Whether you're coupled up, casually hooking up, married, or enjoying the single life, your sexual self-esteem plays a big role in your ability to enjoy a happy and healthy sex life.
Although it can seem a tad taboo to discuss sex openly, it's a really important topic to explore and understand how it affects your behaviour in intimate relationships, and how it influences your decisions in sexual activities.
Your sexual self-esteem is likely to change like the seasons, as you age, your interests change, with different sexual partners, and tends to vary across genders and cultures too.
Today we're sharing some sexual wellness insights to help you boost your sexual self-esteem in the bedroom and beyond.
1. Confidence is key
Your sexual self-esteem is closely associated with your general self-esteem as a whole.
If you don't feel confident in expressing who you are as a person, or have insecurities about your outer appearance, then it's likely you'll also struggle to feel confident when it comes to sex. Any areas you feel self-conscious in will only hold you back from truely enjoying yourself and connecting with a partner.
It's crucial not only for sex, but for your confidence in all aspects, to work on healing any insecurities you have about your body and fully embracing self-love for both your internal and external self.
If you're not feeling sexy, it can be difficult to embody your sexuality. So do whatever makes you feel your sexiest and gives you a confidence boost, whether that's a little lingerie, doing your hair and makeup, or putting on a spray tan.
2. Self-care is sex-care
Making the relationship you have with yourself a priority is an essential step to feeling yourself (cue Nicki Minaj).
It's important to prioritise your sexual and non-sexual self-care routines, particularly when it comes to your health. This means getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly, which helps by releasing feel-good endorphins and reinforcing a positive relationship with your body.
The foods you eat also play a large role in your sex drive, so having a well-rounded balanced diet is key for a healthy libido.
Feeling relaxed and comfortable is a key player when it comes to stimulating sexual arousal, particularly for females, so try to reduce any stressors that you have control over in your personal environment.
Dealing with high-stress, anxieties or fear can actually cause your body to release stress hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine, which limit blood flow to the genitals and can interrupt your ability to feel sexual.
To get past this, develop some routines that help you relax and get in the zone before sex. Try things that help you unwind and connect to your body, such as having a bath, doing meditation or breathwork, or dancing to music.
This will help you stay present in the moment, connect more deeply to yours and your partners body, and truly enjoy yourself.
3. Stop treating sex like a performance
Largely because of movies and porn culture, many people were raised with an unrealistic expectations of what sex should be.
Keep a realistic perspective of what sex is and let go of any preconceived expectations of it being this picture perfect experience. Sex can be fun, raw, emotional, experimental, beautiful, awkward, and all of the above - don't ruin the moment by forcing it to be something it's not.
Your sexual desires and how you like to have sex are unique to you, and understanding exactly what turns you on is one of the best ways to boost your sexual morale. So take the time to get to know yourself on a more intimate level by safely exploring your interests and what you like.
Also respect yourself and your time enough to stop treating sex like a performance and faking your satisfaction for the sake of another person.
Be confident to express when you're pleased, and when you're not. Obviously be sure say it in a way that's kind and gentle, because the right person will want you to enjoy yourself too, and will respect you for your honesty.
Sharing these genuine experiences with someone who really wants to be with you is one of the best sexual self-esteem boosters there is.
4. Ask and you shall receive
The key to all good relationships, sexual ones especially, is open and honest communication.
Building a sense of trust and intimacy with a partner takes a bit of courage and vulnerability to be completely honest in sharing your sexual desires and the things you like and dislike.
If you're feeling anxious or not completely comfortable having sex, make sure you talk with your partner and let them know how you're feeling. It's completely okay to take things slow until you feel comfortable and supported. There's a number of other ways you can still be intimate and sexual.
When it comes to sex, it's important to keep the communication going. If you like something, show or tell them. If you don't, let them know. Especially if you're newly getting to know someone intimately, this is the best way to learn each-other's preferences.
It's also important to state your boundaries and make any no-go's clear. Having this understanding will help build a foundation of mutual trust and respect for one other, and will only take things up a notch to the next level.
Understand that the definition and parameters of sex is different for everybody, so be sure to have a conversation around what that is for you and your partner/s.
Please don't feel ashamed to talk about your sexual health matters. If your confidence, libido, or sexual relationships need a little more attention, we recommend consulting with a professional physician that specialises in sexual health, especially if you experience issues such as pain, dysfunction, or anxiety during sex.
And remember, sex is a natural, healthy, and beautiful thing that we do to increase our emotional and physical connection to ourselves and others, not something to resist and repress. To really boost your self-confidence and feel sexually liberated, you need to release any feelings of shame or embarrassment that you hold around sex.
Full steem ahead!