Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's years of cultivating self-love and unlearning toxic beauty standards passed on in teen movies from the 2000s. TL;DR: Learning how to feel good in your body, and embracing your sexuality can be a lifelong practice. And finding empowering ways to talk to your partner about body insecurity during sex can help everyone live their best (sex) lives.
"Body acceptance isn’t night and day, it’s a gradual process," Lola Jean, sex educator and mental health professional, tells Elite Daily. "Speaking truths to ourselves, rather than attempting to force ourselves to believe something that doesn’t resonate."
As Jean shares, feeling at home in your body is a deeply personal and individual journey that can look different for everyone. And whether you hate how your belly looks in a certain position or get stressed about how your thighs feel on your partner's waist, it's natural to get in your head when you're sharing your bed. But you are a flawless angel, and you deserve to be having the best sex you can be.
If you're interested in opening up to your partner about where you're at with your body, here are seven tips from four different experts about affirming body language — I mean, affirming language about your body.
1. Start with the good stuff.
If you're not sure how to start the conversation, or you want to make sure you're creating an empowering space for you and your partner to share, framing the conversation with positive affirmations can be super helpful.
"Initiate the conversation by talking about what you admire and appreciate about your partner's body," Trish Blackwell, confidence coach and founder of the College of Confidence, tells Elite Daily. "This invites them into a safe and open dialogue, allowing you the opportunity to be vulnerable as well."
Whether you list all the things you like about them or remind them how lucky you are to have them in your life, starting with the good stuff can ease you both into talking about more sensitive topics.
2. Be transparent.
Being as honest and transparent with your partner as possible about body insecurity during sex can help you both feel empowered.
"Be radically honest about it," Gigi Engle, sex coach, sexologist, and author of All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life, tells Elite Daily. "Tell them what it is you're feeling insecure about. A good partner will be happy to reassure you that you're beautiful and perfect and sexy."
As Engle shares, if you're stressed or anxious about your body, directly telling your partner what you're feeling and more, what you need from them (i.e., "I'm feeling uncomfortable with me, and would like some reassurance") can let them know how they can best support you.
3. Know what helps and what hurts.
Additionally, letting your partner know what words or actions feel good and what doesn't can also help you to get on the same body-posi page.
"Let them know what type of comments are helpful and hurtful during this process and let them know ways in which they can support you," Jean says. "'You’re so hot' can be the greatest compliment for one person and send another down a trail of tears."
Perhaps you like being called "sexy," but don't like being called "hot." OR maybe you love to be touched in certain places, but you don't want to be touched in others. Being clear about your sexual ins and outs can help you feel supported by your partner.
4. Talk about it — but not during sex.
If you're thinking about having a pre-meditated conversation about your body feelings, Jean suggests doing it outside of the bedroom.
"We probably shouldn't be bringing up body insecurities during sex unless otherwise pre-negotiated as this is one of the most vulnerable times for our body," Jean says. "Try bringing this up in a neutral and non-sexual environment."
5. Normalize talking about insecurity.
According to psychosexual therapist Cate Mackenzie, it's common to feel insecure about starting a conversation about body insecurity. And while you never need to something you're completely uncomfortable with, talking about your body insecurity with your partner can help you connect on a deeper level.
"It would be great to practice to normalize something and realize that everyone has something that they might feel is not 'perfect' about them," Mackenzie says.
As Mackenzie shares, stating what you're nervous about or just discussing what you're thinking about your body doesn't need to be one big conversation; it can look like smaller talks that happen more frequently.
6.Think about what builds you up.
While it's helpful to understand what you're insecure about, Blackwell shares that it's also important to know what builds you up.
"By initiating conversations about how something they say or do helps you feel confident, they will understand that whatever they are doing is building you up in some way," Blackwell says.
Additionally, Blackwell shares that cultivating gratitude for your body (i.e., thanking it for what it lets you do and feel) can help you nix lingering self-doubt or criticism in the bedroom. "It is when our thoughts are foggy with self-doubt and overthinking that body insecurity can plant its deepest roots," Blackwell says.
7. Focus more on how you feel.
"Try focusing on ways your body feels as opposed to how it looks aesthetically," Jean says. "'Your skin is so soft.' 'I love the way your body feels against mine.' 'You smell so good.'"
According to Jean, using language about how you feel during sex can help you both increase your bedroom positivity. "So much of our value lies in our physical appearance," Jean says. "It can be nice to feel appreciated for things other than this as we are so bombarded with it already."
Talking to your partner about body insecurity isn't always easy. If you know that something makes you uncomfortable or you're feeling uneasy about a certain position, being as transparent as possible can help you better connect with your partner. Additionally, setting aside a neutral time to discuss your body can help everyone feel supported. Feeling strong and supported in your skin is a lifelong journey, and being open and honest about your needs and feelings between the sheets is an important (and sexy!) step.