5 Insecurities That Are Ruining Your Sex Life

While it’s tempting to assume that satisfying sex is simply the result of proper physical stimulation, there’s so much more behind a “successful” roll in the hay than just a couple of willing and able bodies. If you don’t tend to your mind and your soul, then you’re less likely to come away from the experience feeling anything other than underwhelmed. (Yes, I AM one of those people who believes this wholeheartedly, don’t judge.)

While you certainly don’t have to be in love with your partner to have good sex, it certainly helps for you to be a little bit in love with yourself first.

Here are some common insecurities that are likely wreaking havoc on your sex life—and why you should take steps to address them in order to enjoy the carnal pleasure of life a bit more fully.

1. Your Body Image Issues

Ugh. Wouldn’t it be nice if the insecurities surrounding your body stayed back in the days of puberty, where they belonged? Unfortunately, reckoning with body image issues is more or less a lifelong battle for all of us — and it’s one that can seriously inhibit our sexual fulfillment.

This isn’t to blame anyone for feeling a bit icky about themselves from time to time. (Personally, I don’t know if I’ll ever get over the genetic betrayal of persistent cellulite.) But, it is an important reminder that feeling comfortable in your own skin is necessary for accessing your highest sexual form. (Like some sort of slutty Pokémon, YES, KWEEN.) It’s simple: if you’re feeling self-conscious about your body, you aren’t going to get out of your head enough to enjoy yourself.

You don’t need to come to terms with every single qualm you have concerning your physical appearance — but cutting yourself some damn slack and realizing “F**k yeah, I’m hot” is only going to increase your chances of having a good time between the sheets.

2. Not Having The Confidence To Ask For What You Want

If not having the gall to ask for what you want can prevent people from getting promotions at work, you can bet your butt that it prevents them from getting what they want in the bedroom.

As much as your sexual partner would like for you to believe that they’re innately attuned to your desires, the fact is: they aren’t. They’re not psychic, and they aren’t going to magically push your buttons if you can’t summon up the courage to tell them where to look. Many people even find it sexy to be told what their partner likes, so there’s no need to get shy. If moving more to the left is going to feel AMAZING for you, then I’m sure they’d like to know.

The same goes for letting your partner know when something DOESN’T feel good. Why the hell are you letting them poke around down there like some sort of amateur mechanic without any sort of instruction? Nip their confusion in the bud by giving them some lube and some semblance of a roadmap.

Getty Images/Malte Mueller

3. Thinking That You Should Settle For Less

It’s not uncommon to feel like demanding a good time in bed is, well … demanding.

But, that’s total bullsh*t. If someone is fortunate enough to get an eyeful of your naked self, why create any sort of pretense about whether or not you had a good time? If you didn’t finish, that’s not information you should feel compelled to keep to yourself (particularly if the other person asks). Be nice about it, obviously, but don’t shy away from telling them that this particular round didn’t quite do it for you.

Better yet: tell them why!

You deserve good things, especially between the sheets — and the sooner you start believing that truth, the sooner you’ll begin to harvest some truly mind-blowing sexual experiences.

4. Worrying Only About Pleasing The Other Person

We’re conditioned to tune in to other peoples’ facial expressions, intonations, and physical cues on a daily basis and respond accordingly. There’s just one problem: how do you expect to have an orgasm while thinking about all that sh*t?

When you’re so focused on the other person’s pleasure that you forget your own sexual experience, you have a problem. A one-sided sexual encounter shouldn’t be the norm unless you happen to be performing some solo time with your vibrator. And, here’s a somewhat novel thought: the other person is only going to get MORE pleasure from you getting pleasure. Crazy, right? (Not really, but just go with me, here.)

We’re so rarely allowed to focus on ourselves. Don’t squander the opportunity to check in with yourself and gauge what you need in order to get you to that shimmering climax.

Getty Images/Malte Mueller

5. Getting Distracted About How You Look

No, I didn’t forget that body image issues have already been listed — this is something entirely different.

Thanks to the proliferation of porn, there are many misconceptions about how sex ought to look. As a result, many of us can become distracted and assume that we look foolish while in mid-coitus. We arch our backs and exaggerate our moans, hoping to achieve whatever the internet tell us is the embodiment of “sexy.”

But here’s the thing: you’re having sex! You’re already doing the thing! So don’t get distracted by how porn-tastic you do or don’t look when contorting yourself into a particular position. (Better yet, don’t contort into any positions without proper stretching beforehand.) Your partner is there to have sex with YOU, not some weird, performative version of you.

So, focus on the fun rather than the form. This isn’t the Olympics, and you’re not getting judged on your dismount.