OWN IT, girl.
If you're like most women, you probably hold back during sex sometimes because you aren't 100 percent confident about the way your body looks. If you're the type who switches off the light and dives under the covers before your husband can see you, then you may be missing out.
When you spend time worrying about what body parts may be too soft, too jiggly or too big, you end up ruining your own good time (and his).
Here's something to think about: those super-skinny girls usually don't have great sex lives. In fact, being skin and bones can leave you with a non-existent libido, a messed up menstrual cycle, and other not-hot issues like hair loss and brittle bones.
But no matter how many times your partner tells you that he likes your curves, that probably doesn't help to stop your inner-critic from chattering away. That's why we've come up with seven concrete things you can try in bed tonight that will help you reduce your body inhibitions and increase your enjoyment of sex.
1. Find your best light.
Your first thought might be to have sex in the dark so you can hide, but actually, showcasing your body in soft, warm light (like from a candle or a dimmer switch) is a better option. Your man needs to see what you look like to get turned on and good lighting can disguise any wrinkles, dimples or pimples you might be worried about.
"Think of candlelight or soft illumination as highlighting your best assets and creating a more romantic vibe," says Amy Levine, a sex coach and sexuality educator. "Not to mention, it makes for a more intimate connection with your mate when you can both 'see' the visual cues that each of you find to be a turn-on."
2. Wear the right lingerie.
Instead of donning those oversized PJs, it's time to invest in a few pieces of lingerie that make you feel great about your body. Not all lingerie has to include cut-outs and unflattering butt floss.
"We are often our own worst critics," says Logan Levkoff, a certified sex educator. "Our partners aren't as critical; they love our curves. We spend so much time covering up that we can forget what we actually look like. It's time to get back in touch with your body."
3. Try new positions.
Although missionary style makes you the least visible to your lover, different positions can actually give you great angles. For example, in woman-on-top, you can push your shoulders back, elongate your stomach muscles, and give your lover a full and flattering view. In side-by-side, when you're facing away from him, you can stretch out and look long and lean.
"Think about your favorite body parts, and match them to a position that puts them front and center," says Levine. "If it's the tush, try getting on all fours. If it's your breasts, try woman-on-top. And remember, there's nothing like being in the driver's seat and feeling in control to boost your sexual self-esteem."
4. Never apologize.
When you're a little insecure about the way your body looks, your instinct might be to disparage yourself or even make jokes about your shape. This is the absolute worst thing you can do. It's a real turn-off to you and your partner when you focus on the negative. Instead, take a positive point of view. Remember, confidence is actually hotter than a perfect body.
"Sex isn't seamless like in the movies, and our bodies aren't either," says Levine. "That's what makes sex fun and interesting — we can jiggle, sweat, moan, and make a range of facial expressions and bodily noises. The more you own this range of possibilities, the higher the pleasure potential as you won't be holding yourself back or feeling bad."
5. Start exercising.
You don't need to change your body to have great sex. You can make a decision to embrace your figure and enjoy sex more — not five, 10 or 20 pounds from now, but tonight. Still, if you want to lose weight to improve your health and appearance, there's no better motivation to eat right and hit the treadmill. Losing a few pounds will not only make you look better during sex, but it will actually help your performance, too.
"Exercise is great for your sex life," says Levkoff. "It increases blood flow to genitals and increases all those feel-good hormones. When you're feeling good and confident, you'll be more engaged in sex."
6. Leave some clothing on.
Sex doesn't have to mean that you and your partner are naked in bed. In fact, if that's what you always do, it can become pretty tedious and unexciting. Once in a while, try leaving a specific item of clothing on when you do it. Wearing just your skirt or nothing but his dress shirt can be hot and will hide a multitude of sins.
"While I wish we were all comfortable in our own skin, you don't want to feel so vulnerable that you don't enjoy sex. So keeping something on can add mystery for your partner but make you feel less self-conscious," says Levkoff.
7. Visualize yourself as a sexpot.
There's nothing wrong with a little role-playing during sex and this is the type that you don't need to let your partner in on because it's just in your own mind. Pick a favorite starlet like Dita Von Teese or Jenna Jameson and imagine that you are her during sex. Imitating her sexual confidence can help you "fake it 'til you make it." Soon, that prowess will be all your own.
"We all want to be sex goddesses, but sometimes we get too caught up in our own insecurities," says Levkoff. "Imagining that you are someone else or emulating qualities of someone you find sensual or sexual can build some extra confidence."
Even though we all want to look amazing during sex, it's important to remember that the real point is to make a connection with someone that you love and desire.
"Focus on the sensations, rather than the body parts you feel self-conscious about," says Levine. If you do, you'll soon realize that sex can be satisfying regardless of your size."