I Used To Hate Getting Totally Naked During Sex

Basically used to be me | Source: ShutterStock

Basically used to be me | Source: ShutterStock

Women are always told that we should be proud of our bodies, especially during sex. I’ve read enough magazines to know that when dudes are having sex, they’re just stoked to be around a naked girl – they’re not focusing on your flaws. I’ve always heard that and I’ve always preached to other girls about the importance of loving, and not being afraid of show off, their bodies.

Yet, it still took me a really long time to feel comfortable enough to get naked during sex. I mean, I would take off my pants and underwear, obviously, but that was where I drew the line – my shirt stayed on, or if it was pulled off, my bra did and I still didn’t feel comfortable. This is because I used to be one of those people who refused to get totally naked while having sex. Oh, and I also insisted on having the light off.

I was reminded of my old issue with nakedness during this past week’s episode of The Mindy Project (such a good show). Mindy was discussing her fear of getting totally naked around dudes, even dudes she had already slept with. Although some people scoffed at that and others wondered what the heck was wrong with her, I totally got it. 

Throughout high school and college, I dealt with some pretty crappy self-esteem issues. That is to say, I didn’t have any self-esteem. None. I wasn’t confident about how I looked with clothes on and so I definitely wasn’t confident about how I looked with them off. At 15-years-old, it was hard enough for me to get changed in front of my girl friends (I always hid behind something or snuck off to the bathroom even as they all unabashedly stripped down in front of me). I couldn’t imagine getting naked in front of a dude I had a crush on.

This is probably why I made my first boyfriend wait so long to have sex (we dated for almost five years, I made him wait about two and a half before we did it). I was scared it would hurt, but also I was scared to be that naked and vulnerable in front of him. Whenever we fooled around, he tried to take my clothes off (as teenage boys do), but I always insisted on leaving at least one thing on, whether it was my underwear, bra, shirt or jeans. I couldn’t bring myself to take it all off. 

A few months after we started having sex, I finally got the courage to get totally naked in front of him. We had been dating for three years at that point – I was comfortable with him. I remember how good it felt to not have anything on and to still have him look at me the way he always had. It was liberating! 

But then, when we broke up, the cycle started right back up again. I would hook up with guys and refuse to take off all of my clothing, if we got to that point. I can’t tell you how many times I had a guy try to pull my shirt up over my head, only for me to be like, “Can you not? I would feel better if it were on.” I was embarrassed of what I looked like, even though he was clearly disappointed when I said no. Looking back on those situations, I now feel embarrassed that I was so self-conscious.

I realize now that saying and doing stuff like that shows guys that you’re not confident – that you don’t think you’re beautiful or worth seeing naked. That is not sexy to guys, or anyone at all. It’s a turn-off. It makes everything a little bit more awkward. And it’s really hard to feel truly close with someone when you’re still partially clothed. I realized that then, but in those moments, I also didn’t care. I was way too shy and my self-esteem was way too low for that to matter. I figured they just had to deal with it. So, while I was single, I continued to refuse to get naked. And then I met my boyfriend who I’m dating now.

When I started dating this boyfriend, I was still dealing with those confidence issues. I had gotten better, but I still wasn’t 100 percent comfortable with myself or my body. The first time we hooked up, I wanted to keep my shirt on, even though I could tell he wanted it off. After a few weeks of this, he said something. He told me that if he didn’t like my body, he wouldn’t be with me – basically, that I had nothing to stress about. He was really nice about it and very encouraging. This time, it didn’t take me three years to feel comfortable enough with someone to get nakey. My BF wasn’t the only one who helped. Writing for Gurl helped too! It made me so much more open with sexuality in general and reading your stories and giving you advice made me more confident.

I’m now totally okay with being naked in front of my boyfriend… but I still sometimes have feelings of self-consciousness. Even after we were having sex, I was totally freaked out by the idea of being in a bathing suit around him. Also, after we would do it, I would immediately wrap myself in a blanket. Or if my clothes were on the floor, I would make him get them so I didn’t have to stand up naked. He put a stop to all those things by reminding me that I needed to be more confident in myself because I had no reason not to be. Oh, and I don’t have a problem with the lights being on anymore, which is a relief.

Every once in a while, I still get the urge to cover myself up once the whole sex act is done. But overall, my self-esteem in that area has really improved. I’m pretty confident now that if my BF and I break up, I’ll be cool with getting naked in front of other guys. Conquering that fear was a really big deal for me – I never want it to change.

Have you ever felt this way? Are you self-conscious about getting naked in front of people? What are you self-conscious about when it comes to sex? Tell me in the comments.


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  • Kiroshi

    I think the bigger issue is that you are only 13 and you are trying to be naked in front of your boyfriend. I think that might be illegal.

  • Cheska Rose

    I really need some advice or help. I hate my boobs, i have tubular breasts. With a bra on they look fine but once its off they look horrible, big nipples and pointy its so embaressing. I cant get naked infront of my boyfriend or have sex with the light on. The minuet he goes to take my bra off i feel akward and nervouse. He says im beautiful anyway but i hate them so much and i cant afford to get surgery. Someone please give me some advice this is really depressing me

  • Natural Redhead

    Glad to know I’m not alone! Thank you for writing this.


    I have learned a lot from the article ….. mwaaaaah i love it.

  • Faithgirl

    I totally hate beeing completely naked, period. I get REALLY self contious in the girls locker room. I try to hide myself as much as possible. So NO One can see me without a shirt or clothes.

  • Lake

    Thanks for this article! It’s really encouraging to hear stories like this.

  • Somebody Gets It

    I’m going through this exact situation right now.. I’ve been with my current boyfriend for a little over two months, and both of us have admitted we’re a little wary about sex, seeing as both of us have had not the best past sex experiences.. I’ve always had issues with how I feel about my self and my body, and I almost had an anxiety attack the first time he told me he wanted to take my bra off, this was about a month into our relationship. The more we talk and get to know each other, the more comfortable I get around him.. the further we can go with each other. We haven’t had sex yet, but he’s seen me completely naked, and I was freaking out like a spaz on the inside. After reading this article.. I realized that I’m not a freak for feeling so uncomfortable about my body (especially the part about leaving the lights on!! I hate that..), and that things like this take time to get over. Thanks so much for writing this!! 😀

  • Just for fun

    I agree a girl that hides or covers up her body during sex is a major turn off. Now as a guy my mind works on a visual level. If my girlfriend covers up then should I rather imagine that I am making love to some fantasy girl instead of her. Besides the shyness or lack of confidence, there’s also the coldness factor which makes here want to always wear long pj’s, use electric blanket and have sex under heavy blankets. For this reason I prefer cool breezy open air sex on my patio or in my back garden than a hot bedroom! An excessively hot or warm bedroom i.e. blankets, sheets, electric blankets, heaters all play havoc with maintaining a hard-on.

    • Lake

      You know, I was always under the impression the cold would cause a guy to go flaccid, not help maintain his hard-on. That’s nice to know…