Exercise is a fantastic way to boost your body confidence (and your health, too). But when you need an instant shot of I-feel-sexy so you're ready for a roll in the hay, you don't always have time to hit the gym. So here, our experts give their top five tips to help you boost your confidence and have better sex, no treadmill needed.
1. Get naked.
Catching yourself au natural may make you less confident right now. But, says Lexx Brown, Ph.D., licensed marriage therapist, "it's imperative to love your body in its natural state." So scan your body for the parts you less than love, and then find purpose in those parts, Brown recommends. "That extra fluff around your things also is a soft and restful place for you child to lay their head," she says. "Or that scar tells you about a time in your life when you survived." And with purpose assigned to those parts, you can find relief, not anxiety, in sporting them.
2. Do what makes you feel sexy.
You may not feel sexy now, but after you swap jeans for your favorite little black dress on date night out, you will soon enough. "If it's wearing a certain outfit or shade of lipstick go ahead," encourages Kim Ibricevic, Eve's Garden sex educator. "Buy some sexy new lingerie even if you are the only one who will see it. Wear a perfume that reminds you of your favorite moments. Put on some sultry music and light some candles. Indulge in whatever makes you feel good."
3. Surround yourself with body-positive people.
Sometimes you need to vent about those last five pounds you simply can't shed. But if your girlfriends can't stop gabbing about how they hate their bodies, it's time to surround yourself with people who can help shape a more positive outlook. "If your girlfriends sit around complaining about their bodies, get around people who are positive about who they are inside and out," suggests Sanam Hafeez, Ph.D., founder and director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services. With their support, your confidence will skyrocket, too.
4. Remind yourself that your partner chose you.
Most confidence should come from within. But reminding yourself you're with a guy or gal who finds you incredibly attractive can give you an instant boost in sexy self-esteem. "This person has chosen to be in bed with you," says life coach Tracee Sioux. "Understand that while women are pressured with a media ideal of beauty, men really do have different tastes and preferences and obviously you're his. Period."
5. Practice mindfulness.
Women can multitask almost too well. "I see a lot of women who are mentally caught in their heads when trying to become intimate with themselves or others," says Michelle Herzog, LMFT and psychotherapist, who adds that common thoughts run the gamut from "I'm too fat" to "I feel gross about my body." But if you practice mindfulness before and after you hit the bedroom, you can "increase the mind-body connection and have more control over the negative self-talk that women seem to get caught up in," Herzog says. "And having the ability to be mindful and present with the sexual self and a partner are wonderful ways to increase sexual awareness and confidence."