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By Matty Silver, Sex Therapist on February 28, 2017 in Other

Photo: Peter North

Photo: Peter North

The most important issue that affects our sexual satisfaction is sexual confidence. It’s easy to imagine that most people are sexually confident; why wouldn’t they be? After all, the media is always publishing stories about celebrities and other famous people talking about their sexual lives and exploits.

We often assume that our friends, colleagues and other people we know are doing fine. The blossoming new relationships we notice around us are probably wonderful. When we look at the bravado of the stereotypical Aussie male, we hear boastful dialogue about their prowess, ability and durability.

But is it always true? How sexually confident are we, really? And how willing are we to discuss our insecurities regarding the way we feel about our selves and our bodies? Confidence regarding our sex life can be corroded by previous difficult relationships and partners who have given us judgemental messages based on their own insecurities, and a vicious cycle can start.

It’s a myth that women tend to be less sexually confident than men; they lack confidence in different areas. They often worry about body image, which can be a real issue, and some feel as though they’re not able to ask their partner for what they sexually want.

Men are often just as insecure about their bodies as women are, but they tend to worry more about size and performance. Their body must always be able to perform otherwise sex will be a disaster.

Sexual confidence starts with ‘liking’ yourself. If you accept how you look you will be more confident with a partner. It isn’t something you need a partner to give to you or validate in you. In fact, if you’re focusing too much on your partner, that can be a big distraction and erode your sexual confidence.

Sexual confidence can be learnt, but it often depends on how confident we are in general. In my practice I often see people who are confident in most areas of their lives, but within the relationship with their partners they often have problems with intimacy and/or sexual performance. Some of the main issues that come up include a lack of the skills to communicate about sexual issues due to embarrassment, low sexual self-esteem, and sometimes fear to talk about sex.

For both men and women, performance anxiety due to lack of sex education, and psychological issues due to background and or upbringing, also come into play.

If sexual confidence is not explored enough it can become a stumbling block, therefore good sexual education is essential. If you feel comfortable with yourself, you can get to know your sexual self.

Sometimes it only takes some expert advice to overcome problems. There are many ways to become sexually educated, whether it’s online, in a book, or through a professional.

Laughter is a powerful tool in the bedroom, too. It affects sexual desire and a person’s ability to laugh in a sexual context can significantly relate to higher sexual desire.

My mantra is always: ‘sex should be fun’.