I’m going to save you some tuition money and about 100 years worth of feminist texts and tell you that women’s positions in the bedroom have not always been equal. Sex has consistently been positioned as something that is done to a woman, rather than something that she is actively participating in. Unfortunately, I can’t change thousands of years of female subjugation with one article. As your residential college sexpert, I can encourage my female readers to take small steps to ensure that you make the most out of your future intimate experiences.
When you look good, you feel good
This is one of my favorite mottos and is something I live by every day. You know those students who get extra dressed up on the day of a midterm, just so they can walk in feeling semi-confident? That’s me. And after countless exams, I can confidently say that this wacky psychology trick actually works. Even if I absolutely bomb a test, I still manage to strut around for the rest of the day in reasonably high spirits knowing that I look good.
Fortunately for us, looking good doesn’t have to be restricted to a classroom. So if you’re looking to put a little confidence in the bedroom, the first step is to pick out something sexy! Or rather, pick out something that makes you––specifically––feel sexy.
If your idea of looking good comes in the form of your favorite bra and underwear, perfect! If looking like a MILF from the 1960s gets you goin’, awesome! If you feel your best in an oversized button-down and some socks, rock it! Looking and, more importantly, feeling sexy is just as much for you as it is your partner. Taking some time to focus on yourself is the first step in introducing a more confident you into the bedroom.
Protip: If you pick out a playlist and sing along while you get ready, it’s almost like you’re starring in your own makeover montage from the early 2000s. I recommend Lizzo and Rihanna for maximum hot-girl energy.
Choosing to be kind to yourself
In a perfect world, putting on good lingerie and a pair of false eyelashes would be enough to make us instantly prepared to shake up the sheets. But unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. In order to take steps towards more confidence, we have to address why you aren’t feeling your best in the first place.
Perhaps it’s childhood or religious trauma that is stopping you from enjoying the midnight hour. As a former Catholic myself, I distinctly remember images of hellfire being associated with anything to do with sexual pleasure. Although I’ve long gotten over any hang-up to do with religion and hanky-panky, generational trauma when it comes to having sex can be ingrained in us long before we went to college. Luckily, you now have the freedom to explore and reflect what the idea of sex and intimacy means for you and your personal journey. If it ever starts feeling like too much to handle by yourself, that’s okay. There are always counselors available to discuss issues related to sexual health. Personally, I found comfort in my girl friends who were also facing these same struggles. Confiding in others helps us remember that sex is a complicated thing, but it does not need to be navigated alone.
If your hang-ups are not a result of familial pressures, there is a chance it might also be pressures from yourself. Case Western Reserve University students are notoriously self-critical in almost every facet of their lives, from schools, to grades, to extracurriculars. When you combine this unfortunate personality trait with media and porn telling you that only people who look a certain way are sexy, it is amazing we ever take our clothes off at all.
Here, I remind you to give the same compassion to yourself that you would afford to others––because you are just as deserving of kindness as everyone else.
As a test, next time your mind starts to wander about every stretch mark or pimple that you have, I want you to think about your friends and your partner. I want you to think about their flaws and marks––maybe try and imagine a list of things about them that you don’t think look good. You are inevitably going to struggle to come up with problems, likely because the people you are surrounded with are pretty great.
Which is exactly my point.
To those who care about you and choose to be intimate with you, a blemish is going to be the last thing on their mind. Truth is, they’re probably just thanking whatever Lord is above that they’re in this position––pun intended.
Putting your pleasure first
So how exactly does one decide what makes the horizontal mambo so enticing? Well, the quickest way is experimenting and trying things by yourself––but that’s for a whole different article. The second way is something that improves every relationship, romantic or otherwise: communication.
Make requests and speak openly about what you want. Don’t let sex be like the ever-exausting food debate where you let your partner try and guess what you want. If you want sushi, ask for sushi. If you want fried chicken, ask for fried chicken. And if you want to try a threesome, ask to try a threesome. If you’ve accepted your partner only putting in five minutes of foreplay before jackhammering it and going to sleep, you are doing both yourself and them a disservice by not speaking up.
Also, if any men have made it this far, I’d like to remind you that a whopping 70-80% of women can’t reach an orgasm from penetration alone. That means if you have not been using all of the tools at your disposal, and every single one of your past girlfriends still seemed like she was getting off––someone was lying to you.
“What? You can’t possibly mean me!” Yes, I mean you.
Now, I understand that being more demanding might feel strange to some women, it is an unfortunate consequence of a society that places male pleasure on a pedestal. Luckily, confidence is like every other aspect of life––sometimes you can just start small and work your way up.
Request a back massage without fulfilling the expectation of anything extraneous. Encourage the use of toys without any feelings of competition or toxic masculinity getting in the way. And if your partner ever expects oral without offering to return the favor––kick him to the curb. It’s 2022 and we are no longer accepting the DJ Khaleds of the world who think that there are “different rules for men” and women’s pleasure comes secondary.