No matter the time of year, it’s a question I—and many other women—often ask ourselves: how to feel sexy. And despite what others may think, it’s not necessarily an outward, appearance-driven question. Yes, we can put on an outfit that makes us feel amazing or make our make-up work for us. But these days, I’m more interested in what’s happening within me. Because the more that I take time to intentionally connect with my body through movement, rest, and boundary-setting, the sexier I end up feeling. For me, learning how to feel sexy is all about confidence.
When I am firmly rooted in who I am, I’m open and curious to explore more parts of myself with the knowledge that I’m always evolving. That feels sexy. When I’m able to go inward and connect with myself—not looking to others for approval or external validation—and find beauty in honest discourse with different opinions that stretch my mind, that feels sexy.
Featured image from our interview with Megan O’Neill by Belathée Photography.
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How to Feel Sexy: 8 Tips I Swear By
As a type A planner, I’d almost forgotten what it’s like to release control, go with the flow, and just let what happens, happen. But now, I’m in a season of life where I’m learning what it means to slow down. I’m moving my body with intention, investing deeply in the people and projects that bring me joy, and tapping into my feminine energy. And it feels so good. So if you’re wondering how to feel sexy and get back your special spark, keep reading. I have the answers.
So in the spirit of this exploratory season of learning what makes me feel sexy, I thought I’d share a few practices and products that I’ve been enjoying. I hope they help you open up and explore the things that make you feel sexy, too.
For me, this means taking time to really understand what I love and what brings me joy versus what I think I should love. While I think it’s human nature to want to be liked and accepted, the more I stay true to myself, the less I seek validation or external approval. And more importantly, the more I tend to take chances, make the first move, decline an invitation, toss my name into the ring for consideration, and throw a bold idea out in a meaning. Now, I’m more detached from the outcome because I know that I showed up true to myself, and if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay.
Moving My Body
We all know movement makes us feel better, but for me, it’s deeper than that. I love getting time with my body and being proud of what it can do, and physically feel it getting stronger and more capable of carrying me through this life. The moment I finish a good run or hit a milestone I’ve been working on in Pilates, I am unstoppable and feel incredibly inspired by my body and further connected to it.
Speaking of moving my body, I love dancing so much. I was a dancer for 15 years and have been to more recitals than I could even count. The second I started running and listening to music again, my dancing amped back up again, too. Dancing makes me feel free, confident and—pending the genre of music—sexy, fun, excited, or relaxed. I can watch music videos for hours and simply watching dancers move and flow seamlessly with the music hits me to my core. I missed dancing so much I just booked private dance lessons with an instructor. Whether I’m dancing to Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, or CKay’s love nwantiti, all have the same output of feeling sexy in the end.
Upgrading My Intimates
I recently came across the most gorgeous Kiki de Montparnasse set and almost hesitated to buy something because I was single. Then I thought, why not buy it just for me? This kind of set doesn’t have to be exclusive for my partner. I bought it, wore the lace-trilled bra under a sheer bodysuit, and went into the evening feeling sexy and beautiful. Not only was it a great switch-up from my typical outfits, but I felt great. And it was well-received when I was out and about.
P.S. This is your sign to take inventory of your intimate apparel at home. Add a few fun pieces to your collection. Single or not, you’ll thank me later.
Book an Adventure
I recently listed to Emily Morse’s Sex with Emily podcast where she speaks about the correlation between adrenaline and arousal. She offers brain and nervous system hacks you can use to create excitement and build arousal. I love thinking about new adventures and what this leads to, so I booked a trip to Paris for my 40th and bought a few new clothes that I know make me feel great. I could easily do something as adventurous as taking a solo day-trip somewhere and planning it as if I were taking myself out on a date. Bonus: This idea works wonders if you’re partnered up, too!
Communication Is Lubrication
Speaking of Morse, my favorite thing she’s ever said is “communication is lubrication.” Well, I’m here to report that nothing is sexier than being able to clearly communicate and set boundaries in all aspects of life—relationship or otherwise. I can say with confidence that clear communication is the only way to live.
If you need help in the communication department and/or you want to get to know your partner better, there’s no shortage of card decks to help from Where Should We Begin by psychotherapist and relationship expert, Ester Perel, to the Honest Dating Relationship pack or the beautiful Self-Love Edition deck by We’re Not Really Strangers.
I’m not going to leave this one out. I’ve noticed more people are finally embracing the subject and not feeling embarrassed or ashamed. Amazing. I’ve seen influencers promote pleasure tools on social media, and more friends share their favorite products at dinner or in a group text. Whether you’ve perused Goop’s curated collection or are looking for tried and true reviews, the best advice that I can give you is to have fun getting to know what you like.
I’m a fan of Maude and the brand’s mission to support and amplify organizations that are working to advance standards in sex education through advocacy, educational curriculum, and accessibility across the country.
Celebrate Yourself, Celebrate Others
It feels so damn good to not just celebrate others, but celebrate your wins, too. I’m talking all the wins. Did you drink a ton of water today? GO YOU. Did you say no to an invite because you knew it wasn’t aligned? PROUD OF YOU. Gas your pals up and gas yourself up, too. You’ll feel a huge shift in energy and you’re going to feel incredible. I can’t stress this enough. I don’t care what you do to celebrate yourself, but a simple, “go me,” is confident, sexy, and will impact every area of your life.
This post was originally published on February 8, 2022, and has since been updated.