Sexual Self-Image

Being confident isn’t always easy.  Having confidence in sexual situations can be even harder for many people.  If your overall self-image is poor, it will affect the sexual part of your life as well.  For sex to feel good you need to feel positive, worthy and attractive.  How many of you out there really feel this way about yourself??  I have talked to many people about this sensitive subject.  Both men and women have insecurities when it comes to sex.  This post is about overcoming those insecurities.

All of us develop a sexual self-image that comes into focus when we are adults.  Although our sexual templates are set when we are children.  Most people struggle with their sexual self-image because our culture doesn’t know how to teach children about sex.  In many families, talk of sexuality is basically off limits.  Children really don’t have a way to communicate their feelings about sex and tend to become unsure of their thoughts and feelings.  They learn mostly from watching sex being played out in the media.  If they don’t feel normal compared to what they see, it can be very confusing.  If you perceive your sexual thoughts and feelings to be “weird” then damage to your sexual self-image occurs.  Some people believe that if someone else really knew their sexual preferences they would never want to be with them sexually.  This alone affects many people’s sexual self-image.  Even if you are aroused by things outside the typical norm, know that nothing is off limits in a loving, trusting and open sexual relationship.

A lot of women and some men are also very hard on themselves when it comes to feeling attractive.  Most people have an idea in their head about what it means to be an attractive person.  A woman, for example, will eventually decide what would make her attractive to a man, and what kind of men she would be attracted to, and what kind of men would be attracted to the woman she is, or would like to be.  It gets even more complicated being gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual.  Gender and gender preferences really affect how people feel about themselves, especially about their sexual selves.  The media isn’t the most trustworthy source in defining sexuality and attractiveness, but this is the way most people learn.  Because of this, in forming their sexual self-image many people put themselves up against an unrealistic ideal of what is attractive.  Most people feel they’ve fallen short of the ideal and their conclusions about their sexuality are then very negative.  Too many people feel they would be rejected if others saw them naked.

You may also have had real life rejections from past relationships that also make you question your sexuality.  Some people feel like they are only a sexual object to others and nothing more.  Others feel like they are just the friend that no one wants to have sex with.   When you feel used or sexually repelling it ends up damaging your sexual self-image.  Feeling this way also ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy and most people continue to be treated the same way over time.  Negative feelings do affect how others perceive you.  It has to start with you changing the way you feel about yourself in order for others to change the way others perceive you as well.

So where do you start?  First, believing that you can change.  It is hard to start on your own sometimes.  It can be helpful to find people who are positive and encourage you by just being around them.  You might have a friend, family member, coach, professor, or counselor who sees the best in you and can help you turn that first corner.  The second part is nurturing yourself.  Find ways to be kind to yourself.  We all have good qualities about ourselves, but most of us down play those qualities.  Build up your overall self-image and your sexual self-image is sure to follow.  Many people have said they wouldn’t mind if their partner gained weight as long as they were confident and open to new things in bed.  It isn’t what you look like, its your attitude in being open to your partner and showing them that you are aroused when you are with them.  Sometimes it helps to take our focus off ourselves and think about how we can make others feel attractive.  This may have the affect of making you more attractive to others in the process.

For some people exercising and taking care of themselves helps them to feel confident and have more energy for sex.  You may not even lose weight, but just the act of putting yourself first and taking care of yourself can make a huge difference in your sex life.  The other key to a healthy sex life is trust.  You need to believe that you are a worthy person and you need to trust that your partner believes the same thing.  Trust helps you to be yourself and not what you think the other person wants.  It helps you to be authentic and feel accepted.  Remember that change takes time.  It also takes effort to think and do things differently than before.  Positive thoughts aren’t going to come easy at first, and its going to feel fake.  If you don’t give up, you will find over time you will feel better about yourself.

The last thing is to not be afraid of your sexual thoughts and feelings.  You may not want to share your sexual fantasies with the world, in fact it is supposed to be a more private form of expression.  However, you shouldn’t feel ashamed of the way you feel.  If you find someone you trust with your thoughts and feelings, start to slowly open up and explore that side of yourself.  Never push yourself to do something you feel uncomfortable with sexually just to please someone else and never push someone else into doing something they don’t want to do.  Mutual respect for yourself and your partner’s feelings is what builds a healthy sexual relationship.  Remember that everyone feels differently when it comes to sex.  Be open not only to your own ideas, but to your partner’s as well.  Here’s to your new sexual self confidence!

I would love to hear what you think about this post or about my blog in general. Also, feel free to leave any suggestions or ideas for new posts in the future! Thanks!

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