There are few things in life that make us more self-conscious than being intimate with someone. Being naked and thinking our partner(s) are going to notice all the things we stress about when looking in the mirror, or fearing we may not “perform” the way they are expecting, can make us feel at a bit anxious. After all, we are there, completely vulnerable in front of them, and there is no place to hide.
Self-consciousness in bed is very common – you are not alone in this. Most of the time you have nothing to worry about and your partner won’t notice half the things you are self-conscious about. But what causes us to be self-conscious in bed, and what can you do to ease off the anxiety before getting undressed in front of a lover?
Why are we self-conscious in bed?
There are so many reasons why people feel unsure about their body or sexual performance. Sometimes, something as innocent as a small joke from your partner can completely ruin your mood and lead to nights without sex. Most of the time, the problem comes from all the little insecurities we gather throughout our life, fearing we may not be enough for the other person.
Gaining or losing too much weight, or changes in your body can make you feel less desired, even though your partner’s perception about you hasn’t changed a bit. Past sexual experiences, with people that did not treat you well or you did not connect with, can also lead to avoiding sex altogether or doubting your performance.
Most of the time, however, sexual self-consciousness comes from poor body image. According to studies, a woman’s sexual desire, as well as performance, can be highly affected by the way she sees herself in the mirror. But women are not the only ones that feel insecure about their bodies. Another study reveals that men experience the same problems if they don’t feel confident in their appearance or anatomy.
Fearing you might disappoint your partner or that you may be a bad lover can also lead to problems in the bedroom, triggering performance anxiety both in men and women.
The good news: there are simple things you can do to improve your self-confidence and breathe new life into your bedroom.
Talk about it openly with your partner
Although it may seem hard at first, communicating with your partner is the best thing you can do in this situation. Keeping them in the dark won’t do any good to the relationship, and you both may end up feeling confused, sad, or resenting each other in time.
Sharing those feelings with a partner that understands you and provides support can sometimes be all you need, to put those thoughts at ease. You may be surprised to find out they don’t even notice the majority of things you worry about. If the problems you are having are more severe, your partner may even help you find a solution, so that you can both enjoy a happy and healthy love life.
Manage your expectations
Expecting too much from yourself or your partner can lead to a series of problems in the bedroom. Unfortunately, magazines, social media and porn can put tremendous pressure on people, giving them unrealistic ideas of how sex should be. Truth be told, most of what you see in the movies or in photos is not real. Sex scenes in movies are extremely choreographed and made to look near perfect, a thing which is not entirely possible in real life.
Don’t expect steamy hot encounters every time you have sex. Instead, enjoy the moment without comparing it to what you see on the screen. Sometimes things don’t happen the way we expect it, but the best you can do is laugh about it and don’t let it affect your life. So what if you got a cramp trying that new position? Make fun of it and move on, because things are not supposed to be perfect.
Get to know your body and needs
You’ve been living with yourself for quite some time now. If you don’t know your body or what you want in bed, how do you expect someone who knows you for less time to know your body? Part of having good sex is knowing what you like and don’t like in bed. Maybe you like your partner’s hands in a specific place or you don’t like to be touched in a certain way. Experiment with yourself and learn everything you can about your body, so that you can guide your partner through the process and enjoy a good experience.
Whether you like to admit it or not, most people masturbate and there is nothing to be ashamed about. Ladies, invest in a good vibrator, take a night off and explore your body. You will be surprised by what you find out. Fortunately for women, they are a bit more open about it. But it’s time for men to include some toys in their self-pleasuring ritual as well. For example, pocket pussies are a great alternative to the traditional method, plus they come in all shapes and sizes, for ultimate pleasure.
It’s all about the setting
If you are still concerned your partner may see a bit too much of what you try to keep hidden, there are some tricks you can try to set the scene. Dim the lights a bit, light up some candles, or buy a small lamp with warm light and keep that on. Sometimes, you can even turn off the lights completely and focus on your other senses.
Invest in some good lingerie to boost your self-esteem, and keep them on during sex, to spice things up. You don’t have to rush into Victoria’s Secret and buy everything they have. There are pieces of lingerie designed specifically to show off, or cover up key parts of your body, so do some research and make yourself a present.