For as long as I could remember, I’ve been ashamed of my body. And not just because I disliked my body, but because I internalized how others reacted to it. Since I hit puberty at age 11, I got the hungry stares, suggestive comments, and vulgar cat-calls from men, as well as the envious glares, critical remarks, and genuine compliments from women.
Some of the attention was flattering, while most of it made me feel unsafe and uncomfortable in my own skin. But every objectified act of that sort caused me to view my body through the lens of someone else rather than through my own.
It caused me to judge my body based on how others SEE it, instead of how I FEEL it.
When I was competing back in 2015, I dated someone who was also big into bodybuilding. We vibed about fitness, but otherwise the relationship was emotionally abusive, manipulative and F’ed up. That October, I competed in my second bikini show and gained about 20lbs shortly afterwards, something that is relatively “normal” in the industry (even though it’s the unhealthy rebound effect of dehydration, starvation and post-show binge eating). But I, of course, felt like a complete failure for not keeping my “bikini body” after the competition and emotionally, I was a mess. ?
One night, this person looked at me as we were getting intimate and said, “I’m so glad you’re not skinny anymore. I don’t like f*cking skinny girls.”
My whole world came crashing down.
Suddenly my entire IDENTITY was questioned because:
(a) someone called me “not skinny” which made me feel like I was worthless, pathetic, lazy, failure, ugly, etc. since all my efforts were being used to be skinny!
(b) I tortured myself to be thin and all my efforts were a waste?!??
All I could think in my head was “WTF, WTF, WTF” on repeat.
I was so self-conscious getting naked in general and then this made everything worse. I didn’t know what to think or how to feel about it. I was always looking for approval from men (even though I’d never admit it). The sad thing was, because I was always searching for approval from men, I never had time to give it to myself and that is dangerous ground to be on.
It took me so much time to process this, but the main thing I learned is that your body is not created for anybody but YOU.
It’s not for pleasing men (or women).
It’s not for being liked on an Instagram picture.
It’s not for society’s approval.
YOUR body is YOUR home.
So don’t give it away to f *ckboys, to diet culture or to ANYONE who questions your intrinsic beauty. ❤️
Ok now that we got out of the way, one more thing before I give you the 8 body confidence tips!
I made you a FREEEE self-love checklist that includes daily habits to help you embrace your body and love yourself unconditionally.
It also has a self-love playlist I made for you! Just click the button below to get it 🙂
If any part of my experience resonates with you or if you’ve been struggling with feeling self-confident during intimate moments, read on for my tips on having body confidence in the bedroom…
1. Establish Safety and Comfort.
First, and this is probably the most important one, make sure that whoever you’re getting intimate with is making you feel SAFE and COMFORTABLE. Although I’m a feminist who believes that women can have sex with whoever they whenever they want just like men can (contrary to what society has told us), I think that for both men and women sex feels better when you’re truly connected to the person. If we’re having sex just for the sake of having sex or proving something to someone or worse, if we’re just afraid to say NO, our self-esteem will tank because we feel like we’re being used, doing it for someone else and/or doing something we don’t really want to do. And just a side note here: all of these tips can still apply to casual hookups and one night stands if that’s your thing. Sound good? Great!
2. Communicate what you do and do not like.
Don’t be afraid to communicate with your partner. Communication can make or break your confidence in an intimate situation. It’s so important to communicate and tell your partner what you like and also what you don’t like. Follow up with asking them what they do/do not like so it’s a two-sided effort so make sure you’re listening to your partner as well. The more you both communicate, the better it will be for both of you and the more confident you’ll fee. Pretty sexy right? ?
3. Remember: your partner is in the same boat.
Remember that your partner is human and has insecurities too. This is another reason why communication is so important. The more you communicate to them about your wants, needs and insecurities, the more you’ll give them permission to do the same which will set the tone for a safe and comfortable sexual relationship.
4. Be more open about sex.
Don’t’ feel like you have to hide or be silent when it comes to the topic of sex. Talk about your sexual experiences with your partner and/or friends you feel safe around. Make sure sex isn’t the “forbidden fruit” or a taboo topic. Don’t attach shame and give it dominance over you because it’s something for you to ENJOY.
5. Set the mood.
Do something to transition yourself into your “sensual nature.” Often we go about our lives and we forget to switch roles intentionally which is why we end up bringing our stresses, insecurities and anxieties into the bedroom. Do something to get yourself in the mood like read a pleasurable book (whether that’s erotica or not), take a bath, get in your favorite P.J.’s/ lingerie, put lotion on yourself, etc. Something to get you in a calm, relaxed state. The more comfortable and relaxed you are, and the more you’ve let go of the stresses of the day, the more you can confidently enjoy that time with your partner.
6. Use eye contact!
OMG this is seriously so important. Sometimes we don’t look someone in the eyes because we’re too scared to be vulnerable. Trust me, your partner is also feeling vulnerable, I mean, how can you not feel vulnerable when you’re in an intimate situation? But there is seriously nothing sexier or more emotionally connecting than looking in your partner’s eyes as you’re getting intimate and close to each other. Eye contact also makes communicating easier because you can detect subtle changes in their facial expression when they’re enjoying themselves. Pretty damn sexy. Trust me, there’s not much better than watching their face express how they’re feeling.
7. Don’t Worry About “Mistakes”- there are none!
Remember that there is no messing up in sex. Sex is supposed to be imperfect. You’re two real, imperfect human beings. You’re not actors in a film. Hollywood and porn make everything look perfect, hair and makeup done to perfection, sexy lingerie courtesy of the costume department, perfect lighting, everything perfectly staged and choreographed, THAT’S NOT REAL!!! And if that was real it would be really freakin’ boring! But it’s those little moments of imperfection that make that time together so special. Fumbling with the hook on your bra, accidentally bumping your heads together, cracking a joke and spending 5 minutes laughing hysterically…you don’t see these things in the movies but they’re what makes that time special between the two of you because it’s unique to your relationship. And that’s sexy AF.
8. Fake it till you make it!
Okay now people go back and forth on this concept but I think it’s an incredible tool because it forces you to BE the sex panther you want to be and then you realize that it’s actually quite fun being a sexy panther and then your partner gets turned on by it and then you like that and then it creates a positive feedback loop!
Now obviously I’m not talking about faking enjoyment, that’s a totally different thing and not positive at all. But what I am saying, is take your usual insecurities and fears and turn them around, pretend to be the type of person that isn’t insecure or fearful about those things. Pretend that you feel super sexy and strong. Get some new and different lingerie or light some candles, switch up your usual environment to make you feel more empowered even if that’s not how you typically feel. I think you’ll find that pretty quickly, especially as your partner starts responding to you, you’ll start to feel more empowered and confident. ?
So there you have it, my 8 tips for bedroom confidence. Remember, you have the right to feel sexy, confident, and proud, and no one gets to take that away from you.
I hope this post has helped give you some practical tips for feeling more confident during intimate moments with your partner. If it did, please leave a comment below as I always love hearing from you and your comment helps others feel not alone in this journey!
And if you want to deepen your body confidence journey, click the button below to get a FREEEEE self-love checklist!