9 Tips for More Sexual Confidence in the Bedroom

A couple happily lying in bed, both wearing pajamas, smiling at each other with a cozy and relaxed atmosphere.

A big part of sexual health is confidence. Sexual confidence is not only pleasurable for you, but it also helps to enhance your relationship.

That said, sexual empowerment is not a one size fits all concept. If you’re feeling nervous in the bedroom, here are some tips on how to overcome it.

Identify where you lack confidence

A woman gazing out of a window, lost in thought.

There are a lot of different factors that can affect your sexual self-esteem. Before you go trying to fix the problem, take a moment to ask yourself what you’re actually afraid of.

There are lots of different areas where someone could lack sexual confidence. For example, are you afraid of crushing your partner when you get on top of them? The solution for that is a lot different from someone struggling with their religious upbringing. There is no one size fits all approach.

Here’s a list of the most common issues that impact sexual confidence:

 

One of the best ways to tackle this is to see a therapist. Some of these issues can be addressed through communication and self-help. However, you should take things like mental health issues and trauma to a counselor. Your partner can be a soundboard for you, but it isn’t appropriate to expect them to be your therapist.

Go slowly

Man and woman savoring pizza together.

Hookup culture is fun for some. For others, not so much. It can be tough to have good sex with a person you met an hour ago off of a dating app.

A great way to boost sexual confidence is to take your time. A good rule of thumb is to go on at least three dates before getting intimate. It’s easier to feel safe when you know the person in front of you genuinely likes spending time with you. It becomes less complicated to communicate and take risks with someone you at least know a bit about.

Here are a few tips for dating slowly:

  • On the #Dating app, add hashtags to your profile such as #easy-going and #just-chatting
  • Ask for the date at least 2 days before you want it to happen
  • Plan one date a week with any given person
  • Only go to someone’s home when you’re ready to do the deed

Going slowly lets you build your foreplay skills. Holding hands and long, steamy makeout sessions are underrated ways to build anticipation for sex. Even though anticipation might seem intimidating, it makes for amazing sex. Seducing a person’s body is a lot easier when you seduce their mind first.

Communicate

A couple enjoying a cozy moment on a bed, sharing smiles and creating beautiful memories together.

Do you find yourself losing sexual self-confidence with an established partner? There are a few reasons this could be happening.

The most common reason is that a lot of people just lose the spark after a couple of months of dating. When you first start seeing someone new, the getting-to-know-you phase is infatuating. However, not every relationship goes past this. If the spark is gone after only a couple of months, maybe it’s best to cool down and move on.

But if you’ve been together for a long time and you’re suddenly lacking sexual self-esteem, there’s probably a bigger issue at hand. Talking to your partner about sex can be difficult, but here are a few tips to help have that talk:

  • Choose a private time and place where you can talk without being rushed
  • Use “I” statements to avoid criticizing the other
  • Try to be as specific as possible about what affects your sexual self-confidence
  • Listen to their perspective
  • Look for solutions together

This can be a scary thing, but good relationships have space for difficult discussions. Look at this as an opportunity to learn how you communicate and face issues together.

Treat yourself right

A couple gracefully practicing sexual yoga in their cozy living room, finding peace and balance together.

Sexual self-confidence is a lot easier to achieve when you take care of your body and mind. Self-care isn’t just about bubble baths – but those can certainly be a part of it.

First, assess your diet. Do you eat vegetables every day? How often do you cook for yourself versus eat out? Do you regularly drink sugary or alcoholic drinks? Making some simple adjustments here like swapping out chips for carrot sticks can increase your energy levels and be in good shape.

Next, you’ll want to look at your activity levels. According to WHO, adults from ages 18-64 should get a minimum of 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity every week. If the timing doesn’t work for you, 75–150 minutes of high-intensity aerobics will also keep you healthy. Exercise is good for both your physical and mental well-being, which in turn boosts sexual self-confidence. Why not try exercising together as a couple too?

Speaking of your mental well-being, part of self-care is practicing mental hygiene. It’s not uncommon to have an internal negative monologue. Many people experience a voice in their heads that constantly says mean things. It’s hard to have a sense of sexual empowerment when internally you’re saying to yourself “You’re too [whatever]/not [whatever] enough…

Some common mental hygiene practices include:

  • Sexual meditation/mindful practices
  • Saying kind things about your body in front of a mirror
  • Journaling
  • Reading self-help books
  • Using self-help workbooks
  • Participating in supportive communities

Of course, the best way to tackle mental hygiene is with a therapist. If you’re working through a specific trauma, it’s best to have a safe person to go to if things go sideways.

Limit porn consumption

A man enjoying porn in his phone while lying in bed, surrounded by cozy blankets and pillows.

Pornography is good for discovering fantasies. However, it can hurt your sexual self-esteem by skewing your sense of what is normal in the bedroom.

Overconsumption of porn is also linked to a number of sexual dysfunction issues (including ED) in young men. Acclaimed author and former dating coach Mark Manson recommends a porn diet for men who consume porn daily.

Porn is sexual entertainment, not real-life sex. Certain positions may look great on camera but feel uncomfortable in real life. The footage is often looped to make it look like the sex goes on longer. Male porn models use Viagra to keep going for long shoots. Porn also requires a lot of unsexy prep work that occurs off-camera. It’s not a good medium to learn about sex.

If you would still like to watch porn, that’s fine. Just watching it every day can have some serious negative impacts on your sexual self-esteem.

Self-satisfaction (or not…)

Woman relaxing in bathtub with hair up.

When we talk about self-satisfaction, we must acknowledge that masturbation is part of a healthy sex life. Knowing what gives you pleasure can help your sexual confidence a lot. On the other hand, too much can impact your performance, and in turn, ruin your sense of sexual empowerment.

Now, we recognize that there are more than two genders and all shades of sexuality. For the sake of brevity, we’re looking at heterosexual men and women. Here, masturbation tends to fall into two categories.

Women typically get a sexual confidence boost from masturbation. For a lot of women, it can be difficult to know what an orgasm feels like and what triggers it. Many women will not orgasm from penetration alone. Solo exploration helps communicate likes and dislikes in the bedroom.

Men tend to have the opposite issue. We want to be clear: there’s nothing morally wrong with self-pleasure. It’s just not an accurate simulation of the real act, it’s a much different sensation than having sex with another person.

Masturbation is a healthy way to explore your body’s pleasures. That said, too much can skew your actual performance in the bedroom. If you think you’re doing it too much, limit it to 1-2 times per week.

Educate yourself about sex

A woman engrossed in a book while sitting on a cozy couch.

It’s hard to feel sexually empowered when you don’t actually know much about sex. A lot of people do not get a comprehensive sex education growing up. Sex education starts with anatomy, pregnancy prevention, and STI awareness. That said, comprehensive sex education should cover consent, sexuality, gender identity, and relationships.

Planned Parenthood has excellent online comprehensive sex education resources. Websites like Scarleteen and Sex Etc are also great sex education resources, though they are geared toward teenagers.

Now some people prefer books. There are a ton of sex education books out there. Our favorites include:

  • The Guide to Getting It On by Paul Joannides – is a good place to start if you’re completely lost. It starts with anatomy and goes into the harder stuff like communication and consent
  • Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski – great if you want to know the latest research about arousal and pleasure
  • She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman by Ian Kerner – perfect for men who are lacking confidence with their female partners

If you prefer classroom learning, sex shops often host adult sex education classes where you can learn with others and boost your sexual self-confidence.

Now, we recognize that there are more than two genders and all shades of sexuality. For the sake of brevity, we’re looking at heterosexual men and women. Here, masturbation tends to fall into two categories.

Women typically get a sexual confidence boost from masturbation. For a lot of women, it can be difficult to know what an orgasm feels like and what triggers it. Many women will not orgasm from penetration alone. Solo exploration helps communicate likes and dislikes in the bedroom.

Men tend to have the opposite issue. We want to be clear: there’s nothing morally wrong with self-pleasure. It’s just not an accurate simulation of the real act, it’s a much different sensation than having sex with another person.

Masturbation is a healthy way to explore your body’s pleasures. That said, too much can skew your actual performance in the bedroom. If you think you’re doing it too much, limit it to 1-2 times per week.

Do not compare

A couple on a cozy couch, talking about their sexual life.

Comparison is the thief of joy, and that goes double when it comes to sexual self-esteem. Sex is its own unique experience. It’s different every time and with every partner. However, if you’re in your head going “Do I measure up to my partner’s ex?” you’re going to have a bad time.

Do not allow comparisons in your bedroom. You should not compare yourself to anyone. You should never compare your partner to anyone else. If your partner compares you to anyone else, ask them to stop.

Even favorable comparisons can be bad for your sexual empowerment. Everyone deserves to be experienced in the present moment.

Experiment

A couple enjoying a cozy moment on a bed, sharing love and relaxation.

Last but not least, experimentation in the bedroom can be very fun. It can also help you gain confidence in the bedroom.

We’ll be honest, you really should try the other stuff we listed here first. Skipping communication and presenting your boo with a gimp suit probably will not be met with enthusiasm. Still, if you’re a bit shy or clueless, there are plenty of sexual surveys for couples. These can help you discover what to try in bed.

Get sexually confident!

The key to sexual empowerment is self-reflection. You want to figure out what your specific issue with sexual confidence is and find a way to address it. And always, be kind to yourself.

Disclaimer: #Dating’s blog posts are for you to view at your discretion, and the sexual health insights presented are for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice and readers should seek professional guidance if appropriate.

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