What is confidence? One definition is belief in one’s own abilities. That is great in many areas of life. However, there are also many areas of life where confidence is NOT just about abilities and the sexual arena is definitely one of those areas. Why, because- good sex is not about just one person; it is about two people and sex with one person will be very different than sex with someone else. That other person will have different desires and preferences, there may be a different sexual fit, there is a different emotional connection, etc. Also, the sex field is constantly evolving and we are learning new things about creating an optimal sex life. In other words, sexual confidence is less about sexual ability and more about:
- The capacity to tune in to the other person
- The willingness to learn and adapt.
- The willingness to teach the other person what you would like from her or him.
- Becoming a sexual student and not having to have all the answers.
- Trying new things that you may not be very good at yet.
That is why I say that the # 1 way for men to have sexual confidence is to practice what I call radical self-acceptance. With radical self-acceptance, you do not judge yourself on “sexual performance.” You know that there is much you have to learn about being a better lover especially with one particular person and especially with that person in a long-term relationship. What kind of role models do men have for cultivating a long, hot marriage? Practically none! The answer then is to be open to learning and be open to discovering new ways of relating to your partner in (and out of) the bedroom. It means being humble, it means being a beginner in the sense that you can always learn and shift and that you are never a finished product when it comes to being a lover. Shifting from a performance mindset with measures and conditional self-approval to radical self-acceptance gives the man the freedom to explore and develop his sexual sensitivity and multiple sexual approaches. Being ok with “eternal beginner status” opens you up to leave your comfort zone and even be somewhat awkward at times. It means you are being an adventurous sexual partner.
As you stay in this mindset, you are less self-involved and less concerned about your ability or sexual prowess. That gives you the freedom to focus on your partner. It allows you to be more present with your partner.
For example, I am in the sex therapy field and have been for many years. I am still constantly learning about new developments of understanding the erotic female body as well as mine. I am aware of people that know more about certain aspects of sexuality than I do and am a willing student of articles, books, videos, etc. I know some things and I have a long way to go. I totally accept that about myself. Of course, the important thing is to practice, experiment and apply some of these things that I am learning in my own marriage. Radical self-acceptance leads to my openness to learn, a willingness to adjust and develop an adventurous sexual spirit. Since I do not have to be a sexual prodigy, I can tune in to my wife, have fun with her and enjoy being present with her. I encourage all men to follow this path that leads to what I would say is true sexual confidence.