Fact: sex is awesome. No one is going to dispute that. But sex when you’re stressing about your body or, er, smells down there? Suddenly it isn’t so fun anymore, right? Sadly, sex insecurities can turn what could be mind-blowing sex into an emotional minefield. Because you’re a total minx and you need to realise it, we found out how you can get over any sex hang-up you might have. Now, read this and then go forth and have amazing sex!
Hang-up one: you're stressed about how your body looks
While it’s common to feel a little self-conscious in the sack (you are butt naked after all!) you need to realise that if you’re at this intimate stage with a guy, you can be damn sure he loves your body. Plus, if you’re stressing about the way you look, he’s probably going to start feeling uncomfortable too. “Replace any destructive internal self-talk with self-loving and self-supportive statements. Ask your partner and friends what they love about your body and focus on those bits rather than the bits you’re not happy with,” suggests sex therapist and relationship counsellor Christina Spaccavento.
Hang-up two: you're worried about your sexual performance
Are you more likely to be thinking about what you might be doing wrong during sex than how good it feels? Then it’s time to sort out whether your worries are valid or if you’re just letting anxiety get the better of you. When you feel yourself starting to stress, try to remember that sex is meant to be enjoyable and focus on what’s happening in the bed rather than in your head. “If your anxiety is getting the better of you, seeing an experienced and qualified sex therapist is a good idea,” says Christina.
Hang-up three: you're worried about orgasms
Stressing about having an orgasm can result in you missing out on a happy ending. Instead of focusing on it, don’t view having an orgasm as the be all and end all of sex. “Orgasms are an important part of sex, but it essential to understand they’re not everything. There are many aspects of sex and sexual pleasure that do not involve orgasm,” says Christina.
So, if you don’t orgasm, should you fake it? “No. Faking an orgasm is not being honest with your partner or yourself. In a healthy relationship, partners can talk about orgasm,” says Christina. So have a chat to your guy instead.
Hang-up four: you're worried about the smell down there
OK, so it’s kinda gross but it needs to be discussed. Ladies, your vagina has a natural scent and taste – this is normal and not something you need to worry about. But if you are really stressed about it, take a shower before you have sex. “If you do feel there’s an unnatural odour down there, then it may be an indication of inflammation which can be caused by STIs, thrush or bacterial infections. Get it checked out by a doctor,” says Christina.
Hang-up five: you're worried about leaving the lights on during sex
Can’t do it unless a) it's dark or b) you’re covered by a doona? It’s time to ask yourself why. “Are you worried about how you'll look? Is seeing what's going on too confronting?” suggests Christina. Talk about your feelings with your partner and experiment with light by using candles at first, then try leaving the lights on. “It will probably feel uncomfortable and even confronting the first few times, but just gently push through those feelings. Using deep breathing is a good way to calm you and keep you focussed on the sexual moment rather than your fears,” recommends Christina.
Talking yourself out of an orgasm? We show you how to have a happy ending.