The word anxious used to get me offside.
Although I worked in drug and alcohol for years and the word was used A LOT, it oftentimes didn’t feel real to me, probably because it was used A LOT. It reached saturation point and lost its effect for me.
I couldn’t help but feel like some of it was a self-fulfilling prophecy in that clients would repeat over and over that they were anxious and suffering from anxiety. My take was that all of that was making it worse. Really, they were just looking for an outlet. What we learn with time and wisdom.
With some maturity and distance from working in drug and alcohol, I have been personally and professionally exposed to anxiety in a different light. Make no mistake, the feeling of anxiety and the very real experience of it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
I finally came to terms that anxiety is here to stay and have completely embraced it (and owned my own version of high-functioning anxiety #confession).
All of my 1.1 clients are given really gentle yet empowering education around anxiety, fear and the way that we are hardwired as humans. Early on in the process, we acknowledge how we are made to protect ourselves and that it is this protective mode that blocks our biggest desires about sex.
One of the number one intentions women have for coming to see me is that they want to feel confident.
Anxiety, inhibition, nervousness, shyness, apprehension and avoidance hands down block confidence because all your body can focus on is what is number one, which is keeping your heart beating, your breath going and keeping you out of danger. It interprets this mode as not being conducive to being sexual.
Anxiety needs to be the start of the confidence conversation because we have to accept and/or deal with it in order to make room for what it is we really want to feel.
This is a step-by-step process to feeling sexually confident with your partner when you feel anxious:
#1 Your breath
I know mindfulness, meditation and breathwork have been thrown about as though you aren’t spiritual or enough unless you do these things. I don’t believe that to be true (obvs) BUT breathwork is the number one go-to in a state of anxiety because it gives your body the signal that it is safe.
Women who are confident in sex feel safe. They aren’t breathing on autopilot all shallow and automatic. They are purposefully bringing air in and taking air out of their bodies as a way of expanding what sensations they can feel.
Being anxious calls for a nice deep belly breath to clear stagnant air and energetic blocks in your body. You may feel resistance but keep going. Choose feeling something over the numbness and jitteriness of anxiety.
#2 Your eye contact
People who don’t feel confident often cast their eyes away. The message is: I don’t want to be seen. It is too invasive when they want to be invisible. Eye contact can be daunting but there are some ways to get used to it. As you do your deep belly breath, using little to no touch, could you make eye contact with your partner for 10 seconds?
If you struggle (or giggle – that is a defence at play because you feel awkward) then my advice is to make eye contact with their left eye only. Looking into only one eye is easier than looking into both. Keep it going for as long as you can and keep breathing.
Confidence = eye contact
It is an action that declares that you are here and you aren’t checking out. I really focus on my eye contact and really looking at my husbands body when my mind goes elsewhere. I focus on the nuances of his skin and really appreciate them. I’m a sucker for a man’s flank (hey hey – where did your mind go? That’s the side of their torso. So hot!)
Keep your eyes on their eyes and their body, back and forth gently…slowly and you will be the confident woman. I’m talking soft gazes over staring or eyes closed the whole time.
#3 Your movement
What does a sexually confident woman look like to you? How does she move?
Anxiety might have you on the edge of the bed or all curled up.
For a moment, think of the opposite of that…
Open, open, open.
Opening your body…your hands…your chest…your pelvis.
Anxiety has our body tight and wound up.
Confidence has our body in flow. Moving with grace. Certainty.
Yes, confidence is certain. Not jerky motions but the smoothest ones it can undertake.
My hottest tip to get comfortable with feeling more fluid with movement is to stand with your feet hip width apart and with soft knees, gently circle your pelvis – round and round one way and then reverse it.
Get comfortable doing that in a non-sexual position and it makes it easier to circle your hips and to do it with flow and confidence in the bedroom.
You can use hip circles as you receive oral or hands on touch…you can use it without touch to get the blood flowing and you can, of course, use it to set a nice pace in intercourse.
#4 Your jaw
When you open your jaw and mouth you are actually giving your body the message that it can move into safety. Pretty cool huh?
Women who experience a lot of anxiety often have tight, even painful jaws because they are keeping their mouth shut in every sense of the word.
Confident women speak up and open their mouths and throats to express how they feel and what they believe. They know that they might not always be well received but they take the risk anyway.
Next time in sex, take note of what your jaw is doing.
Pairing up an open jaw with a belly breath is a really powerful way to touch on a sense of your body opening and both with work together to feel safety and comfort over threat.
When you get confident with that motion, you can then add sound or add the pelvic circles we just covered.
Ooooh I can see your confident woman emerge now!
#5 Your words
Sure, some silent sex is sexy but if it is silent all the time then it is just…restricted and inhibited.
Using your words in sex is a real act of confidence. Maybe your voice will shake at first but trust that a shaky voice repeated over time will equal a steady voice that speaks with certainty because she has practiced over and over.
That’s a big tip – confidence is just a practice. Repetition.
Some words you can bring into sex are:
Can you touch me here?
How would you like me to touch you?
Could we try this position?
That was fun…I really enjoyed that.
Notice how all of these sentences and questions are just a few words. That’s all. The confident woman speaks up because tolerating a type of touch or action that doesn’t work for her is irritating. It blocks her pleasure so she speaks up so that she can get to a place of comfort and pleasure.
Your anxiety is a signal that things need to change.
Could you take a moment to believe that this is possible? That you are full of untapped potential and endless confidence, just that you need the right elixir to help you to open?
Try all of these in sex, one by one and let me know how you go!
I am confident that your confidence is inside you – how amazing is that! You don’t need to get a tool or spend a cent.
Your confidence is already inside of you.
P.S. Anxiety is a sneaky beast. If it feels like you are getting stuck with what I mentioned in this blog or you are so anxious you are struggling to start, I assure you I will hold your nervousness in the highest respect. We will work with it (not pretend it isn’t there) to help you open to intimacy, safety and comfort. If you are done with awkward sex, step forward into an introductory session and feel yourself unburden from all this angst. Yes, it is possible to feel better than this. AND...
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT :: FROM THE 19TH JUNE TO THE 8TH OF JULY, 10% OF ALL SESSION PAYMENTS RECEIVED (after fees + taxes) WILL BE DONATED TO THE AUSTRALASIAN BIRTH TRAUMA ASSOCIATION IN RECOGNITION OF BIRTH TRAUMA AWARENESS WEEK.
This is an organisation I love to support for everything they are doing to help mamas navigate their personal experiences in safety and with kindness. If you ever needed a little bit more of a nudge to step forward, know that you helping you is helping women help women. I love that!