Boost your con­fi­dence IN THE BED­ROOM

Prevention (Australia) - - Mind Cover Story - BY DR IAN KERNER

Think­ing pos­i­tively about your body, even if it doesn’t match the pop­u­lar stereo­type, will lead to greater in­ti­macy with your partner (and, con­se­quently, lots more fun in bed!).

In the movies and on TV, sex is al­most al­ways pas­sion­ate, glam­orous, and more of­ten than not re­served for men and women with per­fect bod­ies. We know that’s not how it is in real life, but that knowl­edge doesn’t stop some of us from har­bour­ing in­se­cu­ri­ties about our at­trac­tive­ness in the bed­room.

In my prac­tice, I’ve seen clients strug­gle with long-stand­ing body-im­age is­sues that pre­vent them from feel­ing sexy. Oth­ers are wor­ried that they’ve be­come less at­trac­tive to their partner af­ter gain­ing weight or be­cause of or­di­nary age­ing.

Frus­tra­tion with, and shame about, your body can breed dis­com­fort with sex and, as a re­sult, dis­sat­is­fac­tion with your sex life. In a 2012 study, more than 660 men and women were asked how happy they were with their ap­pear­ance dur­ing sex and how they thought their partner viewed them. The re­searchers found that peo­ple who were gen­er­ally dis­sat­is­fied with their bod­ies were more likely to be dis­tracted dur­ing sex. A study pub­lished re­cently found that women who feel pos­i­tive about their bod­ies tend to be more sat­is­fied with their sex lives, re­gard­less of their age.

My goal is to help peo­ple stop wor­ry­ing about their ‘spare tyres’ or cel­lulite, so they can en­joy sex. It helps to ac­knowl­edge to your­self and your partner how you’re feel­ing. If you don’t see your­self as at­trac­tive, it’s nat­u­ral to avoid sex. But say­ing in­stead that you’re too tired, busy or stressed will only con­fuse your partner and com­pound the prob­lem.

Once you’ve opened up about your feel­ings, try th­ese sug­ges­tions for boost­ing your self-es­teem in the most in­ti­mate and vul­ner­a­ble of set­tings.

Know what ex­cites you

Turn-ons might in­clude your partner’s scent, the feel of your sheets or a lov­ing hug. Once you iden­tify your arousal trig­gers, you can prac­tise tun­ing into them and tun­ing out in­tru­sive body-im­age thoughts.

Con­nect with each other

Fos­ter­ing emo­tional in­ti­macy (by, for ex­am­ple, shar­ing fan­tasies, read­ing erot­ica to­gether or hug­ging and touch­ing) may help you over­come hang-ups about your body.

Change po­si­tion

I don’t mean get ac­ro­batic. If you’re feel­ing un­com­fort­able about your body, a spoon­ing po­si­tion may be eas­ier than face-to-face.

Go slowly

Vis­ual stim­u­la­tion can add to arousal. If your partner wants to leave the bed­room lights on and you don’t, grad­u­ally work your way up, start­ing with can­dles. If you aren’t com­fort­able naked, con­sider wear­ing a sexy cover-up, then re­mov­ing it when you feel more at ease.

Take a pos­i­tive look

Stand in front of a mir­ror ev­ery day and af­firm some­thing about your body. Each time, wear one less item of cloth­ing un­til you’re not wear­ing any­thing. This ex­er­cise can help you re­place neg­a­tive feel­ings with pos­i­tive ones and build your con­fi­dence.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.