How To Feel Good- naked: Are you insecure about your appearance? Are you embarrassed about the way you look naked? These insecurities are common, and may be holding you back from experiencing great sex with your partner. Try the following exercises at home so that you can begin to feel sexy!

Getting Naked in Front of a Lover  

To many people, simply the idea of getting naked in front of a lover seems terrifying, let alone the act of actually taking off their clothes! Many individuals feel self- conscious in their own skin, and it is difficult to be comfortable naked in front of someone, especially someone who you’d like to feel sexy for.  Many people wonder if their breasts are too small, their testes ('balls') are too lopsided, their vulva is too hairy, their penis is too small, or simply if they have too much cellulite. These thoughts are completely normal, and it’s probable that your partner might be worrying about their own bodies. So while these thoughts are common, it’s unfortunate that they often detract from the actual enjoyable experience of being intimate with your partner. Energy that could be going into the act of making love goes into worry about body image. Will he/she find me attractive? Is this cellulite noticeable? Am I hurting him/her?

To assuage yourself, try getting naked in the dark at first. This way, you and your partner can feel each other sexually without the added pressure of having eye sight. In the safety of the dark, explore each other’s bodies. Feel all of your partner’s curves, explore all the territory and let no inch of skin go unfelt. Use your hands to study the changes in texture throughout your partner’s body, and notice how intimate an activity this is. 

After you have practiced exploring your lover's body in the dark, and you feel like an expert, you are ready to begin stage two. Flip the lights back on, allow your eyes to adjust to seeing your own body and your partner’s body. Intimacy can be emotional, physical and mental- and in this instance, you are going to engage in all three as you allow yourself to feel comfortable in front of your partner.  Ironically, many people who engage in intercourse feel self-conscious when their partner 'looks' at their genitalia. Others have reported that they enjoy being sexual as long as their partner doesn’t view them as a sexual being. This feeling is enhanced when they are able to hide in the comfort of the dark, where there is a sense of protection. The illusion exists that their partner cannot see them, which acts to reduce their anxiety surrounding body images they may have.

A large part of experiencing sexual pleasure  stems from an acceptance of self. Allowing yourself to feel vulnerable in front of an intimate partner heightens the experience of connectedness. As stated before, people who dislike the light harbor a fear that if their partner could see them, they might not be attracted to them.  Yet, for the most part, this fear is irrational. Your partner, unlike you, already likes your body as a whole, or they would not want to be sexually intimate with you. Thus, part of good sex requires developing a comfort with your own body in front of others.

If you feel uncomfortable naked in front of others in the light, try the following exercise:

WARNING: People who feel ULTRA comfortable being in the naked in the light will learn something from this exercise, so proceed with caution.

Tools: Flashlight & a dark room

Procedure: Use a small flashlight, preferably the size of a pen. Quickly turn it on and point it at a section of your partner’s body.  Examine the part of his/her body using the beam of light focused there. Then turn off the light, and take a moment to feel that body part in the dark.

What are the differences you notice about that part when you lose your sight as a sense? What do you notice when you regain your sight? Repeat this exercise until you have examined every inch of your partner’s body. The advantage to this exercise is that you can still “hide” in the dark, yet experience minimal light exposure to help you move to the next step towards intimacy.

After spending several hours exploring each other’s bodies, try varying the assignment by using the flashlight to play doctor. In this version, examine your partner’s body parts, which is important because, after all, the “doctor” needs some way to make sure nothing is “seriously wrong” with the “patient.” This is a type of harassment that is most definitely alright! Get creative- use hands, mouths and sex toys as the “doctor’s examination tools.” 

Please take note: For certain couples, this exercise may be either too difficult, or too simplistic. Simple behavioral exercised won’t work. In which case, you may benefit from reading self help books such as  For Yourself , The Looks Book , The body Image Workbook (with or without your partner) . Or attend a meeting with a trained relationship therapist, who specializes in sex therapy.