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10 Ways to Overcome Sexual Insecurity

Everyone feels self conscious at one time or another. But if you're feeling insecure, it's time to start feeling comfortable in your own skin.
Everyone feels self conscious at one time or another. But if you're feeling insecure, it's time to start feeling comfortable in your own skin.
Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Few things make us feel more vulnerable than being naked in front of someone else. There's nothing to distract, nowhere to hide. Everything you are is out in the open for everyone to see, whether they be friends or enemies.

When it comes to sex, there's often a component of emotional vulnerability as well. For people who are insecure when it comes to their bodies and their relationships, this can make the bedroom a minefield. An innocuous-seeming comment from a partner can result in a psychological detonation and a devastated evening (not to mention a lot of confusion).

If this scenario sounds familiar, it's time to make peace with yourself. Here are 10 tips to overcoming the internal battle in the bedroom.

10
Walk Around Naked More Often

For some people, sexual insecurity comes from the way they feel about their bodies. If you're one of them, feeling comfortable in bed with someone else has to start with you feeling comfortable with yourself.

Easier said than done, right?

Start with something concrete: Take it all off. And by "it," we mean your clothes. Walk around naked. Look at your body in the mirror (not under fluorescent lighting!) through the eyes of someone much more compassionate than you usually are with yourself. Yes, you might have cellulite, or one breast or testicle that's lower than the other, or weird hair on your back. But so what?

Despite what you may have absorbed through the media, people like different things. Fat, pubic hair, paleness -- those all get someone going. You don't have to have Ryan Reynolds' abs or Scarlett Johansson's cleavage to be sexually desirable. If someone is smiling at you in a bedroom and inviting you under the covers, it's because they want to sleep with you. Just as you are.

No more turning off the light. Remember that confidence is sexy, too.

9
Get in Touch with Yourself
A nice bubble bath could help set the mood for some quality personal time.
A nice bubble bath could help set the mood for some quality personal time.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Self-pleasure is normal. Some of us have been doing it since toddlerhood, while others didn't discover it until much later. While it's great in and of itself, masturbation also serves another purpose -- teaching you what makes you feel good.

Know thyself-- in the carnal sense. Some women prefer clitoral stimulation, for example, while others like vaginal or anal penetration, and still others desire some sort of combination. Some men like attention paid to their nipples, scrotum or perineum, while others would like you to put your mouth and hands elsewhere.

If you know what gets you all hot and bothered, you can better guide someone who wants to please you. That's a win-win.

8
Make a Doctor's Appointment

Some insecurities can be resolved by talking to a health care professional. If your worries stem from the fact that sex is painful for you, for instance, it might be a medical issue. Someone can talk you through it, give you advice and might be able to fix it.

Lest you worry that your concern is utterly bizarre, rest assured that any health care professional has pretty much heard it all.

If you've noticed an unusual discharge or smell, or if you're having trouble getting erect, having an orgasm or staying lubricated, give your doctor a call. Either it's something he or she can help you with, or you'll get the reassurance that everything is just fine.

7
Reprioritize

It isn't true that all men want sex all the time, or that what all women truly desire is a man or woman who lasts for hours.

A common insecurity is about "performance." Women worry that they'll take too long to orgasm, or that they won't be able to. Men are concerned that they'll ejaculate too quickly or not get hard enough.

Orgasms are awesome -- no one's denying it. But making that the only focus of a sexual experience is missing a lot of other things. Plus, the pressure of making it the be-all and end-all of your tryst just makes it more nerve-wracking.

Can't get it up? It happens. If it happens often, you might want to get checked out for any medical issues, but if it happens when you're nervous, you certainly aren't the only one. Can't have an orgasm? Again, not the end of the world. Maybe you aren't comfortable with the person, or maybe you have other stuff going on in your mind. Maybe you're both drunk. The point is that there's more to sex than those few seconds. Make the most of it.

6
Accept That You Like What You Like

Let's say that what you need to feel fully aroused is dirty talk. You want your sexual partner to tell you, in detail, exactly what he or she fantasizes about doing to your naked body. (Or, hey, your clothed body -- whatever works.)

But you don't want to ask, because you're afraid that he or she will think it's weird. And, instead of having an incredibly satisfying experience, you leave wishing for something more.

The heart wants what the heart wants. Same goes for the genitalia. Unless your particular sexual predilections are illegal or dangerous, they're fine -- and we promise that there are other people who share the same longings.

You have a choice: You can try to plant thought beams in your partner's head about what you want, or you can talk about it and possibly elevate mediocre sex to something fantastic. And who knows -- he or she might've been hoping the entire time that you'd say it.

5
Get Your Head Straight
Want to drive your partner wild? Put down that magazine and do your own one-on-one research.
Want to drive your partner wild? Put down that magazine and do your own one-on-one research.
Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Thinkstock

Is your goal to be the best at sex? You might want to find a new goal. One, because that award does not exist outside the porn industry, and two, because there is no right or best way to do it -- different people like different things.

It's like a dirty nursery rhyme -- some like it fast, some like it slow, some like it hard and some like it not so.

Regardless of what magazines may try to sell you, there is no one trick that will drive him or her wild. Well, there might be, but you're going to have to find that one out from the one you're with.

The best sex happens when you lose yourself in the moment. So instead of striving for first place in a competition that's only in your head, work toward finding someone who makes you tingly.

4
Practice, Practice, Practice!

Before you ever kissed someone, you probably worried that you'd be bad at it. This is why so many people have stories about making out with their own hands.

Not surprisingly, a lot of people have the same worries about sex. Here, we can take a lesson from sports. (No, it's not about bases.) Practice, practice, practice.

You don't know much about sex at the beginning. That's OK. There's no sex bible. That's because it's totally subjective. Good sex is what feels good to you.

If you've left the bed feeling let down, try, try again! Figure out what it was that made you disappointed. Never quite gotten the hang of being on top? Experiment the next dozen times you do it. Have no idea what you're doing when it comes to oral sex? Take the time to explore. Most people appreciate lovers who take their time and think creatively. You're in no hurry (unless you're in an elevator). There's plenty of time to learn and grow.

3
Use Your Mouth -- to Talk
If you're feeling a bit uneasy, talk it over with your partner.
If you're feeling a bit uneasy, talk it over with your partner.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Like so many other situations in life, communication is key when it comes to sex. You should be talking about contraception and STDs, of course, but there's more to it than that.

It's OK to admit that you're inexperienced or need cuddling or compliments, or that you're a little shy. If he or she isn't the kind of person you feel comfortable talking to, you might want to rethink the whole "exchanging bodily fluids" thing. You don't have to discuss the time your dog got hit by a car, but you should be able to share with a sexual partner your feelings about sex.

If you're insecure about your abilities, few people will mind having a willing pupil -- some will enjoy it, in fact.

So instead of letting your inner monologue distract you, try putting some of it into words. After that, you might not need too many words at all.

2
Talk to a Therapist

Some sexual insecurities require a little outside help to overcome. Any kind of past sexual trauma or emotional or psychological problem could use some professional expertise.

Therapy is still generally looked at as something you do in response to a traumatic life event, but really, it's just a tool to help you work through things -- even issues that seem small.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a good option for dealing with sexual insecurities because it focuses on changing the way you think, helping you squelch negative thoughts in favor of a more constructive way of looking at things.

1
Have Fun
Tired of the same ole, same ole? Break out of the mundane and have fun with your sex life.
Tired of the same ole, same ole? Break out of the mundane and have fun with your sex life.
Simon Bremner/Lifesize/Thinkstock

Sex is fun. That's why humans have been doing it for centuries. So if you're not enjoying yourself, take a step back and investigate why.

If your insecurities are being reinforced by the person you're with -- a partner who criticizes you or makes you feel inadequate -- hit the road, Jack. Find someone who makes you feel amazing.

Life is too short to spend it worried about whether your O-face looks weird or how visible your cellulite is from behind. Don't miss out. Address your insecurities and enter the boudoir excited -- pun completely intended.

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