Read this the next time you’re nervous about getting naked in front of someone

Be honest: When was the last time you looked at your naked body in the mirror? I mean really looked? Admired even? It takes confidence to be secure in your own skin, and to those who have it: Bravo! You ought to write a book about it and spill all of your trade secrets. To those who don’t: You’re not alone. Join the legions of us who are sometimes insecure about our bodies, even if we’re generally OK with ourselves. Then throw another naked person into the mix, and it can be cause for alarm. Is he or she going to notice my moles? Should I have plucked hair from basically every follicle on my body? No. The truth is, we’re least forgiving of ourselves. But just as we find our partners’ freckles and scars and weirdly cavernous belly buttons to be part of what makes them special, we ought to remember the same is true for them. When two people find each other attractive, nobody’s looking for perfection. You’re looking for chemistry, and if you have that, you don’t need to worry about being Scarlett Johansson’s body double when the clothes come off. Here are some pointers for dispelling the insecurities of disrobing:

1. Make sure you’re ready.

OK, maybe this one’s a no-brainer, but there is no age by which you should have had sex, nor any schedule you have to stick to once you start, so please don’t ever, under any circumstances, engage in this leisure activity if you don’t want to. If you’re having a bad day or you feel bloated or you’re just not in the mood, you’re not going to feel good about the experience, and your partner probably isn’t either, and then nobody feels very sexy. So, yeah, the first rule of feeling good about your body is making sure you’re game for sharing it with somebody else.

2. Set your limits.

Being open to getting naked with someone doesn’t mean you’re ready for anything. If you’re at a point in your relationship where you’ve gotten to know your partner, then ideally you can discuss your comfort zone, and where it begins and ends. If this is a relatively new person/situation, you may have to guide them in the moment. Either way, if you feel better getting naked with the lights off, or keeping your top on, or not being on top, then let the other person know. Sometimes it takes a while to build up the kind of rapport that allows you to feel more adventurous, both physically and emotionally.

3. Accept that your partner is attracted to you.

It’s almost counterintuitive, but sometimes one of the hardest things to accept is that your partner finds you hot. You wonder if she’s just in it for the sex, or that he isn’t liking what’s in his hands when he touches you. This has to stop. Letting someone love your body is not an easy thing to do, but you have to keep in mind that your partner decided to be intimate with you in the first place, and you’re too smart to be fooled by ulterior motivations. If you actually permit yourself to be a little objective, you can probably tell by the way your partner looks at you that he or she is delighted by what they see. Embrace it! Somebody is actually adoring you and your body, possibly in ways that you do not adore yourself. And you’re doing the same for them.

4. Remember that feeling good starts with you.

The feeling of being desirable to someone else is a great way to feel better about yourself, but you also have to remember that the other person can’t cure your insecurities. Even if your partner makes you feel awesome, you have to believe that you are awesome, whether someone else thinks so or not. For one thing, you won’t fully enjoy the pleasure of being together if you can’t get over or at least forget about your insecurities for the moment. For another, you won’t be able to sustain the good vibes in the long run if you’re relying entirely on someone else for your self-esteem in this (or any) regard. Intimate moments are exciting, and they can empower you in lots of other departments. Try to use the confidence your partner is giving you as a good excuse to see yourself in a new light, and hold on to that satisfaction.

5. Make a list of what you love about yourself.

All too often, we focus on our imperfections without giving ourselves credit for our assets. I know there’s something about your body that you love, whether it’s your cute booty or your big boobs, or your small boobs, and you owe it to yourself to be proud of them. Sometimes ladies especially feel like they have to put down their bodies in order to appear modest, and this is poppycock. Confidence is as sexy as its cracked up to be. Treat yourself to lingerie that makes you feel hot—or don’t, if it’s the casual cotton that you find most flattering. Just don’t deny yourself the pleasure of loving what you have. And even if your trysts don’t work out, trust that there will be more. So do yourself a favor: Look in the mirror.

[Image via here]

Filed Under