Self-esteem affects absolutely every aspect of life, so it’s no surprise that it also influences the sexual realm. In fact, you could say there is a sexual self-esteem, a sense of what one values when it comes to sex.
Sexual self-esteem is not just about relationships, but also influences self-pleasure.. Depending on the good or the bad that we perceive in sexual matters, we will appreciate more or less everything related to it.
Below, we’ll dig a little deeper into sexual self-esteem, finding out how it can be assessed and what we can do to improve it.
What is sexual self-esteem?
Sexual self-esteem can be understood as the self-esteem we have for different sexual problems: how we behave sexually, how comfortable we feel with our body, how we are for others, how much we deserve sexual pleasure…
It refers to security and confidence in sexual intimacy, having a lot to do with well-being and self-love in terms of sexual performance and perception. This is one of the necessary conditions for feeling safe and having fun having sex.
When we feel safe in our intimate relationships, we are more likely to live them freely., which will benefit both our pleasure and that of the person with whom we are having sex. This is what sexual self-esteem is: feeling comfortable with your body and the experiences we have through it in a sexual and psycho-emotional domain.
Sexual self-esteem and sexual insecurity
Insecurity in sex is a relatively common thing, especially in new experiences. It’s normal to feel a bit insecure in certain sex-related situations and perceive that we don’t have much previous experience, such as introducing a new practice, having a new sexual partner, or using a new toy. erotic.
When the sexual situation is new, it is more likely that thoughts will come to mind that play tricks on us. For example, we may feel that we don’t have the experience to perform sexually in a particular setting or that we would like to know more about the other person or ourselves to give us more pleasure. It is precisely in these situations that the level of sexual self-esteem is most demonstrated. The lower, the greater the fear and fear of the new sexually.
Another very important problem that can show a very low sexual self-esteem that we have in insecurity related to physical appearance. Preferring the light off during sex, not undressing, or not changing postures may be indicators that the person is not very comfortable with their body and does not want to show it, fearing that if their sexual partner sees it, she goes away to make you want to keep having sex.
How do we know if we have low sexual self-esteem?
Everyone has, to a greater or lesser extent, some sexual self-esteem. It is present in all human beings, but it manifests itself at different levels. Some have more sexual self-esteem and some have less.
People with lower sexual self-esteem can fall victim to anything a negative belief system about their sexual performance, which manifests in the form of multiple bad thoughts that sabotage them when they try to enjoy the sexual-affective plane.
Among the thoughts of people with low sexual self-esteem there are such phrases as the following, which can indicate precisely this problem.
- “I’m not good enough in bed.”
- “She definitely doesn’t want to be left behind.”
- “He will realize that I don’t appreciate that.”
- “He’ll think it’s his fault and he’ll leave me.”
- “I’m not attractive enough to be wanted.”
It is possible to know more or less exactly how our sexual self-esteem is. There are tools that help us assess this construct, such as the one proposed by a study from “The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality”. It consists of a test of 15 questions scored from 1 to 5, ranging from 1 equivalent to “totally disagree” and 5 “totally agree”.
- I consider myself good in my sex.
- I think my sex skills are really good.
- I express myself freely in my sexual relations.
- I trust my partner.
- I feel comfortable talking sexually.
- Right now, I feel good sexually.
- I don’t consider myself a very good person for sex.
- My sex life is on the ground.
- I am disappointed with my sex life.
- I am not satisfied with my sex life.
- I can’t stop thinking about sex.
- I worry about sex most of the time.
- I currently think more about sex than other topics.
- I think a lot about sex.
- Right now, sexual issues are flooding my mind all the time.
Once we have rated each item, we can see how our sexual self-esteem is and other related aspects. Specifically, these are the top six questions that assess our sexual self-esteem and, if we evaluate them with high scores, it means that we have good self-esteem. If, on the other hand, we have rated them with low ratings, it means that there is low sexual self-esteem and we should strive to try to improve it.
Items seven through ten relate to sexual depression. Low scores on these questions mean there is no sexual depression, while high scores mean yes and we need to be careful how we feel. Questions eleven through fifteen are about sexual obsession, and the higher the score, the more obsession we will have.
How to improve our sexual self-esteem?
Fortunately, whether it’s low self-esteem, depression, or an obsession with all things sex, there is a solution to these problems. A number of guidelines can be followed to improve our affective-sexual self-esteem and, therefore, our sexual pleasure.
1. The reality is different
The basis of high self-esteem is to value yourself more. Surely there are many positive things you have that you don’t realize. We’re not just talking about sexuality, we’re talking about everyone. With each small step you take to value yourself, a small step towards greater self-esteem which will also have an impact on sexuality.
2. Learn and experiment with your body
Better sexual self-esteem is achieved by fueling it with knowledge. Read, learn and learn as much as you can about sexuality. Use what you have learned by experimenting with your body. Getting to know each other helps us explore and better understand what we like and what about sex.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others
Comparisons can be odious, especially in the sexual realm. Like everything in life, each person is a world of sexuality. Comparing ourselves to others will only annoy us, frustrate us, and make us think we’ll never be good in bed. It is not a competition, but a matter of pleasure. Everyone has their own tastes and their own way of enjoying sex, knowing what’s important, not whether it’s better or worse than the others.
4. Dare to practice new things
Shame is not an ally in bed problems. Try to put it aside and don’t be afraid of what other people will think. If you want to grant a wish or practice a new technique of sexual stimulation, do it! If you want to do it with your partner, remember that you will first have to comment on it to see if they agree and not take bad surprise.
5. Learn to say “no” to what you don’t like
If we do more things that make us feel good, we should also learn to stop doing things we don’t like. If there’s a proposal from our partner that we don’t like or that makes us feel uncomfortable in bed, we need to say “no” confidently.. This applies not only to the sexual realm, but also to all aspects of life.
6. Seek professional help
Having low sexual self-esteem is linked to low self-esteem in general, which can indicate a deeper issue that permeates all aspects of our lives, not just the intimate. For that it is essential to seek professional help, especially a psychologist or sex therapist help us overcome our insecurities and fears.
- Arcos-Romero, AI, Moyano, N. & Sierra, JC (2018). Psychometric Properties of the Orgasm Rating Scale in the Context of Sexual Intercourse in a Spanish Sample, J Sex Med, 15(5): 741-749.
- Arcos-Romero, AI, Granados, R., & Sierra, JC (2018). Relationship between the experience of orgasm and sexual arousal: Validation of the model of the subjective experience of orgasm. International Journal of Impotence Research.
- Calvillo, C., Sánchez-Fuentes, MM and Sierra, JC (2018). Systematic review of sexual satisfaction in same-sex couples. Ibero-American Journal of Psychology and Health, 9, 115-136.
- Safran, A. et al. (2016). Orgasm: neurophysiological, psychological and evolutionary perspectives. Socio-affective neurosciences and psychology.