The Sexual Confidence Series: 3 Markers of a Sexually Confident Woman

by | Oct 11, 2021 | gsr, Series | 13 comments

3 Markers of Sexual Confidence

Sexual confidence can sound almost, well, scary, can’t it?

Like it’s something we can never really live up to. A sexually confident woman is someone who is totally okay with her body; totally orgasmic; totally cool telling  her husband what she wants in bed.

It’s someone who can talk about anything and everything and it doesn’t phase her, because she has completely embraced her sexuality. She has a high sex drive. She loves sex. She loves to experiment!

Few of us can ever live up to that.

And a sexually confident man? He can woo his woman and make her melt. He can make her have multiple orgasms. He’s never worried or insecure.

This month on the blog I want to explore sexual confidence: what it is and how we can develop it.

But before we jump in to that, let’s rethink this whole idea of sexual confidence.

To do that, let’s meditate for a minute on the significance of this verse:

​…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

What is the confidence here? It’s not that you have arrived. It’s not that you are perfect. It’s not that the obstacles have all been removed.

It’s instead confidence that you are a work in progress that will one day be completed.

And here’s why this is important: It’s okay to be a work in progress. 

In fact, maybe confidence is less about arriving at a place and more about being comfortable with where you are on the journey.

Maybe confidence is the ability to step outside of your situation for a second, look at yourself objectively, and say,

“Yes,  you have some growing to do. And there was bad stuff in your past, and some good stuff in your past, and both of those things have affected where you are now. But you are here. And God knows that and God is working in you. And so let’s accept what has come before that has put you in this place. Let’s honor the parts of you who tried to protect you from harm and shame. And now let’s start walking forward in who God wants you to be.”

A sexually confident person gets rid of shame and blame and guilt messages, and instead embraces where she (or he) is now.

And then, because we’ve accepted what has come before and we’re not blaming ourselves anymore, we can walk forward.

So let’s look at some of these elements of sexual confidence. I’m going to talk mostly to woman here, because women often have unique problems in these areas, but I think these things can apply to men as well!

1. A sexually confident woman accepts the past and the things that have shaped her, for good or bad, and does not blame herself for them.

Lots of us get married with body image issues, with issues about sex, with false beliefs about sex.

And then, when sex doesn’t work, we blame ourselves. Why can’t we get over this? Every other woman can enjoy this; why can’t I? Why am I still bogged down by something that happened 18 years ago? 

But shame and blame and guilt shouldn’t be part of the Christian life. What if we could reframe that and say: “You had a lot to overcome. This world can be gross when it comes to sex, and you had so many negative messages so early, and those have affected you. But that doesn’t need to be the end of the story.”

What I always say in my Girl Talk, my event at where I speak at churches about sex, is that it’s totally okay to have issues with sex. We all have issues with something; sex is as good as anything else, because it’s so deeply personal. Instead of feeling badly for having issues, be kind to yourself and realize why you have those issues. And then seek appropriate help.

See a trauma therapist. Talk to a counselor. Or read The Great Sex Rescue! So many women are finding it freeing.

Sometimes the things we have to accept about the past are mistakes that we’ve made or things we’re ashamed about. 

I’ve interviewed countless women who have trouble reaching orgasm, and often they’ll tell me they think it’s God punishing them for having multiple partners before marriage, or for having sex with their now-husband before they were married. They did it wrong, and so now God is giving them the consequences of their actions.

I know many of us in purity culture were taught that sex was best if we waited, and anything else would be “less than.” But that’s really not how God works. God WANTS you to have an amazing sex life and an amazing marriage! He’s actually on your side! He doesn’t want to rob you of abundant life. If you’re having trouble, that is not God’s punishment. You don’t need to live in this.

And sometimes we need to forgive our bodies, too.

I’ve also talked to so many women who believe they’re broken sexually. They’ve never been able to reach orgasm, and so they figure there’s something wrong with them. Or maybe you hit puberty really early and your breasts developed early and you feel like they caused you to have unwanted attention. You feel as if your body has been betraying you and making you unsafe your whole life. How are you supposed to embrace it?

Again, I’m a big believer in talking to a counselor! But when it comes to confidence, maybe what we also need is some compassion for ourselves. “You’ve had it rough. Lots of people don’t have the degree of struggle that you do. This has been an area of hurt in your life, and that’s okay. But you are beautifully and wonderfully made, and there’s nothing wrong with you.”

Have compassion on yourself sexually.

Recognize that a lot went in to building who you are now. Most of that was not your fault. And even if you did do things you regret, Jesus has already made that right by dying for us. He makes all things new. You don’t need to necessarily feel it now, but just know and embrace that it is okay that you’re at where you’re at–and you don’t need to punish yourself for it.

2. A sexually confident woman accepts that she was created to be sexual, even if she can’t feel it or understand it yet.

I’ve shared before that when we first got married, sex was really hard for me. I had vaginismus (so sex hurt), and Keith wanted sex all the time. He felt really rejected. I felt like sex was something that was a big rip off, like everyone had lied to me.

What changed things was not me seeing sex as something different–because I wasn’t in the place that I could do that yet. What changed was reminding myself of some truths that I knew about God:

God made sex to be great. God made me to enjoy sex. If that wasn’t happening right now, it wasn’t a problem with sex itself, or even with me. It was just circumstances that we were facing.

But if I could trust that God made it to be good, even if I could see how it could be good right now, then I could move in the right direction. I stopped trying to convince myself that sex was great, and started saying, “that’s not what I’m experiencing right now, but I know that God made this to be good for me. And I’ll get there one day because that’s how I was created.”

I stopped blaming, and stopped being mad, and stopped trying to force myself to feel something I didn’t, and just let myself be who I was right now, knowing that even if I wasn’t experiencing great sex, that didn’t mean that sex wasn’t great.

It just meant that I had some learning to do, and that was okay.

3. A sexually confident woman looks forward to sexuality as a journey of discovery, rather than as a pass/fail experience.

It’s hard to be confident if every time you have sex you feel like you’re being marked.

It’s really difficult when you haven’t had an orgasm or you have difficulty with orgasm, and you’re frustrated. We go into detail about how to reach that milestone in our Orgasm Course!

The Orgasm Course is Here to Help You Experience Real Passion!

Figure out what’s holding you back. Open the floodgates to orgasm.

But the big mindshift that we need to make is seeing sex as a time to learn to feel aroused and intimate with one another–and then let everything flow from there. You’re learning to be in the moment. You’re letting yourself enjoy what you are feeling rather than blaming yourself for what you’re not. You’re focused on feeling connected now, not wishing it were somehow different.

And you realize that you have the right to speak up and ask for what you want too (more on that this month!). In fact, you let yourself matter when it comes to sex. You realize that you don’t need to apologize for how you feel or what you want,

What if the pass/fail experience is less about orgasm and more about being rejected?

Maybe your issue isn’t that you struggle with orgasm, but that your spouse rarely wants sex. A sexually confident person knows that this is not a comment on your worth, but rather a comment on where their spouse is at right now–even if the rejection feels difficult.

If these elements don’t seem to add up to sexual confidence to you, think about it this way:

What is the opposite of sexual confidence?

Sometimes by better understanding the opposite of something, it helps us understand what we’re aiming for. The opposite of sexual confidence is shame, and guilt, and a constant feeling that you are a failure.

The opposite of sexual confidence, you see, is not failing; it’s feeling as if you are a failure. A sexually confident person is not someone who necessarily reaches orgasm every time or wants sex every night (or every morning!) or has a husband who wants sex all the time; it’s someone who is free of shame and guilt and judgment and is able to live in the present, grateful for what God has given her and what God is doing in her life, and being open to more of that.

I hope that’s good news! Sexual confidence isn’t about arriving somewhere; it’s about being comfortable with who you are.

This month, we’re going to look at how to make that more of a reality in your life, even if you have trouble reaching orgasm; even if you’re burdened by a traumatic past; even if you have bad marriage dynamics in your past.

He who began a good work in you can be faithful to complete it.

You’re at this blog for a reason. You’ve read The Great Sex Rescue for a reason. Breathe in. Breathe out. You’re okay. Now let’s move forward!

 

3 Markers of Sexual Confidence

What do you think? Have you struggled with some of this? Does the idea that acceptance and confidence are linked surprise you? Let’s talk in the comments!

Other Posts in the Sexual Confidence Series:

You may also enjoy:

 

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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13 Comments

  1. Em

    Number 2 is a game changer for sure. I recently read Song of Solomon and realized the woman was very confident in her looks and sexuality!

    Reply
  2. Whitney

    This is awesome! I love that distinction between a journey and arriving at a finished product. I think that they way many of us thought about sex (the way purity culture emphasized it) set us up for failure in this regard. So many of us go into marriage thinking that mid-blowing sex is our reward for having done the right thing and waited. But it doesn’t work like that. How can you be good at something you’ve never done before? So then not only do we feel like we were lied to, or feel broken or ashamed, we are now facing a lifetime of this. No way out, because you promised for life (and to divorce is to sin.) No wonder we have a rash of newly married Christians who struggle with sex!

    Reply
  3. Stefanie

    Thank you for the encouragement that it’s about the journey and not the destination, because we’re still trying to get there. LOL. And I think, I don’t fight with having a pass/fail mentality so much as feeling discouraged that it’s taking so long (10 years), so we have to fight to keep the negative messaging away and stay encouraged and enthusiastic.

    One key take-away I learned from you is to change the mental script from “Ugh. I’m so tired, but I have to go serve my husband now” to “I get to relax and let my husband make me feel good. I get to enjoy my husband.”

    We have 3 small kids, and my husband works full-time and is also going to school, so we don’t have a lot of time to “practice.” Once a week is all we can do with our time and energy constraints. My husband has been the cheerleader, reminding me to not think that it’s been 8 weeks (of trying to fix the one-sided sex), but instead to remember that it’s only been 8 times that we’ve tried. And we can see progress in those 8 times. But also, sexual frustration is real, and sometimes when we get close but we can’t get there, then sometimes I finish myself, and I’m discouraged about that but at the same time I need to get to sleep because I have to get up in the morning. We just bought the orgasm course this week, too.

    I’m going to keep in my mind that God created me to be a sexual being, and he wants this for our marriage, and we’re going to get there. God can redeem this.

    Reply
  4. Ruthie

    This is brilliant. Trusting God to keep on keeping on with this work in progress. So then what really happens is that our confidence is not in ourselves and our sexuality but in God and God’s faithfulness to complete his work in our sexuality, as wholistic people.

    I loved this, “someone who is free of shame and guilt and judgment and is able to live in the present, grateful for what God has given her and what God is doing in her life, and being open to more of that.”

    Reply
  5. Anon

    “maybe confidence is less about arriving at a place and more about being comfortable with where you are on the journey.”

    Love, love, LOVE this!!! We’re 16 months into married life and it’s been a weird route at times, but we are both enjoying the journey. Thanks largely to your books!

    Reply
  6. Linda B

    Sheila, “Thank You” for being faithful to write what God has placed on your heart. I started to read this blog post on Monday, but has to stop mid-way through 1, as when I read “Sometimes the things we have to accept about the past are mistakes that we’ve made or things we’re ashamed about.”, tears began to stream down my cheeks. Since it was Thanksgiving Day (I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!) my Husband & wee Daughter were home – I thought I’d sneak a read of your article, but quickly realized that I would need to be alone to finish reading it, which I finally was able to do this morning. The areas you touched on, were things that I’d long thought I had dealt with or gotten over… I am a “Prodigal” Daughter – I have indeed felt awful guilt & shame for my past. When I gave my life back to The Lord, although I knew Jesus had forgiven me, I did struggle with wondering if my future Husband could ever forgive me, or if the consequences of my sin would lead to God not allowing me to get married or have children. I secretly wondered if I would be further punished by being one of those women who could never enjoy sex/reach climax. I am thankful, that Jesus has shown me that my falling away from Him was actually not a surprise to Him, that He chose to create me, anyhow, & had a plan to redeem me, Himself! That fact always wrecks me…. Oh how God loves us! If that were not true, if His sacrifice was not sufficient, I would be doomed…but He IS & His sacrifice was. God truly has blessed me with a wonderful Husband (& we enjoy a wonderful intimate life ☺️)! We have a beautiful 6 year old Daughter. God IS good! Yet, sometimes I still get stuck in the guilt & shame. Thank you for always pointing us to Jesus, no matter what we’ve done. Other resources I’ve read in the past only caused me further guilt & made me feel less than. Why do “Christian” resources tend to makes us feel like we have to jump through hoops to receive forgiveness & salvation? Either Jesus’ sacrifice is enough & my sin has been removed as far as the east is from the west, or it has not. I am reminded that Jesus told the woman who was “caught in the act” – “Neither do I condemn you, go & sin no more”. Yet purity crap keeps us stuck in feeling like we are used up, trash. Thank you, for reminding me that I am “someone who is free of shame and guilt and judgment and is able to live in the present, grateful for what God has given her and what God is doing in her life, and being open to more of that.” Thank you, for doing the work of actual research – 20,000 Christian Women (WOW!), for TGSR, your blog posts, podcasts & the way you are advocating for women who have been deeply affected by harmful & unChrist-like teaching from resources that keep us trapped in shame – thank you for reminding us of the absolute freedom we have in Jesus! May God Bless you, Rebecca, Joanna & your Family as you continue on! Your work has been, & I believe even more so, important as it is in these days! I’m praying for all of you, daily! May you continue to receive God’s wisdom each day as you continue to seek His guidance & direction.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Linda B, how beautiful! I’m so glad that you found this healing and that God used it to minister grace to you1 That’s amazing.

      And thank you so much for your prayers. We really need them, and it means a lot!

      Reply
      • Linda B

        Thank you for your kind words, Sheila. There is so much more that I would like to share with you…since reading TGSR (with some women at our Church & surrounding community!) & since you were away in July, when you shared a post in which you were feeling a bit defeated (I truly have been praying for you every day since then). I want to share more of my story with you… it’s so long, but it so fits in with what you have come to understand & the work you are doing. I also want to send you more words of encouragement, & share many thoughts I believe God has been placing on my heart to say to you – because I can clearly see God has certainly placed you on this path. I trust I will get some time over the next week, to send you an actual email, if that’s ok.

        I believe, that together, all of us can stand up, share the actual Gospel – pointing people to Jesus & the salvation, true freedom & hope that is found in Him, alone. I want so much better for my little Girl & I am thankful for your Christ-centred teaching in all of your material. I will be using your resources to teach her & she grows!

        Reply
  7. Diana

    Please PLEASE write “Markers of a Sexually Confident Man”. We are desperate for that article at our house!

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗
    Love this. Preach it!

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Btw, I shared your blog a long time ago with my nephew and his new wife. Found out tonight he’s been reading it, deconstructing and he owns TGSR! Plus I just gave his brother and his new wife a copy of TGSR for their wedding today. My nephew laughingly said, maybe it’ll balance out L&R…

    Reply
  10. Nat

    legend
    Thanks for posting.
    Yes, I’m a man and I get this too. James Dobson wrote “man to man about women” years ago, but I find being able to be taught and related to by a couple like yourselves, and your daughters, so refreshingly real.

    Reply

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