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How to Feel More Comfortable in the Bedroom

Boost your self-esteem and develop a positive body image with these expert tips.

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couple comfortable in the bedroomphoto credit: shutterstock

Feel more comfortable in the bedroom

We actually live in a fairly frigid culture, and I’m not referring to winters in Iqaluit. Despite the popular belief that sexualized media and prolific pornography indicate an ease with all things sexual, North Americans are at heart still more Victorian than they are Victoria’s Secret. Sure, fashions and attitudes have changed dramatically; our great-grandmothers would have been scandalized if their sisters had flashed too much ankle. Now, some teens flaunt cleavage and underwear every day.

But rapid social change is an external phenomenon. Internally and psychologically, many of us have not kept pace. We may wish we could feel comfortable flaunting our erotic selves with our partners, but we still carry some of the old embarrassment in our DNA.

As a psychologist and sex therapist, I have worked with many women (and men) to help boost their self-esteem and develop a more positive body image. Here’s my advice.

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comfortable in the bedroom, woman illustrationphoto credit: shutterstock

Remember, being naked is natural

Any toddler will remind you that bare is best by whipping off their diaper the moment you turn your back. To help you recover that unabashed ease with your body, next time you’re alone in the house, or it’s just you and your husband—regardless of the time of day—why not change into a soft, flowing dress or robe, and shed the bra and panties?

Allow the sensation of the fabric on your body to help you feel less constrained and more sensual. The more we avoid something, the more anxious we can become, so practice being nearly naked, or even naked, more often. Walk to and from the shower without a towel. Try sleeping in the nude. When you are home alone, shut the blinds and wander around without clothes.

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comfortable in the bedroom, couple on the beachphoto credit: shutterstock

Get naked in public – in appropriate places, of course

I remember visiting a beach in Nice, France, when I was 22. Being in a place where everyone else was topless made me feel like I was the outsider, so I dared to follow suit. As I mingled with the topless women, my discomfort quickly evaporated. I watched half-naked moms with their children, friends and even co-workers.

None of them seemed uptight about their bare skin. Simply hanging out with women who are letting it all hang out will help you relax naked.

If a trip to a European beach is not in the budget, try a half-day at a Korean spa, where women without clothes soak in hot pools and receive body scrubs-nobody will bat an eye at you.

Or, most accessible of all, dare to bare yourself in the change room at your local gym or swimming pool rather than using a stall or private change area-again, you will defin­itely not be the only one.

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woman in lipstick illustration photo credit: shutterstock

Strip down and don’t judge

For your next exercise, stand in front of a full-length mirror completely naked-no accessories, jewellery or even makeup. Slowly look at every part of your body, starting with your feet and moving to the top of your head. Guard against negative thoughts. Don’t criticize, judge, compare or decide to “fix” something.

If this is difficult for you, welcome to the club. Most women will be uncomfortable looking closely at themselves, and will focus on their perceived flaws. Though this exercise can be chal­lenging, stick with it. Do it every day for a month, increasing the length of time you spend in front of the mirror. Gradually you will develop more ease with your naked body. This ease will translate to more fun lovemaking with your sweetie.

Learning to feel good in your skin is important, and you should work at it. At a deep level, discomfort with being naked often reflects self-doubt and poor body image, which can translate to a lack of sexual openness. If you’re trying to find a way to be a more confident lover, learning to relax in the buff will boost your self-esteem. You will enjoy sex more when you’re not worry­ing about your cellulite-and that’s the naked truth.