Confidence is something a lot of us could work on. After all, when you're confident, others assume you have a reason to be, and they respect you accordingly. There's a lot of discussion around being more confident at work or on dates, but what about confidence in bed? Sexual confidence makes sex more enjoyable for us and our partners, and in a recent O.school class, sexologist Colby Marie Zongol explained how we can all be more sexually confident.
In her class, Zongol defined sexual confidence as “having comfort with yourself as a sexually responsive organism, as someone who experiences sexual pleasure, and as someone how is supposed to feel sexual pleasure and not feeling shame in having that pleasure.”
Sexual confidence isn't just comfort with being sexual — it's also comfort with the way you experience and express your sexuality. It can be measured by “how authentically you’re able to relate intimately with yourself or someone else" and "how pure and vulnerable you are to show up in that sexual space where you feel like you can be 100 percent yourself and be able to communicate the pleasure you desire," Zongol said.
Boosting your body confidence will also likely boost your sexual confidence, but you can have sexual confidence without body confidence. So, don't worry if you're not at peace with your looks — sometimes, forgetting about your looks altogether can improve your confidence.
A lack of sexual confidence can take a hit on your sex drive, Zongol explained. Our sex drives are like cars with accelerators and brakes, and worries about how we look, smell, feel, or act can hit the brakes. So, building your confidence in bed can majorly improve your sex life. Here are a few tips that might help you along in that process.
1. Do What You're Already Confident In
Even if you're a bit insecure about your sexual skills, there's likely at least one thing you think you're really good at. Maybe you're shaky about giving oral sex, but you're great at spanking. Or maybe you're not so sure about your kissing skills, but you're a good cuddler. Zongol recommends spending a month doing what you're great at every time you have sex, and at the end of that month, you'll be thinking, “I am on top of the sex world because I have given my partner one month of great sex," said Zongol.
2. Try Something New
Once you've established that you're a master at one thing, you'll feel more comfortable trying other things, said Zongol. So, try something you're less comfortable with and see if you can enjoy that, too. You don't have to master it — trying it can be fun in of itself. "That can make your sex life even better because it's more diverse and you have more things that can bring you pleasure," said Zongol. "It's helpful to broaden the sexual script you have so sex doesn’t look the same way every time, because then it makes it interesting for you."
3. Laugh It Off If You Trip Up
You don't have to be "good" at everything you try in bed. What really makes sex good is your attitude, and if you can have fun with it and laugh if things don't go as planned, that's a success in of itself. Zongol suggests reminding yourself of what you're good at. "If you’ve already built up this consistent self confidence, you can laugh it off and be like, 'I don’t need to be good at spanking because I’m really good at body rubs," she said.
4. Focus On What You Love About Your Body
Making peace with the physical traits you don't like is worthwhile, but it's much easier to appreciate the traits you do like. When you look in the mirror, focus on what you like about your face or body, and the things you don't like won't get to you as much.
5. Wear What Makes You Feel Confident
There's no particular way you have to look to feel confident, but if you're wearing a look that you think looks great on you, chances are you'll feel better about yourself, said Zongol. If you think you look great with lipstick on, then wear it to bed. If you think you smell great after using a particular lotion, put it on before bed. It could also be an action. Whatever makes you believe you're a total hottie.
6. Repeat A Mantra
To really drill the message home to yourself, Zongol recommends repeating "I am sexy" or a similar mantra to yourself in the mirror, writing it in a journal, putting a post-it note with this message around your home, or all of the above. The more you hear it, the more you'll start to believe it. "Affirmations increase how positively we feel about ourselves," said Zongol.
The task of becoming confident may seem daunting, but these small sub-tasks are an easy way to start. Another plus? Once you've practiced these techniques in bed, the confidence will spill over into every area of your life.