A Lizzo song plays in the background as you pick out your favorite lingerie set and lipstick. There's a string of texts on your phone from that cutie you've been talking to and can't help but smile. You're getting it on tonight, baby, and it's going to be hot. As you prepare to head out, you take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and try to remember all the ways to feel confident during a hookup.
You look good (duh, you always do), but more importantly, you feel good. You're ready to turn up the heat with your crush while turning down the last-minute jitters.
"Our internal dialogues have a huge impact on our mental states," Gigi Engle, sex coach, sexologist, and author of All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life, tells Elite Daily. "Confidence (or lack thereof) is going to affect your overall ability to experience pleasure."
According to Engle, pumping yourself up before a hookup can help you connect more with yourself and your lover as you start to get it on. So, if you're looking for some extra inspiration, here are seven ways to build your confidence as you're getting down and dirty.
1. Give Yourself Some Lovin'
Though hearing how amazing you are from your dates or partners can be great (verbal affirmations rule!), Engle shares the importance of loving on yourself before getting it on with someone else. "Tell yourself how hot you are and strong you are," Engle says. "If you feel good about yourself and your body, you can enjoy everything that's happening to you."
2. Discuss Consent & Intentions
Of course, before anything goes down, you need to have a conversation about consent and intentions. "Talking about consent and boundaries is critical for good hookup experiences," Engle says. "You don't want to find you're in a situation that is uncomfortable, or you're crossing into sexual play that you're not comfortable with." Whether you're looking for a one-time fling or you're hoping to start a FWB situation, it's important to be transparent about what types of hookups you're looking for and what kind of stuff you're into. Ensuring everyone's comfort can help you really live in the moment.
3. Give Yourself Permission To Do What Feels Good
Listen, as long as everything you're doing is consensual, there is no shame in the game. "Remind yourself that it's OK to have these experiences," Engle says. "[Confidence] gives you the strength to not bend to the societal pressure that dictates female-raised people should be 'good girls' and 'not slutty.'" You get to decide what type of encounters feel right for you. Whether that's one-night stands, casual dating, or something else entirely, all that matters is doing what feels right for you.
4. Relax Your Body
"When you're anxious, your body tenses up," Engle says. "You wind up not being in the moment and not being present in your body." Rest your shoulders, unclench your jaw, and wiggle out your arms and legs. As Engle shares, taking a moment to physically relax your body can help you feel more confident as you get it on.
In addition to relaxing your body, Engle shares the importance of taking a few deep breaths and re-centering your mind. "Breathe deeply into your body and allow yourself to feel all sensations as much as possible," Engle says. Taking a second to really get in your body will let you feel all the feelings — emotionally and physically.
6. Listen To Your Gut
A great way to feel confident is to be clear about your boundaries throughout every stage of your hookup. Think about what you're excited to experience with your partner, and stick to your gut. Though trying something new may be exciting, you never need to do anything you're not totally into. "Sex is not about 'pushing yourself'; it's about having a good time," Engle says. "Anyone who tries to pressure you to cross boundaries is an *sshole, and you should kick them out of bed immediately."
7. Stride With Pride
Engle shares the importance of feeling yourself before, during, and after turning up the heat. "Confidence is also important for how you walk away from an experience," Engle says. "If you are confident in yourself, you have the ability to walk feeling empowered and strong." From stating your boundaries to being clear on your expectations, leaving a hookup with your head held high can help you feel confident as you go about your day. You're a shining superstar that can do anything, and you decide what feels right for you. Walk of shame? Never heard of her.