Let’s talk about intimacy. Although it is agreed that intimacy is necessary in order to grow a connection with your romantic partner, we often forget that it may not come as naturally to some people as it does to others. You may find yourself tense up during cuddles or unsure of how to go about those one-on-one moments in the bedroom; all of this could make you second guess your relationship and cause a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety. Steffo Shambo, founder of Tantric Academy and sex & relationships expert shares his advice on how to combat this.

Remember that relaxing during moments of intimacy in the bedroom and being able to let go of your inhibitions could actually make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable for you! If you and your partner have been struggling to move things forward in the bedroom, make sure to have a conversation about how you are feeling. This may help build more trust between the two of you which could ease some of the tension.

In order to grow and build a strong relationship, you need to be able to communicate with your partner about your highs and lows. If your significant other is aware that you are struggling, they may be able to support you through it rather than criticizing you and making you feel worse; they may even have a few words of advice from a similar experience. Relationships are all about trust, so if you do want to make this one work – talking is important!

Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s quite natural for individuals to feel a little bit awkward when getting intimate with someone that they actually care about. Shambo makes it clear that there could be a number of factors as to why you’re feeling like this. It could be because of how a past relationship ended or maybe you’re going through a period of low-self esteem. Whatever the reason, know that this is a hurdle that you can overcome and you’ve already taken the first step!

Other than communicating your mindset to your partner, there are many other ways you can try and grow out of your intimacy anxiety. When your body reacts to stress, the best way to counteract it is to try and find ways to tell yourself that you are safe. Shambo recommends taking five minutes a day to practice relaxing breathing techniques. Learning these properly and practicing them regularly can help you center yourself and find inner peace. Not only will these be good for relaxing into intimacy, but also as a way to manage day-to-day stress.

Learning how you like to be treated in bed and being confident in your sexual self is another way to combat intimacy anxiety. It’s important to understand that as humans our bodies fluctuate. Deserving love is more than just being in the best shape of your life and our bodies deal with a lot every single day. If your partner is standing by you, chances are they will continue to find you attractive – flaws and all! So be confident and allow yourself to enjoy the moment rather than tensing up at the slightest touch.

One of the most effective techniques in achieving total relaxation is getting a full-body massage. There are many types of massages that you can go for, but our expert suggests trying a dearmoring massage. This type of massage is a massage technique widely used in tantric practices which aims to relax your body to a point where you feel more free and uninhibited. Maybe this can be the start of a new you!

By engaging in some (or all!) of these relaxation techniques, hopefully, you can overcome the anxiety you face getting intimate with your partner. If the situation doesn’t get better with these techniques, it may be wise to consult a professional to help you further.