O, The Oprah Magazine
Of all the things that affect our sexual satisfaction, the most important element is sexual confidence. By that I mean knowing not only that you're desirable but also that what you bring to a sexual encounter is likely to be highly valued by your partner.

Not surprisingly, sexually confident women seem to be more sexually active and have a whole lot more fun while they're at it. That doesn't mean they confuse quantity with quality. What sets the sexually confident woman apart is that she's relaxed. She experiences things fully because she isn't self-conscious. She doesn't obsess about rejection or failure, and as a result she enjoys success after success. But so many people speak of sexual confidence almost as if it were some kind of exotic potion, enjoyed only by a lucky few. They tell me they aren't certain they comprehend the concept, and they don't have a clue about how to get it.

If you're one of those folks, take heart and read on. The good news is that if this seemingly mystical characteristic is missing in your life, things can change. If you're sexually insecure or uptight, or just feel as if you aren't very good at it, all that can change—in a hurry. The really good news is that attaining sexual confidence is totally up to you. It's time for you to put a little strut in your stuff.

I'm going to focus on the female side of this topic, since most of you reading this are women. But many of the same principles apply to both sexes, so don't stop reading if you're a guy—you just might learn something.

A Little Help from My Friends
Although I've picked up some insight from 25-plus years of working with couples as well as sexually active singles, I was determined in preparing this article not to lean totally on my own understanding. So I sought the blessing of my wife, Robin, who was reluctant: She can't understand why her husband has to be the one who speaks to America about such private things. With Robin's okay, I made it my business to do some informal research. Now, out of 160 people who work on the Dr. Phil show, about 140 are women—a pretty big pool to draw from. Eight of my coworkers and I sat down for a roundtable discussion about sexual confidence. Their comments and observations have been invaluable—and in some cases, unprintable. I discovered that my very professional colleagues are pretty rowdy!

Read on to find out the keys to unlocking your sexual confidence:
  • Sexual Confidence Defined
  • Getting Some


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