These positions do double-duty bringing you pleasure and boosting your confidence at the same time.

By Gabrielle Kassel
October 13, 2020
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Ever been very in the mood to have sex… until you found a big ol' zit volcano on your butt? Or caught sight of your period bloat in the mirror? Or felt a rush of self-consciousness at the thought of stripping down with someone new?

Sadly, most people (of any gender, though specifically women and non-binary folks) have — for one reason or another — been cock-blocked by lack of confidence or insecurity, according to Sadie Allison, Ph.D, founder of Ticklekitty.com an online sex toy boutique and author of The Mystery of the Undercover Clitoris. "Society just doesn't support non-men people embracing their naked bodies in their natural and normal state," she says. The consequence of this is that low-confidence often rears its stubborn head right before, during, or after hanky-panky. And the sad part is that it can get in the way of experiencing the sexual pleasure and satisfaction you deserve, she says.

Luckily, confidence can be cultivated both in and out of the bedroom, according to Allison. "Self-exploration, learning what tickles your fancy, and a little bit of risk-taking can do wonders for a wounded sense of self," she says. And that's where the below sex positions for low confidence come in. These moves work double-duty bringing you heaps of pleasure while also helping you feel like the hot AF babe that you are.

Solo Shadow Shower

"The best way to be comfortable with your body in a sexual way is to get comfortable with your body in a non-sexual way first," says Texas-based sex educator Goody Howard. For that, she recommends something she calls "shadow showering."

This is less of a sex position for low confidence and more of a way to get more comfortable with your body. Basically, it entails showering in the dark. As you soap and suds your body, Howard recommends taking note of the ways your body jiggles, rolls, and shifts. "Feeling (not seeing) your body allows you to encounter your body in a nurturing way," she says. Hey, you are cleaning it, after all.

Note: If even washing your own body makes you uncomfortable, Howard recommends working with a trauma-informed mental health care provider. The same goes if thoughts of your body consume more than fifty percent of your daily thoughts. (FYI: Here's how to find a trauma-informed therapist if you need one.)

R-Rated Reflection

"Knowing your body is your first step for everything, and knowing your body includes looking at your body," says Allison. So, before, you pet your (ahem) cat to make it purr, marvel at it! Grab a hand mirror, spread your legs and lips, and take a good, long look, suggests Allison.

Where does the skin gather and wrinkle? Where along your lips does the hair stop growing? What direction do the follicles sprout where pubes do grow? How does the color of your vulva change? How much of your clitoral glans (that's the external bulb) is covered by your clitoral hood (that's the flap of skin that acts as a clit coat)? These are all things you should know about your body.

Fair warning: Looking at your own bits can also be arousing. So, if you feel called to do so, don't hesitate to grab some lube and touch, tug, and tease away! The lube will create a slick look that can be visually arousing, as well as reduce the friction between your paws and privates, says Howard.

Solo Sex

Babes, it's going to be tough AF being comfortable with someone else touching you if you're not comfortable touching your own body. "A lot of discomfort during partnered play comes from not knowing what you like sexually, not knowing how your body is going to respond, and not knowing what to ask for," says Allison. That's why she recommends touching yourself as a precursor to trying any partnered sex positions for low confidence.

Start by setting the scene, suggests Howard. "Play music that gets you in the mood. Light candles that smell good to you. Put on underwear that makes you feel sexy." If you have a go-to vibrator, put it within reach and pull out your favorite lube (and arousal oil).

Have a go-to position for solo play? Start there. Otherwise, Allison recommends touching yourself while on your back. "Try running a finger along the folds of your vulva, and learning its shape," she says. "You don't have to penetrate yourself or rub yourself to the point of orgasm; you just want to explore." (Related: How to Finger Yourself, If You Want to)

Another option: Flip onto your stomach and grind yourself against your hand. (Your knuckles are your BFF here.) You can also give any of these other masturbation positions a try.

Eric Jeon

Mutual Masturbation

Full transparency: If you're low on self-confidence, mutual masturbation could be a hit or a miss.

If you're comfortable touching yourself, but not (yet!) comfortable with someone else touching you, it's can be great. The intimacy of sitting beside your partner and stroking your bits while they stroke theirs, can help you get comfortable being naked in the same room as someone, according to Allison. (See More: A Handy Guide to Mutual Masturbation)

If, however, the thought of being on ~full display~ racks your nerves, mutual masturbation is probably not within your comfort zone just yet. In this case, Allison recommends exploring mutual masturbation from a distance, during a neck-up FaceTime session.

"This allows you to experience pleasure with your partner, without having to think about what your chest tissue looks like or how your hips are moving, or what your belly is doing," she says.

If you go the tech-route, just know that many platforms (to name a few: Zoom, Facebook, Instagram, and Skype) explicitly forbid you from using their platforms to share explicit content. So, if you're planning to let your camera travel, stick to FaceTime (which doesn't have said rules). Oh, and make sure to test out your lighting and camera location ahead of time to find the angle that makes you feel as sexy as you are. (Pro tip: Front lighting and high-up cameras are your friends.)

Dry Humping

Grinding. Bumping, and pumping. Clothed sex. Whatever you call it, dry humping proves that having sex with your clothes on can be just as hot as bare-bummed sex. And, for folks who are struggling with confidence in the bedroom, it's an A+ starting point, according to Allison. "It's an amazing way to engage erotically without having penetrative sex," she says. "And because you're keeping your clothes on, you automatically remove an element that can create those low-confidence feelings." (See: Foreplay Ideas That Are Even Hotter Than Penetrative Sex)

FYI: Even though this isn't a penetrative sex position for low confidence, orgasms are very much on the table. In fact, an orgasm could be even more likely during dry humping than during penetrative play. After all, nearly 70 percent of people with vaginas require clitoral stimulation to climax. While it's entirely possible for your clit to receive love during penetrative intercourse (see: The Best Sex Positions For People Who Like Clitoral Stimulation), clitoral stimulation is the whole damn point of dry humping.

Word of warning: Your clothing choice can either enhance or detract from the experience. If you like a lot of friction and pressure, jeans, corduroys, and shorts will enhance pleasure. But, if your bits are sensitive, aim for a slippery material such as silk or satin.

Rider On Top

If you're struggling to love your bod, hopping on top and riding your partner may seem like the worst position to try. But because Rider On Top gives the receiving partner complete control of the rhythm, depth, and speed, Howard says you can really tweak the position for your benefit. How? With the help of a blindfold like this Basic Leather Blindfold (Buy it, $34, babeland.com).

"The addition is a win-win," she says. For you, the blindfold guarantees that your partner isn't inspecting your bod. (For the record: If you're riding them, they probs would be in pure awe of the view regardless.) For them, it heightens the sensation. "Taking away one sense causes the other four to go into high gear," says Howard. Meaning, it can actually make the physical sensation of being ridden more intense.

"If you typically like to have sex with the lights off, try keeping the lights on while you ride your blind-folded partner," suggests Allison. According to her, this sex position for low confidence is a good stepping stone for eventually feeling comfortable having sex with lights on.

Emma Darvick

Chair Rider

With a partner you already trust? Howard recommends Chair Rider. Also known as Seated Rider On Top or Lap Dance, this face-to-face position that plops the penetrating partner on a chair, and has the receiving partner straddle their lap.

"When you're with a partner you already feel comfortable with, maintaining eye contact can make you feel safe and sexy," says Howard. Plus, if your partner's eyes are locked on yours, you know they're not looking at the parts of your body that might make you self-conscious. Also, because your torsos are pressed together and faces are eye level, there's not much of your body on display for them to peep.

To spice up this position even more, reverse it, add in nipple clamps, a wand vibrator, or have either (or both!) partners pop in a butt plug.

Ana Celaya

Doggy Style

Doggy style is *the* position for folks who are feeling self-conscious about their bods, according to Howard. "It gives you amazing access to each other's genitals, while also hiding the entire front of your body."

She adds: During doggy-style, the penetrating partner is doing most of the motion, "so if you lack confidence about how you perform during sex, this position can completely eliminate that."

Once you begin to feel more confident, considering propping a full-length mirror up in front of the bed. "The mirror will allow you to see yourself giving pleasure, which can be a real confidence boost," says Allison.

Emma Darvick

Spooning Sex

Spooning sex can be super comforting and intimate, and because you and your partner are pressed right against each other, there's less space for their eyes to roam around, making this a great sex position for low confidence. (See: Why the Spooning Sex Position Is Actually Incredible)

The rear (or big) spoon usually does the penetrating — which can happen via finger, dildo, or penis, vaginally or anally — but both partners have the ability to take control of the motion in this position, Megan Fleming, Ph.D., sex therapist and educator, previously told Shape. This means it's great for if either partner isn't confident yet on exactly what speed or pressure the other person likes. Not to mention, it can strengthen your emotional bond or comfortability with your partner, potentially helping you feel more confident with them down the line.

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