What Is 'Erotic Self-Focus' & Why You Should Definitely Try It

What Is 'Erotic Self-Focus' & Why You Should Definitely Try It

If you want to take your sex life to another level, start by turning your own self on.


How many of y'all remember the beginning scene in the movieObsessed where Sharon (played by Beyoncé) and her husband Charles (played by Idris Elba) walked into their new home and saw a mirror on the ceiling of their bedroom? Sharon wanted it to come down because it was tacky, but, as you're about to see in just a sec, she probably should've left it up there and then added a few more throughout the house.

Erotic self-focus. I already know that some of y'all read the title and thought, "Shellie, where do you get some of this stuff from?" Here's the thing—while this is not something that is a daily topic of conversation, believe it or not, it's actually been the center of several scientific research studies (like this one, this one and this one). Men's Health once even did a feature entitled, "Erotic Self-Focus | Why She Wants You to Watch"—so yeah, it's a bigger deal than you might think.

It also might be a practice that can take your sex life to new heights. Here's why I say that.

Poor Body Image Issues: A Main Cause of Sexual Dissatisfaction


When you've been a marriage life coach for as long as I have, it's kind of a trip what you tend to hear over and over again. On the sex tip, a lot of wives say they wish their husbands were more spontaneous. As far as husbands go, guess what I hear more than just about anything? That they want to have sex with the lights on more often. It makes sense when you think about the fact that men are stimulated visually. And since reportedly, 56 percent of women aren't satisfied with their overall appearance, I also get why this can be so much of a challenge.

The solution? First, I would recommend having very open and honest communication with your partner. Real talk ladies, we tend to be FAR MORE (I'm capitalizing that on purpose) critical of our bodies than men are. I know guys who find bellies, stretch marks (remember when Kendrick Lamar shouted them out?) and even cellulite to be mad sexy. Why? A big reason is because they're real. Real men like real women (imagine that!). It really is a reality check to admit that, a lot of us are hard on ourselves, not because of what men think but because of what the media crams down our throats and because we put ourselves in competition with other women. But goodness, that's another conversation for another time. My bottom line is this—don't project your own insecurities onto your man, just because. You might be floored by hearing what he loves about your body, if you'd just ask them.

That said, yes, if you do happen to struggle with loving your body, just as it is, I know that getting to a place where you are able to celebrate it may not happen overnight. Well, that is where the second "remedy" comes in.

Erotic self-focus is all about getting you to a point and place where you are excited about looking at your own damn self and absolutely loving what you see. And yes, sis, that is indeed very possible. And in order to have a consistently fulfilling sex life, very necessary.

What Exactly Is Erotic Self-Focus and Why It Can Help with Sexual Pleasure


With articles out here is cyberspace like "Women Want To Be Desired" (and them saying things like, "If a woman's desire significantly decreases 2 or 3 years into a relationship, it's quite likely because she is no longer being courted in the same way where she feels the heat and passion of being desired. She may become somewhat bored with the same old partner if their sexual intimacy has become routine and uninspired.") and "Men Need to Feel Desired by Their Partners, Too" (with them saying things like, "Men who wanted a more egalitarian pattern of sexual initiation indicated that they found initiating regularly was too demanding and that they wanted to be seen as an "object of desire" by their partners.), it's clear that desire plays a very relevant and essential role in sexual pleasure and fulfillment. As it relates to this particular topic, two definitions of desire are "a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment" and "sexual appetite or a sexual urge".

Y'all, even as I'm typing this, Tweet's old-school jam "Oops (Oh My)" is playing softly in the back of my mind. Although I'm pretty sure that it's 100 percent about masturbation, there are a few lines in it— "I looked over to the left/A reflection of myself/That's why I couldn't catch my breath"—that definitely can apply to erotic self-focus. The reason why I say that is because, in a nutshell, erotic self-focus is the practice of desiring yourself, just as much as you want your partner to (and probably does).

So, how do you go about putting erotic self-focus into actual action? Because the true practice of it isn't just about "liking what you see", but tapping into all of your senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste) as much as possible, here are a few suggestions:

SIGHT: Put that mirror up! Even if you don't want your bedroom to feel like a 70s hotel room by putting a mirror up on the ceiling, at least make sure that there's an adjustable mirror nearby. Position it to where you can get a good view of yourself during foreplay and the act itself. While it might seem awkward at first, you might be surprised by how sexy you find your reflection to be during certain acts and positions. As a bonus, you'll definitely enjoy paying attention to how your partner looks when he's turned on by you.

HEARING: In the article, "We've Got Some All-Natural Ways To Increase Stamina & Sensitivity", something that I shout out is the powerful relevance of dirty talk in the bedroom. In fact, there's a science to it in the sense that it stimulates the biggest sex organ that we have—our brain. I know a lot of people who use "dirty words" in order to turn on their partner, but next time you're gettin' it on and in, pay attention to what you're saying—and how you're saying it. Chile, there have been many times when I've taken my sexual experiences to another level, just by listening to my tone, my breathing and my words. (If you need some inspiration, check out Kinky Quotes. They've got "nasty" one-liners for days!)

TOUCH: One of my male friends tells me often that nothing turns him on more than watching his partner touch herself. I get it. Women are beautiful and to witness a lady enjoying her own company can be a very sensual experience. The ladies here at xoNecole ain't even a little bit shy about talking about masturbation, but even if that's not personally your thing, do make it a point to pay attention to the parts of your body that are stimulated the most by your own touch. It can help you to learn how much pressure you want or don't want in certain areas. Plus, as they say, the best one to teach what turns you on is you.

SMELL: A lot of times, women put on a perfume, cologne or essential oil that they think will turn on their partner. But I'm here to tell you that if you are turned on, your partner is going to be regardless. So, the next time that you're out shopping for a fragrance, look for something that not only smells good to you but makes your mind…wander. I don't know about you, but to me, there's something about being in a room that has a luxurious scent that makes me want to swing from the chandeliers a whole lot quicker.

TASTE: Epicurean—"fond of or adapted to luxury or indulgence in sensual pleasures, especially with eating and drinking". That's the word that comes to mind when I think of this last point. If you were to bring a condiment into the bedroom, which one would you enjoy most? Chocolate syrup? Whipped cream? Honey? Incorporating a flavor that you like can also be a major turn-on. It can also make it easier to do some additional, umm, exploring (check out "Are You Ready To Amp Up Your Oral Sex Game? Try This." and "Oral Fixation: 6 Ladies Share Their Best Oral Sex Tips and Tricks").

Remember, erotic self-focus isn't vain or arrogant. It's simply a practice that gets you used to embracing how sexy you are which ultimately builds your confidence. And a confident woman in the bedroom? She's a beast. In the best way possible. Ask any man that you know—he can totally co-sign on that.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

What GROWN Women Consider Great Sex To Be

10 Secrets To Feeling Super Sexy (When You Don't)

Reclaim Your Sexy Just In Time To Shut Down Uncuffing Season

15 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Your Own Vagina

Feature image by Shutterstock

Did you know that xoNecole has a podcast? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to join us for weekly convos over cocktails (without the early morning hangover.)

5 Tips To Survive SAD Season
The fall season promises us many things: cool crisp air, warm scented flavors ruminating throughout, and cozy cable knit sweaters. For many of us however, the fall is also the beginning of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or simply SAD.
Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
A Cancer Diagnosis Before I Turned 30 Taught Me The Importance Of Surrender

I've spent the past five years of my life learning to love myself and striving to be at peace. After being in a constant state of learning and unlearning, I was ready to breathe. I was ready to be free and live. So, when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last July, I didn't know how to feel.

Keep reading...Show less
Queen Latifah Reveals The Woman Responsible For Her Laid Locks & Perfect Color

Queen Latifah has received many accolades over the course of her career such as a Grammy, BET Lifetime Achievement award, and an Emmy. But one category she continues to slay in is best hair, in which we can all agree she gets 10’s all across the board. Whether it’s a red carpet appearance, advertising, or acting in roles such as The Equalizer, Queen Latifah's, born Dana Elaine Owens, hair is always laid.

Keep reading...Show less
Style Forecast: 6 Spring Trends That Are Fresh From The Runway

New York Fashion Week has come and gone, but the fashion moments will remain forever. After getting an up close and personal look at a few of my favorite collections, I spotted an array of exciting spring trends coming down the runway. From emerging designers such as No Sesso to CFDA winner Theophilio and Luar, these were just a few that set the tone for what is soon to come.

Keep reading...Show less
Tia Mowry Is Reminding Us All About The Power Of Setting Boundaries And Self-Love

Tia Mowry is choosing self-love as a path to happiness, which may be the reason behind her glow. While she announced on Instagram that she was divorcing her husband of 14 years, Cory Hardrict, she is focusing on herself. In an interview with Access Hollywood, which took place days before she announced her divorce, the mother of two shared the secret behind her recent glow.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts