Sex is natural, joyous, and occasionally even worth skipping a Riverdale marathon for. But it can also be stressful, and especially for shy guys and gals who feel like fumbling amateurs among professional woo-masters. Here are seven tips for shedding those insecurities and leaving them in a heap at the bedroom door:
Practice makes perfect
One of the most common reasons why people are shy in the bedroom is lack of sexual experience, says Vancouver-based sex therapist and relationships counselor, Dr. Teesha Morgan. And the best way to gain more boom-boom experience and therefore confidence is — wait for it — to have more sex. “It’s kind of like the idea that what we fear most is good for us,” jokes Morgan.
Forget what that jerk said back in college
If you’ve had sex, you’ve probably had an embarrassing sexual experience. Don’t let a ghost from your sexual past haunt the present. “Hanging on to the past, to resentments and anger, sadness and upset,” says Morgan, “that’s like drinking poison and thinking it’ll kill your enemy.” Morgan’s best advice: stay in the present moment.
Know what you like
Insecurity may also come from a lack of understanding about what feels good to you. Morgan counsels people to spend a little quality time with themselves. That may include self-touching.
“Connect to what you feel is sensual or sexual,” says Morgan, who also advocates carving out some quality fantasizing time, or taking a hot bath and revelling in the relaxation. Heck, do them both at the same time!
Don’t fake orgasms — fake confidence!
“Fake it till you make it” applies as well to sexual matters as it does to careers and personal success, explains Morgan. “Confidence is your most important accessory,” says Morgan. “Even if it’s fake.”
Save your body image issues for bikini season
Not liking your boobs, your bum, your thighs, your face, your hair? It’s common, say Morgan. But forget it. Sex is about sensation, not six-pack abs, so get in touch with the sensations in your body rather than thinking about whether or not your breasts look saggy.
Do your homework
To learn about your partner’s body and become more attuned to the moment, perform a sensation exercise, says Morgan. Here’s an easy one she recommends: get into your birthday suit and lie down with your similarly attired partner. Light some candles, or whatever sets the mood. Tell your partner to close their eyes as you explore their body gently (it doesn’t have to be genital-focused). “The point isn’t to bring your partner to orgasm but to explore sensations. Touch them from head to toe with varying speed, pressure, direction, for about 15 minutes,” explains Morgan. Then switch. “At the end of 30 minutes, talk about it…what you experienced, liked, preferred, or didn’t like, etc, sensation-wise,” says Morgan.
Take baby steps
Take a baby-steps approach to engaging more deeply with your sexuality and your partner, says Morgan. It can be as simple as creating a cute code word for when you’re in the mood (“Cheetos?”) or establishing a signal (i.e., the old sock on the door knob).
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