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Sexual health seems to come quite easily to some people. In my own life, I’m aware of the odd friend or family member whose natural inclination for their sexual body appears fluent, and whose desires are immediately known to them.

To my own sister, who I enjoy discussing the subject with, sexual confidence is a native tongue, something she understands, innately, and a place where she feels eloquent and comfortable. The confidence is not something she’s ‘learned’, through tips or tuition, but a way that she knows, very intuitively, how to express herself as a woman, a person.

For others, sex is foreboding, uncomfortable, and the body is laced with shame and insecurities.

Why Have the Discussion?

A topless man lying in bed seems to be thinking deeply

However you feel, the fact is we all have some relationship to sex. It is a force in the body and in the world, and, for most of us, it is a vocal, demanding aspect of our spirit and lives. Not feeling comfortable sexually, or confident sexually, generally hurts, and we feel, profoundly, that we are missing out on something amazing.

While I don’t believe talking about confidence necessarily explains it or translates to increased sexual confidence in the bedroom – (in fact, at times the endless dialogue around sexuality seems almost to avoid it) – I do think there are certain markers that can help us relate better to ourselves and our partners.

Why Sexual Self Confidence Matters

I believe that what is called ‘sexual confidence’ is a way of terming the fluidity with which we are able to speak to, listen to, and explore the authentic sexual self. This ability does not show in false bravado, or theatrical displays of pleasure, confidence, virility, or sexual virtuosity in the bedroom. It is simply the state of someone whose intimate spirit sings through their body, who accepts what they have, and knows how to allow their erogenous wisdom to guide and focus their body. A person who is ‘bad’ at sex is not ‘bad’ at ‘sex’, they are simply not in touch with themselves, their feelings, or with sexuality itself.

Do you talk about what you want in bed with your sexual partners?

Being Sexually Confident in Current Culture

In ancient times, societies often initiated young persons into sex with the aid of a guide, so that the sexual confidence of an attuned, experienced partner could be transmitted to the young initiate. Nowadays, we have the internet, a culture of ‘news’ (all tautological), and the media. These are, by and large, odious sources for informing our sexual selves, and often only worsen feelings of worry and that general pressure that makes us more and more insecure, and feel more and more like everyone around us has related to their erotic selves better than we have.

The Obstacles

How can we see through to ourselves, in the vertigo of noise and information, in a world that has co-opted sex and organic pleasure as a way of selling things? We are being prostituted and exploited before we even have a chance, and we’re being depleted of power. We only wonder ‘how to be more confident in bed’ because we’ve been stranded in such a desert that makes us ask about something that should be heuristic, something that we all have the tools (our physical bodies) to uncover for ourselves. You do not need a sexologist, professional, therapist, or magazine article.

Because while the internet is flooded with cascades of information, when it comes to sex, and being sexually confident, the template is in our hands. It is our hands. And we can learn what we want and need to know when we connect with that primary, intimate template, and bring this process of learning to our relationship, relationships, and partners.

Do you feel confident in the bedroom?

Sexual Confidence in Practise, Example

These tangible tips may help to guide our path towards more confident sexuality. You will probably find that each point builds on or expands the others.

🖤 Do not overreact to mistakes; your sex will rarely be seamless and cinematic. Do not try, when you’re sexually active, to perform (as though you were trying to score a perfect grade). Take pleasure in the other person(s), and take pleasure in and for yourself. When things hit bumps, or you find yourself feeling out of touch, be forgiving, turn the page, and let things pass.

🖤 Embrace levity. Good relationships are full of humour. The bed should be no different. Sex can be serious or unserious, depending on what the moment and its particular story calls for.

🖤 Ease off pornography (for some of the reasons mentioned above: pornography curates sex to look seamless, mistake-less). It is, as a friend of mine put it, “connection without anything in the way.” The problem with that is, in life, sex is full of obstacles and the clumsy realities of our bodies. Furthermore, women and men do not often appear as they do in these glossy performances. Usually, we are hairy, wrinkly, blemished, unbleached, and disparately endowed.

🖤 Take breaks. When I realized it was okay to stop fucking before someone had climaxed it helped me begin to develop a different way of making love. If you feel tired or feel like your drive or attention is waning, take a moment and be tender with one another, and if feel like continuing after, do so. Intercourse does not have to be linear.

🖤 Fuck slowly and fuck fast also. Shift with the mood of your interaction, not with your mental idea of what and how things should be done.

🖤 Only take advice from someone else, about your body, if they genuinely love their own.

🖤 Have fun. Be compassionate.

🖤 Talk and reflect. Discuss what you may be able to do and not do. Learn.

🖤 Use your imagination. It should be devoid of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and oriented only on whim and curiosity and naughtiness. It is a way to feel out into what might be possible within yourself. It can help you access your partner’s spirit.

🖤 Regard boundaries. They can be crossed or preserved.

🖤 Be bold and be sexy. Take risks. Unleash yourself when you can. If it’s honest, it will usually be well received. Let desire compel you.

🖤 Be attentive, but be free.