taking away any performance pressure in the meantime. Mutual masturbation is a sure thing for both of you.
3. Advanced Crab Walk
How to do it: While in the crab position (seated with legs bent, feet flat on floor, and hands on the floor behind you), facing each other, use your arms to lift your body and lower yourself onto your partner. Then, leaning a bit more back, rest your ankles on your partner's shoulders.
Why it’s good if your partner needs confidence in bed: Because the Advanced Crab Walk is one of those difficult sex positions, it involves effort from both of you. It also involves concentration, finagling, and lots of laughing while you try to get into place. Hang-ups and confidence concerns become secondary issues when you're both trying a position that, to be honest, requires a whole boatload of, "I can't believe we're actually attempting to try this."
4. Side By Side
How to do it: Facing your partner, while embraced, lift your top leg and drape it over their hip. From here, they can penetrate you while you’re hugging. It’s a really cozy and intimate position actually.
Why it’s good if your partner needs confidence in bed: Perhaps your partner finishes early often. With this position, the penetration is shallow enough to make your partner last longer, so any lack of confidence about coming too fast is gone.
5. Bouncing Cowgirl
How to do it: With your partner on their back, legs straight out, straddle them while facing the opposite direction. Next, using both your hands on either side of their hips and your thigh muscles, proceed to bounce — carefully.
Why it’s good if your partner needs confidence in bed: When you choose a sex position in which you're in control, you're essentially giving your partner a break. They don't have to worry about living up to anyone's expectations — yours or theirs — and because of that, they get to focus on pleasure alone. It's like you're telling them that you "got this round," and any confidence-related fears they have, should just be let go.
6. Doggy Style
How to do it: While on your hands and knees, have your partner get behind you and penetrate you from a kneeling position. It also helps if you arch your back to provide for deeper stimulation.
Why it’s good if your partner needs confidence in bed: Honestly, have you ever met someone who isn't confident in doggy style? It's the most preferred sex position for both men and women in the country, it feels good, and when your partner is at the helm, thrusting away, it's not like they're letting any lack of confidence stand in the way.
7. The Lotus
How to do it: With your partner seated with with their legs crossed, straddle them and lower yourself into their lap and onto them. Then wrap your arms around them, as they wrap their arms around you and you both begin to sort of rock together while gyrating.
Why it’s good if your partner needs confidence in bed: The Lotus position is one of the most intimate sex positions out there. Since you're pretty much in a tight bear hug while you're having sex, you're providing your partner with comfort and assurance. You have their back in this position, quelling any concerns they might have about their ability to satisfy you.
Even the most confident people can sometimes have a night where they're just not feeling on top of their game. The one thing you can do in those situations, along with communicating with your partner and hearing their concerns, is offer up positions that will ease their fears. Lack of confidence shouldn't stand in the way of sex, especially since there are ways to get around it.
Images: Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle