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Dr. Joy Davidson, a psychotherapist and sex therapist based in New York City, says there are many different reasons that people are insecure sexually.
Dr. Davidson identifies four common insecurities and offers tips on how to overcome them.
1. Get comfortable with talking dirty
If you have something naughty in mind, but are uncertain of how your partner will respond, Dr. Davidson suggests using something outside of you to initiate the talk, such as a book or a movie.
"If you come across a movie that has lots of dirty talk, watch it with your partner. During the film, say, 'Wow, that's really sexy. I wouldn't mind if you spoke to me that way,'" suggests Dr. Davidson.
"Find an example and make a suggestion. That way, if they go 'Yeah, that's hot' or 'Whoa, that's scary,' you know where you stand," she explains. "Find something that exemplifies what you like and draw them to the part that is intriguing to you. Then in bed, it's easier to bring it up."
This acts as a great starting point and a way to get around the insecurities that may come up in fear of your partner's response.
2. Learn more about sex
"It helps to get a lot of education," says Dr. Davidson, who adds, "the more you know about sex the more you will learn about your own responses."
Therefore, you shouldn't limit your sexual exploration to just what you do in the bedroom.
"Unless you're with an experienced lover, you're never going to branch out from the limitations that you two bring into the situation," says Dr. Davidson, who offers a series of online videos to educate couples sexually.
She suggests watching movies and reading erotica and other books about sex, so you can get a sense of what other people do in their fantasy life and expose yourself to more options. The, little by little, add them to your sexual repertoire. When you initiate one little thing at a time, it allows you to sample it and see if it works for you and your partner.
"It doesn't have to be dramatic," says Dr. Davidson, "It can be a new position, having sex in a room you don't normally have sex in or asking your partner to touch you a different way."
3. Share your sexual fantasies with your partner
It's important to be truthful about your sexual style and what turns you on – especially in a new relationship.
"Part of what you're doing when you're beginning a sexual relationship is trying to flesh out whether or not you're a match. The question now is: 'Is there really something here that has a future?'" explains Dr. Davidson.
One of the ways to discover that is by being authentic sexually.
"If you hold back and pretend to like what he likes, or don't express what turns you on, then you're presenting a false front. You're essentially leading someone to believe that you're something you're not," she says.
How you express your sexuality is as important as how you express any other values. People who don't share their authentic sexual selves are the people who come into therapy with a sexless marriage because they've realized that they weren't sexually compatible in the first place.
4. Learn how to be more comfortable with your body
There are many routines women go through to get in the mood and to feel more confident in our skin – from booking waxing appointments and shaving our legs to wearing a sexy bra and panties or even going for a hair blowout before a big date. Do things for yourself that make you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin.
"I always say that the best accessory a woman can wear is her confidence," says Dr. Davidson. "Play music that makes you feel sexy, light candles, spray a perfume if that smell makes you feel good. Just be attentive to putting yourself in a position where you feel your best inside and out."
You don't blossom as a sexually experienced person overnight – it takes time. Commit to exposing yourself to variety of different things and educating yourself about your sexual preferences.
"Be willing to explore," says Dr. Davidson. "It's about leaning, experiencing and making discoveries as you go along."
Read more articles like this in Relationships.