Sexual Confidence: How to Feel Sexier Naked

Watching a partner undress is one of the sexiest turn-ons for many couples. For the countless women with low body image, sadly, the “birthday suit” can feel more like “oh, crap!” attire. The result? Anxiety, stress and reduced sex drive. To further complicate this catch-22, sexual activity and intimacy can enhance body image, self-esteem and emotional health. In other words, the very thing that causes many women personal strife can help prevent and potentially cure the flareup triggers. Turning this snowball (pun embraced!) in the right direction is well worth it.

Signs That Your Body Image and Sexual Confidence Could Use Boosting

body image sex

If thoughts of baring it all makes you feel like this, you may want to change your tune…

  • You’re uncomfortable undressing before your partner.
  • You demand “lights off,” or to be covered by blankets, during sex.
  • You contemplate your body’s “imperfections” during sex.
  • You frequently compare your physique and appearance with those of other women.
  • Swimsuits and lingerie—shopping and wearing—tank your moods.
  • You wear oversized clothing and avoid skimpy threads.
  • You often weigh yourself, diet or experience food-related guilt.
  • You have difficulty believing or accepting compliments on your appearance.
  • You’d go a year without sex, if it meant you could be thinner (or otherwise physically altered).
  • You spend more time and energy worrying about your physical “flaws” and attractiveness than you do desiring, fantasizing about or initiating sex.

If you’ve been following my Girl Boner series or caught last week’s post on “female viagra,” you know that I attribute most problems with female sexual desire with poor body image and self-esteem. Fueled by media’s representation of women and sexuality, the $40+ billion dieting industry and other factors, such as our personal role models and upbringing, body image pitfalls can seem impossible to overcome. How can we feel sexy naked when the whole darn world seems to tell us we’re anything but?

Maintaining positive body image in, and outside of, the bedroom is not only doable, but vital, in my opinion. Comfort in our own skin is associated with increased physical attractiveness and sex appeal, heightened sexual satisfaction and frequency and relationship contentment. And it doesn’t take raising our self-perception to arrogant heights. When we develop sexual self-confidence, we don’t make like Narcissa, gazing admiringly into mirrors. We care less about what others think about our bodies, ponder our physical appearance less, and invest more time and energy into worthier pursuits: living and loving, to name the biggies.

In addition to the tips I shared last week, on ways to boost body image and libido, the following steps can help us feel more confident naked while we work on the deeper issues in our lives (which tend to take time). If your body image and sex-drive are severely low or simply seem unmanageable, I hope you’ll consider professional help. There’s no shame, and plentiful empowerment, in that kind of work and healing.

10 Ways to Feel Sexier Naked

1. Spend more time naked. If we’re only naked during sex, we’re more likely to feel uncomfortable. Sleep naked. Spend more time clothesless before or after showering. If you have the privacy, heck, clean the house naked.

2. Dim the lights. Dim lights are romantic. They also tend to be flattering. Cosmo photographers, Chris Clinton and Alexa Miller, suggest sex by candlelight, which softens our features, adding a sense of mystique.

3. Exercise. Exercising, preferably in a way we find enjoyable, staves off depressive moods and stress while helping us feel fitter physically. We shouldn’t exercise to slenderize, in my view, but to feel capable, healthy and strong.

4. Masturbate. I know, I recommend this for just about everything. If the habit fits… 😉 Seriously, self-stimulation increases sexual confidence, which helps us grow more comfortable with our bodies and sexuality.

5. Trash magazines and images that makes you feel bad. Even swimsuit models wish they looked precisely like their heavily airbrushed photos nowadays. Artwork of women of all shapes, ages and sizes often present, encourage and celebrate real beauty. The same holds true for publications that empower us, rather than instruct us to diet or cleanse our way “fit.”

6. Turn on the tunes. As we discussed back in March, music turns us on—40 percent more than touch, according to a Spotify study. Choose music you find alluring, or work together with your partner.

7. Emphasize your favorite features. A poll conducted by Gfk/MRI showed that women feel sexiest when they doll their faces up before a night out. The confidence boost can carry us through the night, prepping us for steamy bedroom fun later.

8. Stand at a 3/4 angle. According to Clinton and Miller, facing a partner straight on can make us look a bit square, while angling slightly accentuates our sexy curves.

9. Wear heels. No, they aren’t the healthiest shoes on the planet, but they sure can help! (If you feel sexier in flip-flops or other flats, though, by all means, wear them!) Taller shoes engage leg muscles in a complimentary way, and raise confidence. This is why models often wear heels during photo shoots, whether their feet show or not. I just think it feels sexy—being naked, except for heels.

10. Tell yourself you’re beautiful, just the way you are. We might feel a little cheesy-motivational-speaker-y, but you know what? Affirmations work. Negative self-talk does the opposite, so do your best to swap self-bashing for self-love. Then report back, so we can celebrate your Girl Boner journey. 🙂

Are you comfortable naked? What has helped or hurt body image-wise? Which tip strikes you most? I love hearing from you. So much so, that I’m also going to invite you to a SPECIAL EVENT!

For more on these issues, join me this Wednesday at 12pm PST, for a Bonfire Chat hosted by Gigi Ross: How Body Image Affects Sex. I’ll be appearing on a live, online panel with a group of groovy gals. To join us, visit the event page and RSVP.

Leave a comment


  1. “Watching a partner undress is one of the sexiest turn-ons for many couples.”

    Uhm, yeah it is!!!!

    IMHO, it also builds trust. The first time two partners are intimate, you’re trusting that person with seeing you naked….not many secrets left once the clothes come off! Having that trust with your partner should also help build a confidence that he or she likes how you look sans clothing.

    Good stuff, August!

    • GREAT point, Steve. When we’re naked physically with someone we love, we’re indeed naked emotionally. And trust is vital for intimacy. Thanks for chiming in!

  2. I definitely subscribe to #1. The only one I’d never heard of before was the standing at an angle one. Love your list!

  3. Aino A Järvinen

     /  June 3, 2013

    Guilty, guilty. Let’s see, guilty. Guilty. Um, yeah, guilty. Guilty, guilty. Boy am I guilty! Guilty, and finally, guilty.

    What a tragic world to which we have been conditioned, when our greatest enemies have become ourselves.

    • Agreed, Aino! It’s a tragic epidemic, but changeable—and starts with ourselves. I hope that knowing your areas that could use improvement (attitude-wise, not physically!) bode well for you. Acting on that knowledge is SO worthwhile.

  4. Ugh… I’m guilty of most of these as well. Great list. My own trick is that I’ve found that investing in nice, sexy bras and panties distracts me from thinking about my flaws.

    • Awareness can go a long way, along with deciding to work on self-embracement. I love your trick! I could stand to do that more often. (The bargain hunter in me doesn’t always gravitate toward the sexiest of undies. LOL)

  5. I think this may be an area where females overcomplicate their own lives. We men know we’re not Adonises. We know we don’t have the washboard abs you girls talk about. But somehow, even when our bellies prevent us from seeing our own members, we delude ourselves that seeing us naked would turn a woman on. Maybe self-delusion isn’t always a bad thing.

    • There’s no delusion there, David! We don’t need to be skinny, perfectly toned or cellulite free to be attractive and sexy. I wish more women knew that. Media, society and ourselves can be huge barriers—but not insurmountable ones.

  6. First….A YEAR without sex???!!! Good lord! I hope I NEVER feel that bad about myself, lol. Scary thought. Not that it would make a whole lot of difference right now… 😉

    Second…A YEAR WITHOUT SEX???!!! Oh wait…that wasn’t the second thing at all. Nope. The second thing is….thanks for writing these posts. I think many of us need the reminders and I, for one, appreciate them.

    Like pretty much everyone else commenting, I’m guilty of most of the things on your list. But I’m working on it. As a matter of fact, I just committed today to doing something every five minutes, every hour I’m awake. Walking, stretching, light weights. Doesn’t matter. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but at the end of the day, it adds up to at least an hour and twenty minutes of exercise. That’s more than nine hours a week. Or at least seven a week if I decide to limit it to just twelve waking hours.

    Am I doing it to look better? Nope. While I hope that winds up being a side effect, I’m doing it because I’ve read so much about the health benefits of moving every hour. And given how much time I sit around typing, and the dangers involved in a sedentary lifestyle, I’m all for that.

    Even if it doesn’t help as much as I sort of hope it will…I guess I don’t care. As long as I’m healthy, if someone has issues with my appearance, I guess I don’t need them in my life, right? 🙂

    • I had the same reaction, Kristy. Can you believe that 51% of women would trade thinness for sex—yep, for a year?!? Perhaps they don’t realize what that would actually entail… Regardless, many people’s priorities are off. Ironically, sex can help us manage our weight, but that’s another episode. (Ha.)

      The fact that you’re aware of your challenges, and actively working to improve them, says a lot, Kristy. Breaking up your exercise is a great idea; a generally active lifestyle beats an hour at the gym and nada for the remainder. So happy to hear that health is your goal. There are HUGE payoffs there. And that last statement? YOU BETCHA! 🙂

  7. Can I just say that you are the bravest woman I know? Seriously. So inspired by you! I know everything you say in my head, but I still have so much ingrained insecurity. I look back at my wedding pics, when I weighed 20 lbs less than I do now, and remember our honeymoon in Key West when I wouldn’t take my shorts off at the beach because I felt so fat. It’s just sad.

    • You’re so sweet, Shannon! I’m touched that you’re inspired. Knowing we’re beautiful and sexy as-is and actually embracing the facts are entirely different animals… You’re stunning, inside and out, and do not require shrinkage. I hope you can see that soon! (We’re so much lovelier when we do.)

  8. I’m definitely comfortable naked and I think you are right about just spending time naked. That is what gets you comfortable being naked. I happen to be a lotion layerer and you have to let one layer dry before you put on the next, so I get a lot done around the house, naked, while I let my lotion dry. Yeah, I know it’s strange. 🙂 But that is what made me be comfortable being naked. I don’t believe that is something anyone else can do for you. It has to come from you. And once you are really, truley comfortable with yourself, you won’t worry what other people think of you. Really, guys are so excited that they are seeing you naked, they aren’t critiquing. And if they are, they are obviously not the right guy. I think your list is great and everyone should get started on it! But, the beach, in a bathing suit, that’s a whole different thing…

  9. Great post. I too struggle with a lot of these issues, but I’m working on it. The candelight thing is one of my favorites actually – need to use that one more often. Taking off from Shannon’s comment, I’ve told myself that when I was younger and had the body to wear a bikini I lacked the confidence. Now, I have the confidence but not the body. Erm… wait a sec… lol Still working on it. 😀

  10. Raani York

     /  June 5, 2013

    Hmmmm…. one year without making love to my partner… *sigh* – No… I don’t ever feel like giving up this closeness for anything.

  11. I think number 10 is the most important. I have changed my self-image (men have problems, too!) over the last few years. I know I am not tight and gorgeous, but I am happier with myself and, personally, enjoy being clothesless when I can. I hope it goes without saying that I like my partner sans clothing, too! I would never think her ugly or whatever…she is naked for me! What more can I ask?

  12. These are some really great tips, August! So glad I was introduced to you yesteray through the hangout. Now to go find my high heels… ;-D


     /  February 21, 2015

    Nice in your face post ! Enjoyed it.

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