One of the sexiest traits anyone can have is confidence. When you're confident during sex, it can make the whole experience a hell of a lot better than it already is. But for most people, confidence isn't something that you get overnight. Knowing how to gain sexual confidence in the bedroom isn't easy.
"Self-confidence is connected to so many things especially when it comes to our sexuality and how we behave," sexologist, Michelle Hope, M.A. tells Bustle. "Sexuality in the context of human behavior is something that has implication rooted in one's physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. It is a part of our everyday decisions whether we are conscious of it or not."
If you don't think having confidence in bed is a big deal, think again. A recent study found that heterosexual women are having fewer orgasms than everyone else. One major reason for that is, many women don't like to speak up. "It’s important for me to point out that hetero women for far too long have been lead to believe that their pleasure was not as important as their partners," Hope says. "We must dispel this myth by continuing to have these conversations and step out of the role of being the 'pleaser' to that of being pleased. At the end of the day, if you don’t enjoy what's happening in your bedroom you have all the power to change it!"
So here are some easy ways to gain more sexual confidence in the bedroom:
1Take It Outside The Bedroom
One of the first things you need to do in order to become more sexually confident, is to just be more confident with yourself. Sure, it's easier said than done, but try this trick: "Take a long hard look at yourself naked," Hope says. "Yeah, you might not like what you see at first but the more often you look, the more often you will find things that you like."
The more confidence you have outside the bedroom, the more likely that confidence will spill into your sex life, thus allowing yourself to fully let your sexual side come out to play.
2Masturbate Using Your Imagination
"Masturbation is the key to understanding your body and what you like sexually," Hope says. "I know porn often makes it easy to get off, but I recommend to limit the amount of porn use. Images and situations in porn are often unrealistic and in the end can actually make us feel worse about our own bedroom ability."
Instead, Hope suggests masturbating with just you and your imagination. Fantasize. Use your imagination to discover what really turns you on.
3Communicate With Your Partner
You should never be afraid to communicate with your partner. But if you do, you should probably be asking yourself why. "If you fear judgment from your sexual partner, perhaps you should reconsider that person as your sexual partner," Hope says. "When choosing to engage in sex with someone you should never feel shame. Sex is the closest you can get with someone and there is never room in the bedroom for judgement."
So be open to your partner's suggestions, recommendations and desire but don't ever feel pressured to do something you're not comfortable with.
4Make A List And Set Boundaries
Make a list of the things you want and don’t want in and out of the bedroom. "I find that it's way easier to create your boundaries before you get into a situation that requires them," Hope says. "I also recommend that you write these boundaries down some where you can quickly reference them and check into them regularly.
Whether you're looking for a serious relationship or just a one-night stand, creating boundaries can help you identify what you really want.
"I am always reminding people that the first relationship starts with yourself and that if that relationship is off all others will suffer regardless of the type of relationship — professional, platonic, romantic or family," Hope says. "So I recommend that before we start to hop into bed with someone else, hop into bed with yourself."
No one says gaining sexual confidence is easy. Even if you masturbate a bunch of times, you can still get nervous when another person is added into the mix. It takes time. But if there's one thing to remember, it's that it all begins with you.