As a sex and intimacy coach, the issue of body confidence is prevalent among the women I work with.
Far too many women find themselves unable to enjoy sex simply because they don’t feel confident enough in their own skin, let alone in their sexuality!
This is often crippling to the couples’ sexual dynamic as both partners begin to drift apart due to insecurity, fear, and shame. I know this because I used to be one of those women.
I was the woman who couldn’t get out of her head, especially when it came to sex, because I was constantly thinking and worrying about making sure my body looked totally perfect in every position, at every angle, in every lighting, in any piece of lingerie…or lack thereof.
I was consumed with this quest for aesthetic perfection, and it nearly destroyed me.
Thankfully, I can say all of this in past tense, because I have since learned some powerful insights about confidence that have radically changed my perspective and have liberated me from the bondage of insecurity and the striving of perfectionism.
That actually brings me to my first point:
1. Confidence is about excellence, not perfection.
The only perfect being is Jesus. The rest of us are innately flawed, aka…NOT PERFECT. None of us were designed to be perfect, and the quest for it is not only futile, but inherently destructive because perfection is unattainable.
Excellence, however, is. There’s no shame in wanting to be the best version of yourself and highlighting your assets, physical and otherwise. Strive for steady growth and excellence. Give up on the illusion of perfection.
2. If your “confidence” causes you to shame someone else, you’re not confident, you’re compensating.
You know what I mean. It’s the under-cutting thoughts about other women when you walk into a crowded room to make yourself feel better. Its mentally assessing the girls at the party to see where you rank on the comparative beauty scale.
That crap. Cut it out.
Insecurity always looks through the eyes of comparison and sees everyone else as competition. A sign of true confidence is when you can appreciate someone else’s unique beauty without having to compare them against yourself, or anyone else.
On that note, a friend told me that a “good-looking black guy” came up to her in the grocery store and said, “You have a good body for a white girl.” As she was telling me this story, she felt so complimented and good about herself, etc. Meanwhile, I went on an internal rant because I saw this man’s comment for what it actually was: a perpetuation of objectification, and a call to comparison. No, I did not get riled up because he was black. Don’t try to play the race card.
I got riled up because ANY man of ANY race making the comment he did would have gotten under my skin, and here’s why:
In this man’s comment, he established an exclusive standard of beauty (the bodies of black women), thus forcing the subject of his “compliment” to compare herself to other women in order to gain the “reward” of his comment.
His comment essentially pitted body type against body type, race against race, and woman against woman. His comment was an insult, not a compliment.
In addition, my friend’s reaction revealed a very unfortunate truth to me: we’ve become so desperate for attention and validation that we will superimpose the two, and allow ourselves to be objectified under the guise of a compliment.
This is why I tell any woman I work with:
Do not seek attention; demand respect.
When we are desperate for attention and validation, we will accept objectification. In other words, our desperate quest for attention and validation will actually minimize our sense of self-worth.
As an example, a “Dominant” (and I use that term VERY loosely here) from Germany who is involved in our community at The Love Hackers, commented on one of our videos, saying, “Come to Berlin, beauty! ;)” Now, most women would get butterflies over his comment. I didn’t get butterflies; I got a twitchy palm. I read his comment and thought, “Boy, who the HELL do you think you’re talking to?!” Not only am I a married woman, but I’m not just a piece of ass, and I demand to be treated as such. I suggest women start taking on a similar mentality rather than further enabling our own objectification by responding positively to hollow comments like that.
The final thought I’d like to leave with you is this:
3. The perception of others won’t change your reality.
The thoughts of others literally have no impact on anything in your reality. If you like how your makeup looks, but someone else thinks you look like a clown…how does their opinion change your reality? You love your new outfit, but that group of girls is giving you dirty looks about it. What difference does it make? Absolutely none. So why do we care so much about what other people think? Other people are allowed to have independent thoughts. And you’re allowed to do your thing in spite of them.
If you constantly strive for everyone to think you’re beautiful and sexy and charming and fabulous, you will tire yourself out, and sooner than you think.
In the words of Dita Von Teese:
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”