Dispatches from a College Sexpert: Claim Your Independence (Day)
As an Independence Day baby, I try to be an expert on all things 4th of July (you should have seen my 5th grade wardrobe…one word: flags). However, this Independence Day I’ve decided to branch out and talk about celebrating independence regardless any time of year. Here are 10 ways to celebrate your independence, whether you’re single or not.
Despite the fact that Miley used this song to come out of her Disney mold and move her hips like “yeah,” it does have a decent message about embracing new experiences (and with an American flag in the background, no less). If you’re in a new situation, it can be hard to branch out instead of latching onto routines, things, or people you’re already comfortable with, but striking a balance can lead to more happiness.
1) Get out of your comfort zone. But think of it like yoga—you should feel a stretch, but nothing should hurt too much.
2) Make a list of accomplishments you’re proud of (and the people and experiences that helped you get there).
3) Walk like a boss, talk like a boss (just like Ne-Yo likes). While “fake it ‘til you make it” may not work for everything, it can help you feel more confident.
While having an explosive personality (or an explosive bra) works for some people (or only for Katy Perry), you don’t have to be an extrovert to cultivate your independence. (In fact, the introverts in my life are some of the most independent people I know.)
4) Take care of yourself. Get something waxed, painted, polished, brushed; work out (because who doesn’t feel better eating a cupcake after she’s worked out); catch up with friends; or do something creative like DIY crafts (Pinterest is full of them).
5) Do something that makes you feel productive. It can be anything from making the bed or sending an e-mail to a friend to joining the gym, or looking for jobs, but doing things on your own every day (no matter how insignificant they seem) helps.
6) Discover a passion or become an expert on something you care about.
7) Look inward. It’s easy to look outward—to friends, partners, grades, or sports—to affirm that you’re awesome, but that can lead to disappointment. Make sure you’re proud of what you’ve achieved in the past and present, no matter how the future turns out.
As an avid Cosmo reader, I know how hard it is to imagine you’ll ever be the sex goddess with the perfect body they are compelling you to be. The goals are unrealistic and the tips focus too much on making him feel good, instead of you. While giving our partners pleasure is great, focusing on yourself sometimes can make everything you do together (in bed and out) better for everyone.
8) Appreciate the shape of your own body and others’ bodies. The grass is always greener, but you’ll be happier if you can appreciate the differences. Bonus: Here’s Glamour asking 6 women about their (very different) bodies.
9) Know what turns you on and what turns you off (yes, you may have to do some self-exploration). Then figure out how to ask for it from your partner—presented the right way, they’ll appreciate the insight.
10) Get on birth control if you aren’t ready to have kids. Because nothing says independence (and hotter sex) like not having dependents (or worrying about making them). Is birth control already making you more independent? Tell Bedsider how!
Whatever way you’re celebrating your independence (or Independence Day), I hope it’s fun and safe. I will be spending my birthday (and the nation’s) eating appropriately decorated cupcakes, watching the fireworks over the capital, and enjoying my Wednesday off. To take a break from the patriotic pedestal, I’ll be back next week (a little older, a little wiser) to talk about going dutch.
Image by Someecards.
Catherine Rivera is an intern for Bedsider. When she’s not counseling, teaching, researching or writing about sex and relationships, this Stanford University student can be found passing out condoms to her fellow students, mentoring middle school girls, indulging her sweet tooth , reading the news, or attempting to get inside the heads of her four younger brothers. Catherine doesn’t have a personal tumblr (yet), but you can follow her on twitter @cmrivera2013.
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