Ready to Slay Your Shoulds?

July 14,2020

Welcome to Week 1 of the Slay Your Shoulds challenge! 

In case you missed the announcement last week, we’re spending the month of July breaking down the most common blockages around sex. 

Specifically, we’re dismantling your ideas of what you think you “should” and “shouldn’t” do when it comes to sex. 

We all have these ideas of what we’re supposed to do during sex, but when we’re so focused on what we should do, we neglect what we actually want to do. And we wind up having a sex life that doesn’t feel very authentic – or very fun! 

So last week I sent out a survey, asking you to identify your “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. I wanted to get a sense of what our community was struggling with the most. 

After reviewing the responses, I found four “shoulds” that were much more common than the rest of the bunch, so I’m going to spend the rest of the month tackling them one by one. 

You’ll get an inside peek at the most common blockages people have in the bedroom. (Odds are that you’ll relate to many – if not all – of them!)

And you’ll also get a specific technique for slaying that “should”, so that it doesn’t get in the way of your sex life anymore. 

So let’s get started with…

Sexual Should #4: “I Should Be Confident In The Bedroom”

This “should” is a funny one because I agree with it! I believe that every person deserves to feel confident in the bedroom.

But for most people, “confidence” in the bedroom feels unattainable. 

A survey respondent wrote, “I’m so awkward and embarrassed in the bedroom that I can’t even picture myself being confident. It feels like the only way to be confident is to pretend. Like I’d have to just act like a porn star in the bedroom, instead of myself.”

If you struggle with confidence in the bedroom, you may be putting a ton of pressure on yourself to be perfectly confident in this really inauthentic way. And that probably feels really icky! 

But I think of confidence in a different way…

Confidence is not a permanent state of being. 

It’s a process

I certainly don’t feel confident every single time Xander and I have sex . Here are some of the thoughts that go through my head on a regular basis:

I’m guessing you can probably relate to some of these, right?!

I don’t have perfect confidence.

But I don’t think perfect confidence needs to be the goal. (I don’t think perfect anything needs to be the goal…)

Instead, I think about confidence as something that I’m always working on.

So today I want to share with you how to slay this “should.”

Whenever you find yourself having a self-conscious, unconfident thought, ask yourself this question:

“What is this thought inviting me to explore?”

Here’s the crazy thing about unconfident thoughts…

Even though they can feel really painful in the moment, they’re often trying to teach us something, or point out a way that we can grow. 

That might sound weird, so let me walk you through an example from my own life. 

I had a period in my life when I was thinking self-conscious thoughts about my body almost every time I had sex. “Do my thighs look huge? Is my love handle right in Xander’s eyeline? Is that cellulite?”

It was awful in the moment to have these kinds of thoughts, but I do think these thoughts were asking something of me…

… they were inviting me to explore having a better relationship with my body.

All of my self-conscious thoughts were about my body. That wasn’t a coincidence! 

I got to a certain point where I realized, “I’m tired of beating up my body in my head instead of enjoying being intimate with my partner.” 

So I made the decision to start working on developing a better relationship with my body. 

That’s a story for another email, but I’m at the point now where self-conscious thoughts about my body are so much more rare, and the ones that I do have don’t feel anywhere near as powerful as they used to. 

Again, it sucked to be criticising my body in my head during sex. It was very easy to get upset with myself for thinking these thoughts. I could have just been stuck in this endless loop, thinking critical thoughts, getting mad at myself for thinking critical thoughts, and feeling my confidence go down the drain.

But my path to developing true confidence was to get curious about those thoughts instead. To actually invite them in and examine them. To look at what they were trying to teach me!

So that’s what I want to encourage you to do today. 

Slay This Should

First, write out the self-conscious, unconfident thoughts that come up for you around sex. This can be a painful process, so give yourself plenty of time.

Then come back to your list on a separate day, and go through each thought one by one. Ask yourself, “What could this thought be inviting me to explore?”

Maybe there’s an invitation to have more fun in the bedroom. Or to ask for what you want. Or to experiment with something new. Or even just talk about your sex life with your partner.

The next time you notice an unconfident thought during sex, tell yourself, “OK, I hear that. I’ll come back to that thought and take a look at it later.” Acknowledging it in that way will help you put it aside temporarily. Then you can see what comes up for you when you come back to it later. 

This is hard work, but it’s super worthwhile.

I want  to know  what comes up for you as you slay this should, so respond to this email and let me know! I’ll be answering a few questions and offering coaching over in my Instagram stories, so make sure you’re following me right here. 

P.S. If you’re fired up about slaying this should, and you want to learn how to have orgasms (or have them more consistently), then you should definitely check out my course Finishing School: Learn How To Orgasm. We spend a TON  of time in the course developing authentic confidence in the bedroom. 
Otherwise, I’ll be back next week to share another one of the top 4 “shoulds” with you. If you find yourself getting distracted during sex, you’re definitely going to want to keep an eye out for next week’s email!


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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!