Tricks to Boost Sexual Self-Confidence

Science-backed tips that may help you get your groove back.

couple dancing

Medically reviewed in December 2022

Sometimes it can seem like sexual attractiveness is all about physical perfection--and you may worry that you're not up to that standard. But countless people with satisfying sex lives don't look like supermodels or Instagram stars. That means you already have all the tools necessary to exude sexiness. Whether you need a little confidence boost or some bedroom inspiration, these science-backed tips can help awaken your sensuous side and leave you feeling breathless by tonight.

Walk around naked
You deserve sexual satisfaction and a partner who's eager to make you feel good. But that belief calls for a degree of self-love, or even self-acceptance, that can be tricky to muster. For many, a shaky body image gets in the way.

A simple trick to boost your body confidence is to flaunt your birthday suit. Step up to a full-length mirror and do a strip tease for your eyes only. Do housework, read the paper, spend your free time lounging in the nude. This is a chance to see and appreciate your whole body, instead of just zeroing in on its imperfections. It may help to think about the fact that this is the body that lets you have adventures, taste delicious foods, walk or wheel around, hug a dog or cat, enjoy another person's touch, and generally feel good.

It’s important to make peace with your body when you’re alone because praise for your figure should come from you as well as from your partner. When you are together, try leaving a light on. Hiding in the dark during sex can reinforce insecurities. It may be intimidating at first, but a little illumination can be a visual treat for both of you. It can also demonstrate that your partner does, in fact, find you irresistible, "flaws" and all.

Practice your sultry stare
Eye contact is a powerful force. Boldly locking eyes with someone you find attractive can signal both confidence and sexual interest. Just two or three seconds of a steady gaze can make your heart race, boost your ego and send a message that doesn’t require any translating.

In fact, eye contact can literally be electrifying. One group of scientists discovered that eye contact as brief as two seconds increases your skin conductance response (SCR). A greater SCR means that the subtle flow of electricity across your skin temporarily increases, a sign that your sympathetic nervous system is shifting into high gear.

You might normally think of your sympathetic nervous system as controlling your “fight or flight response,” the physical changes necessary to fight danger or run away—eyes dilated, heart pounding, sweating, blushing. But these changes are also essential for sexual arousal. 

Turn off the news
Stress is a libido killer. To be in the mood, you have to be present. To be present, you can’t be worried that the world’s about to end. But a February 2017 report from the American Psychological Association (APA) revealed that about two-thirds of Americans are stressed about the future of the country.

It's hard to get away from this stress, explained Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, from the APA in a press release. "We're surrounded by conversations, news and social media that constantly remind us of the issues that are stressing us the most."

It's okay to disconnect for a while. Go off the grid for a few hours; turn off your social media apps for a bit; disable news alerts. Allow yourself a break from worrying about the world and slip away for little sensual time.

Choose empowering erotica
Erotica, a type of fiction featuring romantic and sexual storylines, can spark your imagination and let you privately explore new fantasies. But fiction can also shape your understanding of sex, gender and relationships in unexpected ways, according to a study from the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Healthcare.

When you read erotica, you step into the world of the story. If the main character floats through an effortless love affair with no real-life messiness, you may wind up feeling low when you return to reality. And if the story includes harmful gender stereotypes or unsafe sex, it can spill over and hurt your confidence or affect your sex practices IRL.

The solution? Browse the shelves responsibly. Look at reviews; follow authors who write safe and emotionally healthy sex scenes; share your faves with friends.

Schedule a FaceTime session with a sex therapist
Sexiness isn’t straightforward. For women especially, sex drive and confidence tend to require:

  • An emotional connection to a partner
  • A sense of self-love
  • Healing from previous negative sexual experiences
  • The ability to shut out stress and focus on the moment

Your mind has a long list of demands. Sometimes the best thing you can do to feel more desirable is to vent about the issues that are making you feel un-sexy.

Talk to a counselor specializing in sexual health. They’ll be able to listen and offer support as you work through fears or insecurities.

Many therapists are happy to meet via phone, Zoom, or FaceTime, as well as in person. 

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