Worried about feeling awkward in bed? Here’s exactly what to do!

November 10,2020

The words ran through my head over and over again. I rehearsed silently to myself a million times. 

It sounded pretty hot in my head, and I knew Xander would love hearing it. 

But still, I couldn’t bring myself to say it.

“I’ve never said anything like this before!” I thought. 

“What if I sound awkward???”

So I kept my mouth shut, and instead started silently beating myself up for being such a coward. 

Can you guess what we’re talking about this month?

Performance anxiety in the bedroom!

Most people hear the phrase “performance anxiety” and immediately think about erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.

But the reality is that performance anxiety happens for everyone! We all feel some amount of anxiety in the bedroom!

Here are just some of the many things you may find yourself feeling anxious about in the bedroom:

We’ve been taught to believe that anxiety is a negative feeling. After all, it usually feels pretty terrible in the moment, right? 

But here’s something interesting: anxiety is just energy. And you can actually harness that energy for good use in the bedroom! 

That’s what we’re going to be talking about all month long!

I’m going to share four of the most common bedroom performance anxieties, tell you what you need to know about that anxiety, and give you specific tools for transforming that energy.

So today I want to kick us off with…

Performance Anxiety: “I’m Anxious About Being Awkward.”

This one also shows up as feeling anxious about not being “sexy.”

Most of us hold ourselves back from trying new things in the bedroom because we’re so worried that we’ll seem awkward. Just like I used to hold myself back from saying sexy things in the bedroom. 

What you need to know

You’ve been taught to believe sex shouldn’t be awkward!

The only sex scenes we ever see on TV and in the movies are always perfectly orchestrated. Unless it’s a comedy and they’re purposefully making fun of the characters, sex scenes always look unbelievably sexy. 

But in real life, sex is SO awkward! You’re going to make a mess on the sheets! You’re going to have a lubed-up sex toy slip out of your hands and go flying! Your chests are going to mash up against each other and make farting noises! 

And that is ALL OK!

Seriously, one of the best things you can do for your sex life is develop a sense of humor about it. 

Some of my absolute favorite moments in the bedroom with Xander have been times when we’re laughing.

What to try

You have two options here:

You get to choose! 

So which option sounds better to you?

Next, you can talk to your partner about it. 

Outside of the bedroom, tell your partner that you’re struggling with feeling awkward around sex. Then present them with the same choice I laid out above. 

You can say something like, “So here’s the thing: I can keep holding myself back, and we can have sex that feels cautious and withdrawn. Or I can allow myself to try out some new things, and we may have a few awkward moments. What sounds better to you?”

I can practically guarantee you that your partner will pick the second option, but hearing your partner say it may be a huge stress relief for you!

Next, you can tell your partner what you’d like to do when you have an awkward moment. 

Think about what you guys do when you have embarrassing experiences outside of the bedroom. Are you the kind of couple who likes to laugh about it? Or do you ignore it? Do you give each other a bit of privacy? 

Having a specific gameplan for managing awkward moments will make you feel much more comfortable. 

Finally, take baby steps. Gently start to tip-toe out of your comfort zone. 

For example, if you’ve been wanting to try giving your partner a lap dance, don’t pressure yourself to go all-in the first time. Instead, maybe you could do a little booty shimmy or two. Maybe you could watch an instructional lap dance video. Or maybe you could just tell your partner you want to give them a lap dance, but that they’re going to need to wait for it. Baby steps!

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HI THERE!

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!