Sexual self-esteem: How do you deal with low sexual self-esteem?

Sexual self-esteem refers to how one feels about oneself as a sexual being. It encompasses aspects such as body image, sexual confidence, and feelings of attractiveness. Many individuals, irrespective of age, gender, or sexual orientation, face challenges with low sexual self-esteem at various points in their lives. Addressing this issue is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships and overall well-being. Here are strategies and insights to help boost sexual self-esteem:

Understanding the Root Cause:

  • Consider when you began to feel negative about your sexual self. Was it after a particular relationship? Due to comments from others? Identifying the cause can help address it directly.

Seek Professional Help:

  • Therapy, especially sex therapy or counselling, can be instrumental. Therapists provide a safe space to discuss feelings, challenge negative thought patterns, and develop a more positive sexual self-concept.

Educate Yourself:

  • Read about human sexuality, diverse body types, and relationship dynamics. Understanding that there’s a wide range of ‘normal’ can be liberating.


  • Open dialogue with your partner can help. Sharing insecurities and listening to theirs can foster understanding and intimacy. Remember, vulnerability can be a powerful connector.

Practice Self-compassion:

  • Would you speak to a friend the way you speak to yourself? Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding as you would someone you care about.

Body Positivity and Acceptance:

  • Regularly engage in activities that make you feel good about your body. This could be exercise, yoga, dance, or simply taking a walk. Celebrate what your body can do, not just how it looks.

Limit Exposure to Negative Media:

  • Constantly seeing ‘ideal’ bodies and sexual scenarios can distort reality. Limit exposure to media that makes you feel bad about yourself and seek out positive, diverse representations.

Develop a Stronger Sense of Self:

  • Engage in activities that bolster your self-worth outside of a sexual context. This could be pursuing a hobby, advancing in your career, or volunteering.

Avoid Comparison:

  • Everyone’s journey is unique. Comparing yourself to others can be a recipe for discontent. Focus on your growth and what makes you unique.

Reframe Negative Thoughts:

  • Practice cognitive restructuring by challenging and changing negative beliefs about your sexuality. For example, if you think, “I’m not attractive enough,” try to reframe it to, “Everyone has their own unique beauty, and so do I.”

Explore at Your Own Pace:

  • If you’re not ready for certain sexual activities, that’s okay. Respect your boundaries and ensure any partner does the same.

Educate Partners:

  • If you’re with someone who doesn’t understand or belittles your insecurities, it might be time to educate them or reevaluate the relationship.

Stay Informed About Sexual Health:

  • Knowledge about your sexual health can be empowering. Regular check-ups and discussions with a healthcare professional can boost confidence.

Meditation and Mindfulness:

  • These practices can help you stay connected with your body and the present moment, reducing anxiety and negative self-talk.

Build a Supportive Community:

  • Surround yourself with positive, understanding individuals. Support groups, both online and offline, can be beneficial.

Remember, everyone’s sexual journey is unique. It’s okay to seek help, take your time, and prioritize your well-being. With persistence, understanding, and support, it’s possible to rebuild and nurture healthy sexual self-esteem.

The Role of Sex Education

Sex education plays a critical role in an individual’s life, shaping their understanding of sexuality, relationships, and their own bodies. Its importance spans various aspects of human development and societal well-being. Here’s a closer look at the multifaceted role of sex education:

Promotes Healthy Relationships:

  • Sex education teaches about consent, boundaries, and respect in relationships. It provides the foundation for understanding mutual respect and helps prevent exploitative or abusive situations.

Reduces Risk of STIs and Unwanted Pregnancies:

  • Comprehensive sex education provides knowledge about contraception methods, safe sexual practices, and the risks and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This information can significantly reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancies and the spread of STIs.

Foster’s Body Positivity and Self-awareness:

  • Proper sex education covers topics such as puberty, bodily changes, and anatomy. It helps young individuals understand and appreciate their evolving bodies, leading to enhanced self-esteem and body confidence.

Breaks Myths and Misconceptions:

  • Adolescents and even adults often receive incorrect information about sexuality from peers, media, and sometimes family. A structured sex education program can correct these misconceptions, leading to a healthier understanding of sexuality.

Supports LGBTQ+ Inclusivity:

  • Modern sex education emphasizes inclusivity, covering topics related to different sexual orientations and gender identities. This can foster a more accepting and understanding society, as well as provide essential support to LGBTQ+ youth.

Develops Emotional and Social Skills:

  • Sex education isn’t just about the act itself. It includes discussions on emotions, relationships, communication, and decision-making, helping individuals develop essential life skills.

Prevents Sexual Abuse:

  • By teaching children and adolescents about boundaries, proper terminology for body parts, and what constitutes inappropriate behaviour, sex education can empower them to identify and report instances of abuse.

Supports Overall Mental Health:

  • Addressing topics like self-esteem, peer pressure, and body image can help students navigate the challenges of adolescence and adulthood, potentially reducing feelings of isolation, depression, or anxiety related to sexuality.

Facilitates Open Dialogue:

  • With a foundation in sex education, individuals are more likely to engage in open conversations about their feelings, concerns, and questions regarding sexuality with peers, partners, and health professionals.

Empowers Informed Decision Making:

  • Armed with accurate knowledge, individuals can make decisions about their own bodies and relationships based on informed choices rather than misinformation.

Sex education is an integral part of human development, providing knowledge and skills that influence not only sexual health but also interpersonal relationships, self-awareness, and overall well-being. In an ever-evolving society, it remains crucial to adapt and enhance sex education curricula to address contemporary challenges and needs.

Signs of low sexual self-esteem

Low sexual self-esteem can manifest in various ways, influenced by personal experiences, cultural background, and individual beliefs. Here are some signs that might indicate an individual is struggling with low sexual self-esteem:

Avoidance of Intimacy:

  • A reluctance to engage in sexual activities, avoiding intimate situations, or feeling extreme discomfort at the thought of being intimate with another person.

Negative Self-talk:

  • Engaging in consistent negative self-talk related to one’s body or sexual performance, such as “I’m not attractive enough” or “I’m not good in bed.”

Overemphasis on Performance:

  • An excessive focus on sexual performance rather than enjoying intimacy and connection can indicate underlying insecurities.

Seeking Excessive Reassurance:

  • Constantly seeking validation or reassurance from a partner regarding attractiveness, performance, or desirability.

Avoidance of Nakedness:

  • Feeling extreme discomfort or shame when undressed, even when alone, or avoiding mirrors when unclothed.

Comparing with Others:

  • Obsessively comparing oneself to others in terms of physical appearance, sexual experiences, or desirability, leads to feelings of inadequacy.

Reluctance to Discuss Sexuality:

  • Avoiding or feeling discomfort when discussing sex, boundaries, or desires, even with a trusted partner.

Experiencing Guilt or Shame After Intimacy:

  • Feeling consistent guilt, shame, or regret after sexual activities, is not related to moral or ethical concerns.

Settling for Less in Relationships:

  • Staying in relationships where one’s sexual needs and boundaries aren’t respected due to feeling undeserving of better.

Fear of Rejection:

  • Excessive fear of rejection or criticism related to sexual performance or desirability, often leading to avoidance of intimate situations.

Hyper-focus on Physical Flaws:

  • Zooming in on perceived physical flaws, believing they make one less sexually appealing, even if these flaws are minor or common.


  • Engaging in behaviours to mask insecurities, like bragging about sexual conquests, changing one’s appearance frequently, or exaggerating sexual experiences.

Feeling Detached During Intimacy:

  • Feeling emotionally distant or disconnected during sexual activities, perhaps as a defence mechanism against potential criticism or vulnerability.

Reluctance to Explore:

  • Avoiding new experiences or sticking strictly to specific routines in fear of being judged or exposed as inadequate.

If someone recognizes multiple signs within themselves, it might be helpful to consider seeking professional guidance. Therapists or counsellors, especially those specializing in sexuality, can provide tools and insights to address and improve sexual self-esteem.

How can I be more open sexually?

Becoming more open sexually is a personal journey that involves understanding oneself, addressing insecurities, and building trust and communication with partners. Here are some steps you can take to foster sexual openness:


  • Begin by understanding your current sexual beliefs, boundaries, desires, and inhibitions. Consider any past experiences or teachings that may have influenced these feelings.

Educate Yourself:

  • Read books, attend workshops, or take online courses on human sexuality. Knowledge can foster confidence and break down barriers created by misconceptions.

Open Communication:

  • Be honest with your partner(s) about your desires, boundaries, and insecurities. A supportive partner can be instrumental in helping you explore and feel more open sexually.

Take Baby Steps:

  • You don’t need to rush into anything. Start with smaller acts that push your boundaries slightly, and as you become more comfortable, gradually expand your horizons.

Seek Professional Guidance:

  • Sex therapists or counsellors can provide a safe space to discuss your feelings, answer questions, and offer strategies to become more sexually open.

Practice Self-compassion:

  • Understand that everyone has different comfort levels and boundaries. It’s okay to have reservations. Treat yourself with kindness and give yourself time to grow.

Join Supportive Communities:

  • Engaging with inclusive, sex-positive communities (online or offline) can provide a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation or shame.

Safe Exploration:

  • If you’re considering trying new experiences, always prioritize safety. This includes both physical safety (using protection, knowing the risks) and emotional safety (ensuring mutual consent and respect).


  • Writing down your feelings, fantasies, or experiences can provide clarity and help in processing any conflicting emotions.

Educate about Consent:

  • Understand and respect the principle of consent. It’s a foundational aspect of any healthy sexual relationship.

Stay Open-minded:

  • Be receptive to learning and understanding different aspects of sexuality, even if they don’t align with your personal desires. This can foster an environment of acceptance and reduce self-judgment.

Trust Your Instincts:

  • Always listen to your gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to step back.

Manage Expectations:

  • Understand that being sexually open doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy every new experience. It’s about exploration and understanding oneself better.

Remember, sexual openness is about personal growth, understanding, and enjoyment. Everyone’s journey is unique, so it’s essential to move at your own pace and define openness in a way that aligns with your comfort and values.

What makes someone sexually confident?

Sexual confidence is a multifaceted attribute that stems from self-assuredness, not just in the context of intimate actions, but also in one’s understanding of, and comfort with, their own sexuality and body. Here are some factors and traits that contribute to sexual confidence:


  • Recognizing and understanding one’s desires, boundaries, and sexual identity. This also means being in tune with one’s body and its reactions.

Positive Body Image:

  • Embracing and accepting one’s body, irrespective of societal beauty standards. This acceptance leads to a feeling of comfort and confidence during intimate encounters.

Open Communication:

  • Being able to express desires, set boundaries, and discuss preferences with a partner without fear of judgment.

Knowledge and Education:

  • Understanding the basics of human anatomy, sexual health, and varied aspects of sexuality helps in feeling prepared and informed.

Experience and Exploration:

  • While it’s not solely about the number of experiences, exploring and understanding what one enjoys can foster confidence.

Emotional Security:

  • Being in a supportive and trusting relationship where mutual respect is present can boost confidence. It provides a safe space for expression without fear of rejection.

Self-esteem Outside of Sexuality:

  • Confidence in other areas of life can translate into sexual confidence. A sense of accomplishment, self-worth, and personal success can boost overall self-perception.

Good Sexual Health:

  • Regularly attending to one’s sexual health, such as routine check-ups, can provide peace of mind and a sense of ownership over one’s body.

The practice of Consent:

  • Recognizing the importance of mutual consent and respecting boundaries instils a sense of trust and confidence in both oneself and one’s partner.

Letting Go of Perfection:

  • Accepting that sexual encounters won’t always be perfect, and being able to laugh off awkward moments, shows confidence.

Overcoming Past Negative Experiences:

  • Addressing and healing from past traumas or negative experiences can greatly contribute to building confidence in future intimate encounters.

Being Present:

  • Engaging fully in the moment, rather than being lost in anxieties or overthinking, can enhance enjoyment and self-assurance.

Flexibility and Adaptability:

  • Being open to new experiences or changes and adapting to them with ease, rather than feeling flustered.

Remember, sexual confidence is an evolving journey. Some days might feel better than others. It’s crucial to prioritize personal well-being and comfort above all else. If someone feels they’re struggling with sexual confidence, seeking support, whether through trusted friends, partners, or professionals, can be beneficial.

Why have I lost my sexual confidence?

Loss of sexual confidence can be influenced by a myriad of factors. Some are temporary or situational, while others might be deep-rooted or chronic. If you’re feeling a dip in your sexual confidence, it might be due to one or more of the following reasons:

Physical Changes:

  • Aging, gaining weight, or undergoing significant changes like pregnancy or surgery can impact one’s body image, leading to decreased confidence.

Hormonal Fluctuations:

  • Changes in hormone levels, such as during menopause, post-pregnancy, or due to certain medical conditions or medications, can affect libido and self-perception.

Past Traumatic Experiences:

  • Past experiences of sexual assault, abuse, or even negative or coercive sexual experiences can have lasting impacts on sexual confidence.

Medical Issues:

  • Conditions like erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, chronic pain, or illnesses can directly affect one’s ability to engage in or enjoy sexual activities.

Mental Health Challenges:

  • Depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, or other mental health issues can significantly influence self-esteem and sexual confidence.

Relationship Struggles:

  • Issues in a relationship, such as infidelity, lack of trust, or poor communication, can erode intimacy and sexual confidence.

Sexual Performance Anxiety:

  • Past experiences of perceived “poor performance” or fear of future episodes can lead to a vicious cycle of anxiety and avoidance.

Cultural or Religious Beliefs:

  • Being raised in an environment that views sexuality negatively or with guilt can shape one’s self-perception and comfort with their own sexuality.

Comparisons with Media and Society:

  • Constant exposure to unrealistic standards of beauty and sexuality in media can make individuals feel inadequate or less confident.

External Stressors:

  • Situational factors like work stress, financial worries, or family problems can indirectly influence one’s libido and sexual self-image.

Lack of Experience or Knowledge:

  • Feeling that one lacks experience or knowledge about sexuality can result in hesitation or insecurity during intimate encounters.

It’s essential to note that fluctuations in sexual confidence are common and can be experienced by anyone, regardless of gender, age, or background. Understanding the underlying reason(s) is the first step to addressing the issue. If you’re struggling, consider seeking professional support from therapists or counsellors specializing in sexuality, as they can provide coping strategies, resources, and a non-judgmental space to explore your feelings.

How do you fix sexual insecurity?

Addressing sexual insecurity requires self-awareness, patience, and oftentimes, a combination of personal effort and external support. Here are some steps you can take to work on and overcome sexual insecurity:

Acknowledge Your Feelings:

  • Accept that you feel insecure without judging yourself. Self-awareness is the starting point for any change.

Open Communication:

  • Talk to your partner about your insecurities. Honest discussions can build trust, understanding, and intimacy. A supportive partner can reassure you and collaborate on ways to enhance your shared experiences.

Educate Yourself:

  • Knowledge is empowering. Read books, attend workshops, or explore trusted online resources to understand sexuality, different forms of intimacy, and human anatomy better. This can help you feel more prepared and confident.

Professional Guidance:

  • Sex therapists or counsellors can offer expert advice, coping techniques, and therapeutic interventions tailored to your unique concerns.

Positive Affirmations:

  • Counteract negative self-talk by reminding yourself of your worth and qualities. Over time, positive affirmations can reshape self-perception.

Practice Self-compassion:

  • Understand that everyone has insecurities, and it’s okay to feel vulnerable. Treat yourself with the same kindness and patience that you would offer to a dear friend.

Avoid Unhealthy Comparisons:

  • Each person’s sexual journey is unique. Comparing your experiences or body to others’—especially to idealized versions seen in media—can exacerbate insecurities.

Focus on Emotional Intimacy:

  • Enhancing emotional connections and intimacy can often pave the way for improved sexual intimacy.

Take Your Time:

  • Don’t rush into situations if you’re not ready. It’s okay to move at your own pace, exploring your comfort zones gradually.

Seek Safe and Supportive Environments:

  • Engage in communities or groups that are inclusive and sex-positive. Such environments can validate your feelings and offer a sense of belonging.

Body Positivity Practices:

  • Engage in activities that make you appreciate and love your body. This could be through exercise, mindfulness practices, or body-positive workshops.

Educate About Consent:

  • Understanding and practising the principle of consent can offer a foundation of trust and respect, helping reduce anxieties related to vulnerability.

Reframe Past Experiences:

  • If past experiences contribute to your current insecurities, consider working with a therapist to reframe or process these events in a way that diminishes their hold on your present.

Engage in Mindfulness and Relaxation:

  • Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation can help manage performance anxieties and keep you anchored in the present moment.

Remember, addressing sexual insecurity is a journey, not a destination. It’s natural to have moments of doubt or discomfort along the way. What’s crucial is the commitment to self-improvement and seeking the resources and support necessary to foster a healthy sense of self and intimacy.

How can a woman increase sexual pleasure?

Increasing sexual pleasure is a multi-faceted journey that combines physical, emotional, and psychological factors. For women, it often involves understanding their bodies, fostering open communication with their partner(s), and addressing any barriers to pleasure. Here are some strategies and tips that women can explore:

Understand Your Anatomy:

  • Familiarize yourself with your body, especially the clitoris, which is a central hub of pleasure for many women. The more you know about your anatomy, the better equipped you are to explore what feels good.


  • Masturbation is a healthy way to discover what brings you pleasure. It’s also an avenue for sexual expression and can enhance sexual experiences with partners.

Invest in Sex Toys:

  • Vibrators, dildos, and other toys can provide varied sensations and can be a fun way to explore solo or with a partner.


  • Ensuring adequate lubrication can prevent discomfort and enhance pleasure. Water-based, silicone-based, or oil-based lubricants can be chosen based on personal preference and activity.

Open Communication with Partner(s):

  • Talk about your desires, boundaries, and fantasies. Let your partner know what feels good and what doesn’t.


  • Extended foreplay can heighten arousal and enhance pleasure. This includes kissing, touching, oral sex, and other forms of intimate contact.

Try Different Positions:

  • Switching up sexual positions can provide different sensations and can also be an avenue to discover what feels most pleasurable.

Mindfulness and Presence:

  • Being present during sexual activity, focusing on the sensations and connection, can amplify pleasure. Consider trying mindfulness exercises or techniques during intimacy.

Pelvic Floor Exercises:

  • Kegel exercises, which involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, can enhance sexual sensation and orgasm intensity.

Address Psychological Barriers:

  • Anxiety, stress, or past traumas can impact sexual pleasure. Consider seeking therapy or counselling if these factors are affecting your ability to enjoy intimacy.


  • Explore different forms of touch, pressures, and rhythms. Incorporate fantasies or role-playing if they appeal to you.

Educate Yourself:

  • Read books, attend workshops, or take courses on female sexuality. The more informed you are, the more empowered you may feel.

Hormonal Balance:

  • Hormonal changes, due to menstrual cycles, childbirth, or menopause, can affect libido and pleasure. If you suspect a hormonal imbalance, consider consulting a medical professional.

Prioritize Your Pleasure:

  • Ensure that your sexual encounters value and prioritize your pleasure. It’s okay to advocate for your needs and desires.

Safe and Consensual Practices:

  • Ensuring safety and mutual consent can create a foundation of trust, allowing you to relax and enjoy the experience fully.

Ultimately, the journey to enhanced sexual pleasure is highly individual. What works for one woman might not work for another. It’s essential to move at your own pace, listen to your body, and prioritize your well-being and comfort.

Tips to increase sexual self-esteem

Here are some concise tips to help boost sexual self-esteem:

Practice Self-awareness and Self-compassion:

  • Regularly check in with your feelings and beliefs about your sexuality. Practice self-kindness and remind yourself that nobody is perfect. Treat yourself with the same love and understanding you’d offer to a dear friend.

Educate Yourself:

  • Learn about the broad spectrum of human sexuality, bodies, and relationships. Recognizing that there’s a wide range of ‘normal’ can be incredibly reassuring.

Focus on Body Positivity:

  • Engage in activities that make you feel connected to and positive about your body, whether it’s through exercise, dance, or simply appreciating your body’s functionality.

Avoid Negative Media Consumption:

  • Be selective about the media you consume. Avoid images or messages that perpetuate unrealistic standards of beauty or sexuality. Instead, seek out diverse and positive representations.

Engage in Open Communication:

  • Talk openly with your partner(s) about your feelings, insecurities, desires, and boundaries. Mutual understanding can foster intimacy and boost confidence.

Limit Comparisons:

  • Avoid comparing your body or sexual experiences with others. Everyone’s journey is unique; cherish your own path and growth.

Challenge Negative Thoughts:

  • When you catch yourself in a spiral of negative self-talk, challenge those beliefs. Ask yourself if they are genuinely true if they’re the worst-case scenario, and what positive angles you haven’t considered.

Prioritize Sexual Health:

  • Regular health check-ups and open conversations with healthcare professionals about any concerns can give you confidence and peace of mind.

Experiment with What Makes You Feel Good:

  • Take the time to discover what you enjoy, whether it’s certain types of clothing, lingerie, or even sensual practices like massage.

Seek Professional Guidance:

  • If your feelings of low sexual self-esteem persist, consider seeking out a therapist or counsellor specializing in sexuality. They can provide expert insights and coping mechanisms.

Building sexual self-esteem is a journey, not a destination. It requires ongoing effort, patience, and self-love, but the rewards in terms of personal well-being and relationship satisfaction are well worth the effort.

Tricks for increasing sexual self-esteem

Improving sexual self-esteem requires a combination of understanding oneself, addressing underlying issues, and adopting practices that boost confidence both in and outside the bedroom. Here are some tricks and strategies to elevate sexual self-esteem:


  • Spend time understanding your body and what brings you pleasure. This can be done through self-exploration, reading, or even attending workshops.

Positive Affirmations:

  • Incorporate positive affirmations into your daily routine. Over time, these positive messages can counteract negative self-talk and beliefs.

Educate Yourself:

  • Knowledge about sexual health, anatomy, and pleasure can demystify many aspects of sexuality, thereby boosting confidence.

Professional Counseling:

  • If deep-seated issues or past traumas affect your sexual self-esteem, consider seeing a therapist or counsellor specializing in sexual health.

Practice Good Hygiene:

  • Taking care of your body and feeling fresh can boost confidence during intimate moments.

Dress Confidently:

  • Wear what makes you feel confident and sexy. This doesn’t necessarily mean lingerie – it could be anything that makes you feel good about yourself.

Engage in Physical Activity:

  • Exercise can boost self-esteem by improving body image and releasing endorphins, which enhance mood.

Open Communication with Partners:

  • Discuss your insecurities and seek reassurance. A supportive partner can help you see yourself in a more positive light.

Limit Negative Influences:

  • Reduce exposure to unrealistic standards of beauty and sexuality in media. This can help in avoiding harmful comparisons.

Celebrate Small Wins:

  • Acknowledge and celebrate moments when you feel confident or when you’ve overcome a particular insecurity.

Set Boundaries:

  • Clearly define what you’re comfortable with and stick to it. Knowing and asserting your boundaries can empower you.

Join Supportive Communities:

  • Surrounding yourself with body-positive, sex-positive, and supportive communities can reinforce positive beliefs about yourself.

Educate About Consent:

  • Understanding and practising consent can empower you, making you feel more in control during intimate situations.

Engage in Self-Care:

  • Regular self-care rituals, be it a spa day, reading, or even meditation, can help you feel more connected to and appreciative of your body.

Practice Mindfulness:

  • Techniques like meditation can help you stay present during intimate moments, reducing anxiety and boosting confidence.

Seek Feedback:

  • If you’re comfortable, ask trusted partners about what they appreciate or adore about you during intimate moments. This feedback can serve as a confidence booster.

Remember that building sexual self-esteem is a journey and not a destination. It’s okay to have moments of doubt, but consistently practicing these strategies can contribute to a more positive and empowered sexual self-image over time.

Example of increased sexual self-esteem

Certainly, an illustrative example can help contextualize the abstract concepts surrounding sexual self-esteem. Here’s a hypothetical scenario showcasing the journey of someone increasing their sexual self-esteem:

Maya’s Journey to Increased Sexual Self-Esteem

Maya, a 28-year-old woman, had always felt a bit insecure about her body. Influenced by unrealistic media portrayals of beauty and a past relationship where her partner was occasionally critical, she had developed a skewed perception of her own attractiveness and worth in intimate settings.

Step 1: Acknowledgment

  • Maya first acknowledged her feelings of insecurity. She realized she often avoided intimacy or hesitated to try new things with her current partner due to fear of judgment.

Step 2: Seeking Support

  • She confided in a close friend who suggested she might benefit from counselling. Maya decided to see a therapist specializing in body image and sexuality.

Step 3: Self-Exploration

  • Under the therapist’s guidance, Maya began to explore her body in private, understanding what made her feel good and where her erogenous zones were.

Step 4: Education

  • She also began reading books about female sexuality, understanding the vast range of normal and how diverse real bodies are.

Step 5: Positive Affirmations

  • Maya incorporated daily affirmations into her morning routine, like “I am beautiful,” “I am deserving of pleasure,” and “My worth is not determined by anyone else’s opinion.”

Step 6: Open Communication

  • She opened up to her current partner, Tom, about her insecurities. Tom was supportive and reassured her of her attractiveness and worth. They both decided to attend a couple’s workshop to enhance their communication and intimacy.

Step 7: Embracing Her Body

  • Maya took up a dance class, which made her feel more connected to and appreciative of her body. The physical activity also boosted her overall self-esteem.

Step 8: Setting Boundaries

  • With increased self-awareness, Maya became more assertive in expressing her boundaries during intimate moments. This made her feel empowered and in control.

Step 9: Celebrating Wins

  • After a particularly intimate evening with Tom, where Maya felt present and confident, she journaled about the experience, noting down her feelings and celebrating her progress.

Step 10: Continuous Growth

  • Maya continued her therapy sessions, gradually unwinding many of the negative beliefs she held about herself. With time, her sexual self-esteem flourished, and she found herself more open to exploration and enjoying intimacy without the shackles of self-doubt.

This example illustrates a combination of personal reflection, external support, and actionable steps, leading to increased sexual self-esteem. Maya’s journey is unique to her, but the steps she took can be adapted by many to fit their individual paths.

How do you deal with low sexual self-esteem?
How do you deal with low sexual self-esteem?

Frequently Asked Questions About sexual self-esteem

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about sexual self-esteem:

  1. What is sexual self-esteem?

Sexual self-esteem refers to how one values themselves as a sexual being. It encompasses feelings, attitudes, and beliefs about one’s attractiveness, worthiness for intimacy, and capability in sexual situations.

  1. How does sexual self-esteem affect relationships?

High sexual self-esteem can enhance intimacy, foster open communication, and improve overall relationship satisfaction. In contrast, low sexual self-esteem might lead to avoidance of intimacy, reduced satisfaction, or heightened relationship conflicts.

  1. Can past experiences influence sexual self-esteem?

Yes, past experiences, especially negative ones like rejection, criticism, or trauma, can impact one’s perception of their worth and desirability in intimate situations.

  1. How is body image related to sexual self-esteem?

Body image is how one perceives their physical appearance. If someone is unhappy with their body, it can impact their confidence in sexual situations, leading to lowered sexual self-esteem.

  1. What are the signs of low sexual self-esteem?

Avoidance of intimacy, excessive self-criticism, comparing oneself negatively to others, difficulty in setting boundaries, and discomfort in discussing or exploring sexual desires can all be signs.

  1. How can I boost my sexual self-esteem?

Strategies include self-awareness, open communication, education about sexuality, seeking professional guidance, practising positive affirmations, setting boundaries, and celebrating personal victories in intimate settings.

  1. Do men and women experience sexual self-esteem differently?

While the core concept remains the same, societal pressures and stereotypes might affect genders differently. Men might face pressures related to performance, while women might face more concerns related to appearance. However, everyone’s experience is individual.

  1. Can therapy help improve sexual self-esteem?

Yes, therapy, especially with a professional specializing in sexuality or relationships, can provide tools, insights, and coping mechanisms to address and improve sexual self-esteem.

  1. Is it normal to have fluctuations in sexual self-esteem?

Absolutely. Just as general self-esteem can fluctuate based on life experiences, so can sexual self-esteem. It’s important to address significant or prolonged declines.

  1. How can partners support each other’s sexual self-esteem?

Open communication, reassurance, understanding of each other’s boundaries, and mutual respect can create an environment where both partners feel valued and confident.

These FAQs offer a snapshot of the broader topic of sexual self-esteem, providing clarity on common concerns and guiding individuals toward a more empowered sense of self in intimate settings.


Low sexual self-esteem can significantly impact one’s well-being, intimacy, and relationships. While it’s influenced by various factors – from past experiences and societal standards to personal beliefs – it’s essential to remember that everyone has the right to a fulfilling and confident intimate life.

Combating Your Low Sexual Self-Esteem. Dealing with low sexual self-esteem is a multifaceted journey. Self-awareness is the first step, acknowledging feelings without judgment and understanding their roots. Communication, both with oneself and with partners, plays a crucial role in bridging gaps of understanding and seeking reassurance. Education, both in terms of sexual knowledge and self-awareness, acts as a powerful tool, dispelling myths and offering clarity.

Further, the guidance of professionals, such as therapists or counsellors, can provide tailored interventions and coping techniques. Practical steps, like incorporating positive affirmations, engaging in physical activity, practising self-care, setting boundaries, and celebrating small victories, can build a foundation of positive self-perception over time.

Low sexual self-esteem is not a life sentence. With persistence, support, and dedication, one can rewrite their narrative, transitioning from self-doubt to empowerment. Embracing oneself fully, both in and out of intimate settings, paves the way for richer, more connected experiences and a healthier sense of self-worth.

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