Let me be bold and say that sex is not the problem. The way you’re having it is. Before you toss your phone on the floor, hear me out.
Often, this is what happens: In your attempt to alleviate your sexual anxiety, you came up with short-term fixes (avoidance, covering up, restricting positions, emotionally disengaging, dieting, exercise) that perpetuated the problem and sucked you into an unresolvable vicious cycle.
These solutions require you to pay attention to your appearance (“Have I covered enough of my belly? Is it dark enough that he can’t see my thighs?” “Have I exercised enough to shape my butt?”).
Your solutions end up magnifying the appearance anxiety and heightening the significance of being self-conscious during sex.
Instead of looking at the nature of the solution, you looked at the quality of your effort and doubled down on your attempts. You read magazine articles that encouraged you to keep doing what you’re doing only with new, creative avoidance behaviors.
This not only made the problem worse but it also in many ways the problem. Now, every session becomes an opportunity to practice the problem. Pretty soon the dogged repetition of behavior that doesn’t work leaves you frustrated, hopeless.
Now you’re struggling with the problem the attempt to solve it. Sex changed from an act of lovemaking to an act of problem-solving. You’re tumbling in a vicious cycle where one trouble leads to another that aggravates the first.
How To Feel Good About Your Body In Bed
There is a way of having sex that reduces or eliminates appearance anxiety. There are sexual techniques that can suspend self-judgment, lower obsession, and raise self-confidence. You don’t have to shut off the lights, cover up, diet, or exercise to fight your anxiety.
You just have to learn a new way of having sex.
This, of course, is problematic. If you’re too self-conscious to have sex, if you do everything you can to postpone or put conditions on it, how in God’s pajamas are you ever going to have it without the paralyzing effects of your self-judgments?
That will become clear as we move forward. First, let’s take a look at the research points to sex as the solution to self-consciousness. Scientists and scholars who study body image and the impact it has on women’s sexuality have made some counterintuitive discoveries. For example:
Sex Improves Body Image
Researchers have known for years that body image is a critical component of the sexual experience. But they’ve also observed the reverse—how sexual experiences influence body image.
This led to chicken-or-the-egg debates: Does a positive body image create satisfying sex, or does satisfying sex create a positive body image?
Most researchers believe there’s a dual feedback loop at work: Great sexual experiences positive body images, which in turn creates satisfying sex, which then strengthens your body image.
The relationship between body image and sexual experience is reciprocal. Your thoughts shape your experiences and your experiences shape your thoughts. It’s not just academics who observe this dynamic; it’s borne out by the opinion of a great many women.
In a survey of 4,500 women, 67 percent felt that good sexual experiences contribute to satisfactory feelings about their bodies.
Researchers often make “accidental” discoveries. Sometimes they search for silver and end up with gold. One of their 24-carat revelations has to do with the impact of sexual skills. Namely that…
Sexual Competence Gives You Bedroom Confidence
Being good in bed reduces appearance anxiety. Women who consider themselves “good in bed” have the highest levels of positive body image. This discovery has important implications for solving self-consciousness.
Improving your sexual skills will do far more for your self-image than simply staring at a mirror, reciting positive affirmations, and trying to convince yourself that you look beautiful.
In the next post, we’ll take a look at what men actually want (it may surprise you). In the meantime, 10 tips on being good in bed.
If you missed the last post, read it here.