Welcome to Sexual Healing, a new monthly column where sexologist Anka Radakovich dives deep into your most intimate issues with advice and tips to help you live your best sex life. Have a question for Anka? Drop us a line (no fear, we'll keep it anonymous) at email@example.com.
I can’t seem to get over my self-consciousness about my body in bed. My husband tells me I’m beautiful, but I’m too shy in bed due to my body issues. What can I do?
Dear Mrs. #bodyissues,
One of the most common reasons women don’t want to have sex is because of their perceived negative body image. The trick is to stop focusing on your body imperfections and start focusing on your pleasure. Remember, the person having sex with you is probably focusing on what they like about your body, not what they don’t. “I’m not going to have sex tonight because my stomach looks fat,” said no man ever.
Nobody has a perfect body, and almost everyone has a body part (or two) that is less than perfect. The key to amazing sex is surprisingly simple: The better you feel about yourself, the better sex will feel. Here are some tips to get over your body issues, because sex is amazing and is supposed to be fun!
Make Out to Music
A study of 2,000 peeps conducted by Spotify found that listening to music during sex is not only relaxing but a huge turn-on. Get a playlist together beforehand, so you’ll be listening to what gets you hot the whole time. Listening to music makes you feel more present, makes you feel happier, and creates a more sensual experience. It also distracts you from worrying about whether you need to be sucking in your stomach.
Check the Lighting
Candles are a girl's (and guy's!) best friend. Soft lighting feels romantic and keeps you from hoping that your partner won’t notice the stretch marks on your ass. Candlelight is sensual and most people look good in it. It will hide the flaws you are shy about and will set an intimate mood. Just don’t knock the candle over and set the bed on fire.
Think (Body) Positive
Women (and many men) need to be more accepting of their flaws. We’re much more critical of ourselves than the people who want to have sex with us are. Instead of beating yourself up about it, focus on the super sexy body parts that you already like. Forget about your imperfections while you’re in bed with your partner, and just enjoy the road trip to pleasure. Be in the moment, and you’re on your way to Orgasmville.
Sex and Post-Sex Wardrobe
Have a muffin top? Buy a cute babydoll and your lover will focus on your legs, your booty, or something else. The right boudoir outfit can lessen your self-consciousness and make you feel amazing before, during, and after sexy time.
Even porn stars say they feel self-conscious about their bodies. The gorgeous Charlotte Stokely, who recently starred as Batwoman in the porn version of Justice League says: “Never put yourself down during sex...We can be our own worst critics sometime, and you know, if they are horny, I doubt they're going to say 'No thanks'!"
Stokely has great advice for avoiding feeling self-conscious during that naked after-sex walk of shame to the bathroom while your lover is watching you. “If I’m feeling bloated and I know that sexy playtime is happening soon, I like to have a pretty silk robe on hand...This way, when I jump out of bed after sex, I can throw it on and not feel so exposed, yet I’m still technically naked, and that’s sexy. When returning to bed, I just slip it off or leave it on. The silk from the robe feels good on naked skin, especially after orgasms.”
No matter your shape or size, everyone deserves to feel beautiful in their own skin.
Anka Radakovich is a certified sexologist, sex educator, author, screenwriter, and PhD candidate in sex therapy. Follow her on Twitter @ankarad