The BBC  discussed why women should ignore advice from magazines about sex. This radio clip featuring Rachel Ward, questions the nature of the ‘contradictory‘ advice that focuses on how a woman should act and prepare for sex in order to make themselves ‘look‘ better. On the other hand, these same so-called ‘sexperts’ also advise women not to focus on their looks during sex at all. I found this segment interesting as I too have noticed how ”sexperts ie sex and relationship’ writers for women often give contradictory advice.

Laurie Taylor talks to Rachel Ward, Research Associate in the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics at Sheffield Hallam University, about the contradictory advice given to women about sex:


sex advice, women beauty advice,

Some of the Cosmopolitan articles advising women about sex.

I quickly looked at the advice Cosmopolitan magazine have been giving to ladies, tips such as; sexy clothing, mood lighting to look slimmer and some other tips that seem focused on how a woman can make her man partner find her more attractive. Here’s a tip from a man- men do not give a damn about none of that sh*t! Unless he has some kind of cosplay fetish, your guy will find you sexy in or out of that lace one piece you spent a day’s wages on from Anne Summers. Perhaps, the focus should be on how a woman feels about herself, rather than how to make her partner feel about her.

As a man, I am not an advocate for telling women how to feel or look, however, I will say what men fancy the most about women during sex. You might be thinking it is a Big bum, perky arse, flat tummy, love handles, Long legs, short legs, curvy hips, big boobs, small boobs, long hair, short hair, thick lips, thin lips…. the list of desirable physically attractive attributes a woman can have is endless, just as a guy’s preferences of them could be specific or broad. However, if we are talking simply about sex not about building some Disney style everlasting relationship, a man most desirable attribute in a partner is not physical but mental. It is confidence!

Queen Latifah once said ‘Confidence makes you sexy!’. She is right! During sex, if your partner is confident in what they are doing, what they like and who they are it lifts a whole burden off of the sexual tension between you both. Having confidences enables lovers to truly express their sexual desires. However, confidence in the bedroom or a lack thereof does not stem from simply being naked. If a person lacks confidence in the most natural human interaction then there are problems outside of the bedroom that need to be overcome as well as inside them.

‘I had to grow to love my body. I did not have a good self-image at first. Finally it occurred to me, I’m either going to love me or hate me. And I chose to love myself. Then everything kind of sprung from there. Things that I thought weren’t attractive became sexy. Confidence makes you sexy.’Queen Latifah

It has to be said that having body confidence issues is not unique to women. Many men also fall victim to the public misconceptions of how ‘they should look’ or fears of not lasting long enough during sex. However, in order to have enjoyable sex, both partners need to have confidence in themselves and each other. Hopefully remembering these simple, mantras will help you have a great sex.

  1. Remember Your Partner Fancies The Pants Off You

    sex, love, relationshipsThink about it, your partner must like you, your partner is attracted to you or they would not have indicated their desire to have sex with you! Sex is technically the finish line of dating or sexual human interactions. It is that point in which two(or more) people have indicated their desire to be with each other sexual ie get naked. If a person was to focus on that simple fact, it would free them from thinking they still had to try to present some immaculate ‘new’ person to their partner[s]. Your partner should have seen enough of you to know what they are trying to ‘get themselves into’. However, here comes the downside, if your lack of self-confidence has made you present a false image of yourself to your partner, then you will be even more body conscious because of his ‘lie’.

  2. Do Not Lie ‘too much‘ About How You Look

    ‘I think that whatever size or shape body you have, it’s important to embrace it and get down! The female body is something that’s so beautiful. I wish women would be proud of their bodies and not diss other women for being proud of theirs!’ Christina Aguilera

    women, body issues,

    Some more Cosmopolitan advice…

    We might not always look picture perfect, so try not to worry about not looking exactly like your filtered Instagram profile. However, for your own piece of mind be true to yourself, but also in consideration of your partner. Few of us always look as great as we hoped we did in the pictures we post on social media. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with appearing slightly different to your online profile. However, no one wants to be ‘catfished’. If the pictures you are using are 10 years old and you have changed a lot since then, let them know. Yet, this is more for your own benefit than theirs. A person’s confidence is often founded in their ability to live up to external expectations. Therefore, in this case, you are in control of those expectations. If your profile on tinder says you are 5’3 and you are actually 6’1 or your pictures are from when you were a professional 100m runner and fitness model but you have been working a bakery for 15 years since then, your new look might be a bit of a surprise for your partner. It is your own knowledge that you have significantly changed that is making you feel reluctant to get naked; as you know you will be revealing the ‘naked truth’. Therefore, simply be open with how you look now. If they do not want to be with you- then it is their loss. They have probably changed from their pictures too. No one is perfectly, but we can all be perfectly happy with who we are.

  3. Do Not Assume; Just Ask!

    Most people’s anxieties about themselves during sex and often in life, comes from overthinking, assuming and guessing; instead of simply asking! If you have something on your mind that troubles you, why not simply ask your partner if it is even an issue to them. Like it or not we do seek to be desirable to our partners, therefore, those insecurities we have about ourselves can be framed in how we think our partner sees us.  Instead of guessing, just ask them: Ie if you have put on some pounds, your partner might reply ‘I didn’t notice and do not care- I like you as you are’ or ‘Yes, I noticed and it does bother me!’. If their answer is the latter then you have to ask yourself something: do you want to ‘change’ your body based on their opinion? or do you simply say ‘I am happy as I am’ and have the confidence to not need them to be the foundation of your self-worth. Thus, realizing that you might not be right for each other.
    Having a free and open conversation is not exclusive to body image. The conversation may well delve into ‘likes and dislikes, sexual fantasies and how you both can improve the sexual experience for each other’. Having a better knowledge of each other will make you more comfortable, relaxed and confident when together sexually. Ie if you wanted to try something new and ‘kinky’ or simply get them to stop doing something you do not like, a quick chat before sex can help you connect properly during sex.

  4. You Do Not Have To Do Anything

    Confidence is not just about who you see in the mirror. It is also what you see that person doing and enjoying. Sometimes you and your partner will have different ideas on what is enjoyable during sex. Feeling like you have to pander to the needs of your partner can be a major cause of confidence issues. A person can develop insecurities when participating in any activity that their heart is not truly in. So we refer back to point 3- speak to your partner about your likes and in this case dislike. Knowing that the sexual experience you are about to engage in does not involve you doing something you do not like, will put you in a more positive frame of mind and lead to a more enjoyable and confident experience.

  5. If Your Partner Does Not Make You Feel Sexy, Do You Really Want To Be With Them?

    A person’s self-confidence should come from just that ‘themselves’. However, we do not live in a vacuum of our own thoughts and sex involves at least one other person. Therefore, here I speak as a man, your partner should facilitate your confidence with a foundation of reassuring and positive compliments. They should feel comfortable telling you what they love about your body; but also express that their attraction to you is not just physical. Hopefully, this will provide you with a safe place to reveal your naked and unashamed body and the knowledge that your body does not define you as a person. With that said, what if this is a Tinder ‘Netflix and chill’ scenario? Same rules apply, if he/she intends to seduce you, surely they should be affirming in your mind that they are sexually attracted to you? ie they should make you feel desired. With that said, it still reverts back to you having to have the self-belief, confidence or love for yourself to accept the compliment or simply not need it because ‘I like me!’.

In short, be confident- that’s sexy!  Be open, be free and be yourself. In the end, if your partner has vocalized their desire to sleep with you, all the things you are worried about are most likely meaningless to them and simply concerns in your own mind, not theirs. With that said, if you need tips and tricks to build up your confidence, by all means, read those cosmo articles. However, remember an open conversation with your partner will yield better advice on your sexual relationship than a random ‘sexperts’ generic advice. This post included! With that please check out our other Sex and Relationships articles.


Antoine Allen
Tweet us at @AntoineSpeakson
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