How to be confident in bed…

1- Be a bold bonker

Do you blush when you buy condoms? Or suck your tummy in during sex? Do you find it hard to ask your new man to do things differently in the bedroom? Stop stressing as sexpert, Jo Hemmings, is here to take you from sex crisis to sex confidence with her simple solutions...

2 - When sleeping together for the first time

You don't have to impress him with your entire repertoire on the first night. This is one of the most exciting times in a relationship and, for your first time, there are two clear options. You can either pace yourself with a slow burn, or go for the quicky! Good sex is not necessarily about getting to know him, it's about getting to know what makes you feel good; awareness of your own body is key. Keep the following question in mind: what makes you feel great? Knowing the answer to that will give you inner self-confidence.

3 - When you use sex toys

It's impossible to pleasure yourself unless you know yourself intimately. For your first sex toy, you want something simple and unobtrusive. A baby bullet is brilliant for this; easy to use and very quiet. Something that looks like a monster is going to scare you, but it's worth remembering that most sex toys are becoming more ergonomically beautiful, more girly and very user-friendly. Steer clear of something with hundreds of buttons, as you'll spend too much time wondering what to do with it!

4 - When asking your man to use sex toys

The biggest worry when introducing sex toys into the bedroom is that it could make your guy feel intimidated, as he may think it points out an inadequacy of his. So bring it in with some other props; blindfolds, stockings, a feather, a scarf etc. This allows it to become part of a fun role-play, paving the way for a very sexy stimulatory experience. So, the key is to make your sex toy part of a bigger performance that you both enjoy.

5 - When telling him what you want

Men need to be praised. Tell them what's amazing and what makes you feel good. "That feels amazing" is a good phrase, as it strokes their ego, whilst getting things moving in the right direction. If their hand isn't in the right spot, rather than moving it, seductively whisper directions, such as "a tiny bit higher" or "almost there." If this isn't working, rather than using your hand to move his, use your body to move into the position you want to be in.

6 - When asking him to wear a condom

Bringing up the subject of contraception is really difficult, as it's twofold; it can feel awkward as you don't want to interrupt things, plus there is the hint that he may have an STI. It's important that women learn to take control; you should carry one with you. Most guys will want to wear it, as, in this day and age, they are far more aware of the importance of protecting themselves. Get into the mindset that going without is not an option.

7 - When buying condoms

There should be no embarrassment about buying condoms; it merely means you're a sexually active adult being sensible about your sex life. However, if it's too much of an issue, remember that you can buy them online from a number of reputable places.

8 - When you want to stop using condoms

A condom should be used for the first three months with a new partner. It is worth remembering that an STI may not manifest itself within the first few days, so giving yourself this three month barrier means that you and your partner will have time to get tested, and if there is the presence of an STI from a previous sexual partner you will be able to get the appropriate treatment before deciding whether another form of contraception is right for you.

9 - When you’re feeling fat

If you're worried about your body, a silky sexy slip may cover the bits you're concerned about. You can keep your bra and pants on and, of course, high heels make your legs look longer and slimmer. Corsets are another option, as they are inexpensive, sexy and effective - they can flatten your tummy and lift your boobs. It's more about getting the light right before you take your clothes off - it doesn't matter if you're big or small, a soft light can make you look and feel amazing.

10 - When asking how many people he’s slept with

You can have had loads of partners and be bad in bed, or very few and be amazing. There is no magic number and how great you are in bed is not down to experience. I know it's a question that everyone wants to ask each other, but there really is no right answer - too few and you may feel he will be inexperienced, too many and you may feel inadequate. It can be more fun not to ask, as it can cause unnecessary worry. Quality over quantity is the important thing to bear in mind.

11 - When he wants to experiment

If anything causes you pain, just say "stop." Remember that "no" is not a good stop word, as it can sound half-hearted and merely encourage them to go further. However, unless you really feel opposed to something new, giving your partner pleasure is part of having sex, so just go for it. You may find that you enjoy it too, and it will give you a better understanding of that he wants in the bedroom.

12 - When you want to experiment

Have a conversation about your sexual fantasies away from the bedroom to test the waters. The easiest way is to describe a ‘dream' you've had, to see what kind of response you're going to get. Remember that it's a confidence boost for your man if you share your fantasies with them, as it shows that you have chosen them to be especially intimate with.

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