Sexual Self Esteem: Self-esteem can be defined as a person’s overall evaluation of their self-worth. It includes how they feel about their self beliefs, emotions, as well as how it manifests itself in behaviors. Self-esteem is identified as being vital even indispensable to normal and healthy self-development. How does this connect with sexuality? The way that this reflects itself sexually is virtually the same. Our beliefs, emotions and behaviors can look like questions such as:
- Am I too fat?
- Do I look good?
- Do I satisfy my lover?
- Are they having a good time?
- Are my fantasies too bizarre?
- Why do I feel such shame and guilt?
- Am I promiscuous?
Some of these sexual self esteem questions can lead to unrealistic expectations in how we see ourselves, our bodies, our partners and sex itself. If they are reflective of low self-esteem then it becomes challenging to enjoy the intimacy and excitement that comes from healthy sexual interactions. In constructing a healthy and vibrant sexual self-esteem, a person must examine a few personal beliefs (often done in sex therapy) such as:
How your mental and physical ways of being impact your ability to enjoy the engagement of sex versus the performance of sex. Sex can be fun, sometimes awkward, intimate, passionate and a wealth of other adjectives. The experience of these adjectives is much more important to the success of your performance. If you focus on your performance, i.e. form, stamina, how loud you scream or don’t scream, porn star comparisons etc, then it will decrease your ability to actually enjoy the moment you are supposed to be experiencing.
- An appreciation of your body for the pleasure it brings you and your partner instead of focusing on how it looks. Do you think your partner really cares about that extra dimple in your butt cheek, or whether the lighting makes your breasts look lopsided? It’s not likely that this is where your partner’s focus is at the moment. They are there because they enjoy you and your body, you should do the same thing.
- Get in the habit of loving yourself, emotionally and physically. Does this mean you need to increase your masturbation habits? Not necessarily, but it does mean you need to appreciate yourself more. Increasing your sexual self—esteem means feeling good in your skin, in and out of your clothes, appreciating your perfection and imperfection, knowing that all of this makes you need a unique sexual creation. One way to assist with accomplishing this is to take some time looking at your body in a mirror and identifying the parts of your body you appreciate and enjoy.
- Questions such as “Am I fat?” or “do I look good?” are ridiculous. Your partner is attempting to be intimate with you they clearly feel you look good. Typically, people are not motivated to have sex with someone they are not attracted to. So reframe these thoughts into “I look good, my body looks good, I am sexy” and allow your mind and body to enjoy the good time. One way to help make this happen is to be honest with your partner. If they are touching you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or takes you out of the moment, then let them know. They may not be aware of the situation, nor will they learn unless you tell them. Take power back in how you feel about your body by accentuating your positives…we all have them.
- Other thoughts such as “Do I satisfy my lover?” and “Are they having a good time?” impair sexual self-esteem because your partner will have a good time if you are having a good time. Part of the sexual experience includes a person’s ability to throw caution to the wind and yourself into the experience. That personal liberty, confidence is what people find sexy, appealing and fulfilling.
- As far as emotions such as shame and guilt regarding sexual histories or fantasies…in the heat of the moment is not the appropriate time to experience it. While they can understandably impact sexual self-esteem, if it is something that truly bothers you then address it before you have sex. If your past continues to haunt you, then this may be something you want to journal about so you can better understand the pattern of emotions you experience, what triggers these emotions and possible resolutions.
So to enhance your sexual self-esteem Sex Therapy in Philadelphia has developed some sure fire ways to increase positive thoughts, positive feelings and positive behaviors:
- I am a good lover is a positive thought to have. Whether you are a good kisser, good masseuse, gentle touch, fabulous licker, whatever defines your specialty helps to define you as a lover. Celebrate what you know and go from there.
I feel like a sexual god/goddess is a positive feeling to have. I know it’s cliché but the self affirming feeling statements like “I am good enough and people like me” really do work. In creating a healthy and positive sexual self-esteem, it is necessary to understand that you are not less than anybody. Feeling like a sexual god/goddess can assist in making you feel sexy, enticing and alluring…who doesn’t like that?
- I’m going to live in this moment is a positive behavior to exhibit. In creating a positive sexual self-esteem, one has to live in the moment. Not focus on the past or try to predict the future but simply live in the moment.
- I feel good is a positive feeling. While it doesn’t sound important in building positive sexual self-esteem, it is. Feeling good when you are about to experience or are in the middle of having a sexual experience is helpful in getting you to relax and become more in tune to your body’s reactions and responses.
- My body is my temple and I am in charge of this experience is a positive thought that is probably one of the most important beliefs to have. Whatever your sexual pleasure, it’s important to be in charge of the experience of it. This does not mean you have to literally be in charge of initiating sex or sexual acts but it means that you are in control of what is permitted and not permitted to occur based on your comfort levels.
- Understand that this is not a final list of positive thoughts, feelings or behaviors to have. This is a guideline or a starting point for you to construct your own list because you are building YOUR sexual self-esteem. However, you create your sexual self-esteem just remember that you are worthy of great sex, worthy of feeling good and worthy of having the experience over and over again.
Still struggling with your sexual self esteem ? We offer relationship counseling and sex therapy in Philadelphia. Help is available. Call one of our relationship counselor / sex therapists today.