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The 3 Stages of Sex That All Shy Girls Dread (& How to Deal)


If you’re a hesitant, nervous person, the thought of having to undress and be sexy in front of another person can be downright terrifying. The pressure is most definitely on. Not only is there pressure to pleasure someone else, but the pressure of looking good and being good can be daunting as hell. Whether you’re nervous about looking silly in bed, or you’re afraid of rejection, we hear you. If you relate to these stages below, continue reading to learn how to overcome these insecurities, and gain control of your sex life.

1. The Initiation

While things seem to be heating up, you can’t help but be nervous in wondering if your partner wants to take things to the next level. Should you make the first move? Should they? Or are they not ready? Are you even ready? Your hesitancy could also be taken as a sign that you don’t want to have sex, or you’re unsure of being with that person at all. In these moments, you wish you could just know what you want and take action, and we’re sure your partner would too.

“It’s so hard to tell whether someone wants you to make the first move or not,” says Sarah*, a freshman at Lehigh University. You don’t want them to judge you for whether or not you’re ready.”

Related: What Does Sex on the First Date Really Mean

The first step to overcoming this shyness is to be with someone you are comfortable with. If someone is pressuring you into doing something you do not want to do, then this is not the right person to be sleeping with. This person should also be willing to hear your concerns about your sex life so that you can both move on without the nervousness.

Try to remind yourself that there is a reason you have made it this far with this person. If you are in the position of deciding whether or not you want to sleep with someone, your partner is making that same decision as well. It’s scary for both parties! If you do need some reassurance, however, verbally ask them if they want to have sex! It’s not as scary as it seems and if your partner is as into you as you are to them; they will be happy you spoke up.

2. The Pressure to Pleasure/Be Pleasured

Eventually, your body language says what you truly want. However, you can’t help those intrusive thoughts. Your nerves are on edge. Are they enjoying themselves? Are you enjoying yourself? Are you allowed to ask to mix things up and change positions? You’re too nervous for their response, and as a result, you rarely speak up. You may even be afraid to express yourself, and as a result, you’re focused more on your insecurities than the naked person in front of you. Marty Klein, a sex therapist and author of Sexual Intelligence, says, “Sex isn’t about what bodies do – it’s about how people feel. So do sexual things that will make you feel the way you want to feel – close, graceful, naughty, or safe – not what you think 'real sex' or 'normal sex' or 'cool sex' involves."

Communication does not need to stop once the sex begins. Meaning, you’re allowed to speak up and ask for something in bed. Sex is a two-person activity that should result in both parties giving and receiving. You are not a selfish or bad person for wanting to feel good. Do not be shamed by your sexuality. Pro tip: You can definitely tell what kind of person your partner is by their response to your sexual requests.

And if you’re unsure of what you want in bed, tell your partner this as well. It’s okay to take things slow to ultimately understand what feels good and what doesn’t. You and your partner can explore together. Sometimes because of someone’s cultural background or societal expectations, they feel ashamed to talk about sex openly. Understand that sex does not come easily for everyone, and that is perfectly normal. The bedroom should be and remain a judgment free zone.

3. The Awkward Pillow Talk

If you haven’t slept with this person before, you could be nervous for the awkward encounters after the actual act. Whether or not this is a first-time hookup or a start of a relationship, shy people are always nervous of what is expected after sexy time. If this is just a hookup, you’re wondering if you/they can spend the night. All the logistics of the time you’ve spent together begin settling into your mind. “What did that hookup mean to them?” You start wondering if the sex was as good for them as it was for you. If anything, the aftermath of the intimate time can be the most challenging for shy girls who are not sure of where they stand with the other person.

Jessica*, a freshman at Lehigh University, says, “This part of hookups is my least favorite in college because it means something different depending on the guy. It’s hard to tell whether a guy genuinely likes you or just your body. Worrying definitely takes away from the experience.”

As far as enjoying your sexy time goes, a rule of thumb is to feel more and worry less. The more you limit intrusive thoughts and consider your sensations, the more you’ll enjoy yourself. Whether that means it’s an intimate act, a fun pleasurable time, or both, that is entirely up to you and your partner. The only way to definitely know what your partner is thinking is to — brace yourself — ask your partner. Without verbal communication, your guess is as good as mine as to what your sexy time means. After all, sex is what you make it. Good luck!

*Name has been changed

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