afraid to let him see me nakedI want to share a secret little known outside of research circles. There’s a specific type of woman who rarely experiences body consciousness during sexual activity.

I’d like to paint a picture of this woman, as taken from the studies: She wears a size 2 dress. And 4, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, and sometimes 20.

She’s in her twenties. And thirties, forties, and fifties. She’s single. Though in many cases, married. Often as not, she has kids. She tends to be pretty, but then again, not really.

You see, she’s every woman with one simple characteristic: she’s good in bed.

Sexual Self-Consciousness & Being Good In Bed: Which One Wins?

Researchers discovered that competence is incompatible with self-consciousness. As Dr. Michael Wiederman noted in a 2000 Journal of Sex Research study:

Women who viewed themselves as good sex partners were least concerned about their bodily appearance during physical intimacy, even when holding body size and body dissatisfaction constant.

It’s the last phrase that makes the conclusion so powerful: “even when holding body size and body dissatisfaction constant.” In other words, you don’t need to be satisfied with the way you look to stop being self-conscious during sex; you don’t have to lose weight to end the cycle of shame in the bedroom.

When you can value yourself for something other than how you look, your attention focuses away from judging your body and onto the value it brings to the table. Or the bedroom, as the case may be.

This is an incontrovertible fact in the building of positive self-image: Skill slackens self-hate. Capacity crowds out critiques. Competence trumps self-consciousness in bed. Competence in bed—mastering the art of giving pleasure—quiets the beehive of your buzzing negativity.

The Secret to Being Good in Bed

Think back to the most memorable sex you’ve ever had. What do you remember most—that thing he did with his tongue or the feeling of getting sucked into a vortex of sexual energy that made you temporarily forget your name?

Being good in bed isn’t just about technique. It isn’t about what you can do to him; it’s about where you can take him. It’s not that technique isn’t important; it’s just that it’s insufficient. Getting good at the mechanics makes you a skilled worker. Understanding how to shape passion into a give-and-receive union makes you a sublime lover. So before we dive into techniques, let’s paddle around this passion thing.

Passion is a funny thing. You can’t teach it because it’s not a skill. You can’t acquire it because it’s not a possession. And you can’t learn it because there are no instructions. Like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.

While you can’t “teach” passion, you can learn how to set the stage for you to express it in your own unique way. If passion has one defining characteristic, it’s energy. Movement. Action. Convergence.

By movement I don’t mean sexual calisthenics—setting up a trapeze, swinging from the chandeliers, and diving into pillowed mosh pits. There’s nothing wrong with that, but passion defines movement as something that builds and resolves anticipation. It can also help you learn how to feel good about your body in bed.

Movement that creates the unexpected. Movement that travels from dissonance to harmony. It can be subtle, silent, or loud. It can make you shiver, sigh, or scream. It can pull you down like a whirlpool, suck you up like a tornado, or waft you aloft on a magic carpet.

Consider the passionate kiss:

He stops an inch before your lips. The space between crackles with anticipation. He doesn’t back up. He doesn’t move forward. You’re caught in his tease. Your heart climbs the stairs. He leans in. Your lips part and…

This is sexual energy in motion: It holds a chord and waits for the resolving note. It pushes you to the brink and pulls you back just in time to push you again. It has an upward trajectory, transferring from one partner to the other. Movement is passion’s starting point. It can be subtle (an unresolved kiss) or explicit (throwing each other around like rag dolls).

Let’s do an experiment. Think your worst thought about your body. Got it? Okay, now really concentrate on that thought as you follow my directions: Rub your hands together as fast as you can for ten seconds.

Notice the tingling sensation when you stop? That’s movement creating energy, which manifests as heat. Now, where did that awful thought of yours go? Poof! Movement creates energy that makes thoughts disappear.

Now, with passion as the backdrop, let’s get back to skills. Being good in bed doesn’t mean knowing every position in the Kama Sutra. It’s combining sexual energy (movements characteristic of passion) with pleasure-giving skills. Remember, bedroom competence creates body confidence.

Your goal is to get so good at sex that the laziest guy on earth would take one look at you and say, “You make me want to get a job.”

In the next post, we’ll look at getting your mouth into the action. In the meantime, 7 tips on building your sexual confidence.

If you missed the last post, read it here.

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