When I'm having sex, my inner critic seems to take over. How can I learn to say more positive things about myself and feel sexier?

Q:

When I'm having sex, my inner critic seems to take over. How can I learn to say more positive things about myself and feel sexier?

A:

We all have an inner critic. Rarely do we realize how impactful that critic can be. When it comes to desire, arousal and pleasure our inner critic can short circuit these physiological experiences so fast that we aren’t able to realize who the culprit is. There are two components here to confront and combat your inner critic. The first is to understand who that inner critic is. Maybe give them a name and develop a relationship with them. Understand that this is only one part of your internal world. You can have an empowered conversation with them in order to better cope with and feel less defined by such criticisms. The second component is practicing behaviors that contradict the criticisms. Practice having and recognizing positive experiences with yourself. If the focus is on body image, learn to cultivate experiences where you are interacting with your body in a way that feels good. This could be anything from massage, yoga and stretching to dancing. Remember, the more you are able to understand yourself the better equipped you are to manage some of these unwanted thoughts and feelings.

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Written by Todd S. Baratz
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Todd Baratz is a psychotherapist specializing in relationships and sex. He has a private practice in New York City where he works with individuals and couples to create meaning around their relational and sexual lives.

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