Although many men are reluctant to admit it, a lack of confidence in bed can be a common occurrence. Part of the problem is due to social stereotyping, where movies and social media paint an unrealistic picture where all men look like hunks and act like stallions in the bedroom.
And it’s not just the guys who are feeling the pressure. According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Groningen and Arizona State University, both men and women prefer partners who are more confident than they are, with women preferring partners who are “considerably more self-confident than they were” and men preferring partners who are “slightly more self-confident than themselves.”
Who is affected by a lack of confidence in bed?
While that study looked at self-confidence overall, it’s not a far jump to hypothesise that people with higher self-confidence in general also have higher self-confidence when it comes to sex. These survey results confirm what we all feel instinctively – that confidence in the bedroom is important when it comes to not only your own personal satisfaction but also finding an awesome mate.
According to relationship counselor and sex therapist, Petra Zebroff, sex is a confidence problem waiting to happen. Even if everything in the boudoir has worked out so far, most people are bound for difficulties at some point in their sexual experiences.
"Everybody is having confidence issues when it comes to sex," she says. Instead of letting this inevitability discourage them, people should embrace the insecurities that may arise and perhaps even take some time to prepare for potential challenges. Here are a few ways people can boost their confidence in bed and ready themselves for hits to self-esteem that may come their way.
12 ways to treat a loss of confidence in bed
- Build your relationship
One of the biggest confidence boosters for men is a partner who is receptive and supportive. For women especially, having a caring and engaged partner who is appreciative may be the only libido booster she needs – her sexual response will do wonders for her man’s self-confidence.
Sex therapist Dr. Rosie King says that a woman’s libido is strongly affected by everything that happens in her daily life, which men sometimes fail to understand. It’s important for the man to put effort into building up stocks of ‘goodwill’ in the relationship so there are reserves to draw on. The lesson for men is to take the time to get close to his partner without pressuring for sex first.
This means being verbally and physically affectionate, and consciously sharing non-sexual activities together that you both enjoy. Women need to feel appreciated and supported before their libido engages, but once it does, the man in her life will benefit from a tremendous ego boost.
- Keep your sexual motor running
We tend to think that being ‘in the mood’ for sex arises from nowhere spontaneously, but the truth is you need some triggers to help you express sexual feelings, says Dr. King. Couples who engage in regular sex actually engage in pre-sex courting behaviours that are very subtle, she adds.
“It might be a way of looking at each other, of saying something intimate, or using a particular tone of voice or affectionate touching.” Although not obvious, they set the scene for sex and help the man, in particular, feel much more confident before they get between the sheets.
- Sexual confidence is mind over matter
When you’re thinking about having sex, the part of your brain responsible for this is switched on. So, ironically, consciously thinking about it may just end up making a confidence problem worse. To bypass these negative thought patterns, try to stop thinking about it. Relax your mind and focus on your partner, not yourself.
In many cases, the stress and anxiety that result from the fear of not performing in bed may be a big part of the problem. There are a variety of ways to naturally decrease stress and anxiety, including exercise, yoga, prayer or meditation, and a better work-life balance.
For some, it may be worth seeing a counsellor or psychologist to discuss advanced options. Some people go to sex therapy for one session to educate themselves about specific questions they have. Other people have more intricate issues or insecurities about sexual desires that a professional can help with.
- Foreplay all day
Work on including foreplay into your daily routine. It could be as simple as exchanging a sexy text message or sharing a memory you have from the last time you were together. For women, foreplay is as much about emotional, as physical, intimacy. As she responds positively to your foreplay, your confidence will get a big boost, so you’ll be raring to go when you see each other again.
- Take more risks
Lack of sexual confidence can result from lacklustre sex because it's the same-old stuff, says Zebroff. She says going outside a settled routine is a simple way people can instantly feel better about their sexual competencies. This doesn't have to mean introducing the scariest sex toy you can find. Try a new position, have sex in a different room, or start with a massage. Change does not have to be extreme to result in a major improvement.
- Talk about your favourite positions
In movies, couples have awesome, incredible sex and they never need to say a word. That is not how it works in real life. “A lot of people think that sex is magical and they should know instinctively what to do and that’s just not true,” says Zebroff. Trying to guess what a partner wants can lead to an ill-informed, unremarkable romp – a sure-fire way to kill confidence. The temporary awkwardness of talking about likes and dislikes in the bedroom is nothing compared to that of trying a new technique that your partner doesn't want to be done.
- Be present
Most people are guilty of getting too caught up in wrong thoughts during sex. They're worried about how they look, the weird face their partner just made, or whether they're following their sex moves sequence. Working on being in the moment is one of Zebroff's top tips for building confidence in bed. If a person can embrace the feelings, sights, and sensations of what's going on, those pleasures can crowd out anxieties over performance. In particular, the practice of mindfulness can help some people become more aware and focused on their bodily experiences during sex.
- Have more sex
This may sound counter-intuitive, but it is a legitimate tip. Not only does practice make perfect (or near enough), but the more times you prove to yourself that you can have great sex, the more likely your subconscious is to believe that you’re great in bed.
- Watch your diet and exercise
Making relatively small lifestyle changes can have a beneficial effect on boosting libido and self-confidence. These include small amounts of weight loss, or participating in moderate exercise. Both of these will do wonders for your sex life if you keep at them. A Harvard study found male athletes aged between 40 and 60 had the same sex drive as men 20 years younger who didn’t exercise.
And a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that higher amount of exercise was associated with better erectile and sexual functioning. Being a healthy weight and cardiovascularly fit is likely to improve your sexual performance. Feeling good about how you look and feel is bound to be a confidence boost too.
- Educate yourself
One of the best things you can do in order to feel more confident in virtually any area of life is to expand your knowledge. Unfortunately, they don't teach ‘how to please women 101’ in Sex Ed. “Sex education usually just covers the basics of biology,” says certified counselor Jonathan Bennett. “Guys aren’t normally taught how to please a woman. Usually, that comes through experience and open communication with partners. Consequently, men with little sexual experience can feel insecure and clueless, leading to a lack of confidence in themselves and lack of pleasure for the woman during sex.”
So what can you do to get up to speed? “My advice to men with little sexual confidence is to read up on tips, methods, and tricks to be better in bed.” Bennett recommends exploring the free resources out there to get a leg up on your learning. “There are great free articles and videos on the internet that explain in specific detail ways to please a woman sexually,” Bennett says.
- Stop viewing sex as a performance
Intercourse is a two-person effort. The key to stopping feeling pressure to perform is to stop viewing sex as a performance where you're the star – and that if you mess it up, it's all on you. “Guys sometimes feel anxious about sexual interactions because they think of sex as something on which they'll be judged,” says marriage and family therapist Jill Whitney. “They may think they have to look or act like porn stars – and nothing could be further from the truth. Most porn is designed to appeal to men; what's shown is not at all what's appealing to most women. Porn is a lousy template for a guy who wants to be a good lover.”
- Seek natural sexual health support
It’s important to understand that sexual health issues can be treated and it’s worth doing something about. A range of effective herbal supplements is available to help give your confidence and libido a boost and lift mood and energy levels, including Herbal Ignite for Men, which can help boost your sexual stamina.
Why is Herbal Ignite for Men a good natural choice to help improve confidence in bed?
Herbal Ignite for Men is an over-the-counter dietary supplement taken daily with food to increase men’s health and libido. Its formulation works to:
- Support male sexual health.
- Support testosterone levels.
- Promote blood flow to the penis.
- Relieve stress and fatigue.
- Improve energy levels and confidence.
- Increase interest in sex or libido.
The three key herbs in Ignite for Men – Tribulus Terrestris, Horny Goat Weed and Avena Sativa – have been used in traditional medicine for centuries to rejuvenate men’s sexual and hormonal health. The herb Tribulus Terrestris, in particular, has also been found to naturally boost testosterone levels and is available in capsule form in herbal supplements like Herbal Ignite.
- Tribulus Terrestris lifts testosterone (the key sex hormone in men) levels and improves sexual activity and muscular strength. It also generates male energy, confidence and stamina and men using Herbal Ignite report an improved sense of wellbeing. While Tribulus Terrestris supports and assists the body's natural production of testosterone it should be clearly understood that it is not a hormone supplement.
By promoting the production of the body's own hormones, it works within the body's natural limits to help men achieve their strength and muscular potential. Tribulus Terrestris will not cause the body to indefinitely produce increasing amounts of testosterone – rather, it balances natural hormone levels.
- Horny Goat Weed increases desire and sexual performance. The active ingredients in this herb are PDE-5 inhibitors, which increase blood flow to the penis and help with better erections.
- Avena Sativa relieves stress and increases sexual desire. Many men notice a decline in sex drive and sexual strength because of the effects of stress and long working hours; this herb helps counter the effects of our tough modern lifestyle.
Herbal Ignite has been used successfully by thousands of men in New Zealand and Australia to increase testosterone levels and boost libido and sexual satisfaction. It also relieves stress and fatigue and improves energy levels and confidence. It has a potent herbal formula that works over time to help resolve the underlying causes low sex drive in men and, in particular, low testosterone levels that result from aging.
Herbal Ignite is 100% natural and free of unpleasant side effects. It is made in New Zealand to the highest standards, with thorough testing and guarantees of no adulteration or undeclared ingredients.
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Disclaimer. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and does not substitute for the advice provided by your medical professional. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.