Body confidence ― knowing that your body is fine just as it is, in its current state (and that, hell, you’re pretty damn sexy, too) ― has to come from within. Learning to love your body is an inside game; you can’t get there through outside validation alone.
But let’s be real: Having a partner who raves about your body often and effusively can’t hurt! With that in mind ― and to encourage people to get more complimentary during sex ― we asked 12 women to share the greatest compliment a man or woman has given them, especially in bed. Here’s what they had to say.
“You have the most beautiful legs I’ve ever seen.”
“When I was in my teens and 20s, I had some issues with negative body image, and was especially unhappy with my thighs. Then, in my late 20s, I dated this very romantic salsa instructor. He would always say, ‘You have the most beautiful legs I’ve ever seen.’ I could tell he was serious by the way he looked at them and couldn’t keep his hands off of them. That pretty much cured my negative feelings about my thighs ― I love them now.” ―Celeste Hirschman, co-founder of the Somatica Institute of Sex and Relationship Coaching
“You’re like my Jessica Rabbit.”
“I’ve always been a full-figured woman with a whole lot of extra curves, way before the Kardashians made the now-so-popular hourglass look more socially acceptable in current fashion. My big booty had always made me feel so self-conscious. I used to deny the positive power of my very womanly shape. However, one year during Halloween season, my man and I were standing in the grocery store line discussing what to wear to a friend’s costume party. Without really thinking, he half turned to me, cupping one of my butt cheeks with his left hand while paying the bill with his right, as he simply said, ‘Just throw on that red evening gown and you’re my Jessica Rabbit. Done.’ The smile on my lips was as big as the shock on the person’s face standing directly behind us. A lot of women struggle with their curves but because he called me his ‘Jessica’ I am the proudest cartoon sexpot alive.” ―Hudsy Hawn, kink coach, entertainer and writer
“You make the hottest sex face.”
“A partner of mine used to tell me I made the sexiest faces in bed. That helped me feel a lot less self-conscious not only about my looks but also about taking up the time and attention to receive pleasure without giving anything in return. His explicit admiration of my sex faces let me know he was gaining something just by pleasing me.” ―Suzannah Weiss, writer
“You wear a wicked grin.”
“The first thing my (now) husband ever said to me was, ‘You wear a wicked grin.’ English isn’t his native language, so at first I thought it was a type of ESL vernacular, and maybe it was. But it worked. Now, more than a decade later, I still remember it. It’s so much more powerful than the common, ‘You have a nice smile.’ Words matter, every one of them.” ― Jessica Mehta, author
“You have the softest skin.”
“We were cuddled up in bed together, after having sex. He was gliding his hand along my body and said to me, ‘You have the most beautiful feminine curves and the softest skin.’ Being a trans woman I always strive to be as feminine as I possibly can. Everyone has their insecurities and can be hard on themselves, especially in a situation where you are being so vulnerable with someone else. Not only did this compliment make me feel beautiful, sexy and strong, it brought me and this person closer together. I felt significantly more comfortable with them. Something so simple can mean so much.” ―Bella Joie, YouTuber (JoJo’s Life)
“Your body is perfect exactly as it is.”
“While there’s not a single compliment that a partner has said that changed how I felt about my body, every partner I’ve had has contributed to me unlearning so many of the toxic things people socialized as women are taught to believe about their bodies. My partners have all helped me see that my body is beautiful exactly as it is — that my boobs at any size are ‘the perfect size,’ that no one cares if I have a zit or wish some part of my body was slimmer or curvier, that body hair isn’t a bad thing, and so much more.” ― Rachael Rose, sexuality coach and educator
“Babe, you smell so good.”
“My partner was going down on me, took a deep inhale with his face buried in my crotch and let out a ‘mmmmm’, before looking up and me and saying: ‘Babe, you smell so fresh f*cking good’. I melted, felt so delicious and affirmed and couldn’t help but grinding myself back up to his nose and mouth to give more of my scent to him.” ― Luna Matatas, a pleasure educator and burlesque performer
“You dominate my mind.”
“No matter how much work I put into it, I still have some insecurities about my body, but when I am making love I am all in, fully present, fully showing myself, no holding back. And when my lover meets me there and is able to celebrate and enjoy my full sexual expression, it is so amazing. One time he said, ‘You are the sexiest woman on the planet. You dominate my mind. I love every inch of you.’ This was the most healing sentence ever and he says it often. No matter how many times he says it ― it still feels fresh.” ― Danielle Harel, co-founder of the Somatica Institute of Sex and Relationship Coaching
“I could wrap myself in you all day.”
It wasn’t until recently that someone started saying things to me that made me feel the same. I’m not sure how to quote it but she makes me feel amazing when she holds me tight and says, “You feel so good. You smell so good. I’m addicted. I could wrap myself in you all day.” ―Amber Whittington, YouTuber (Amber’s Closet)
“Your legs are delicious.”
“I was making out with a partner and he stopped to let me know that my legs were delicious. I’ve never had someone compliment my legs so outright like that, I was really flabbergasted. My thighs are something I’ve very self-conscious about so it stuck with me. And then he humped my leg. I knew people say, ‘Men are dogs,’ but I had no idea I was supposed to take it literally. ” ―Alycia Quacker, comedian
“I just wanted to touch you there.”
As a big girl, I had some internalized fatphobia in my 20s that I was working hard to accept and work through. Even though I had an active sex life, I would still struggle to show all of me to my partner. I’d avoid certain positions, particularly ones that exposed the entirety of my belly, and immediately cover myself with a blanket afterward. I’d be lying if I said a little bit of external validation was just what I needed to break out of my shell and be more unapologetic with my body.
A guy I was dating grabbed onto my stomach and gave it a loving squeeze. It took me by surprise, but was also extremely exhilarating. The body part I was especially concerned about was being sexualized in a way that had never happened to me before, and when I asked why he did that he plainly responded that he ‘thought it looked good and wanted to touch it.’ It was as simple as that, and I realized in that moment that I was too in my own head all of this time. From that point on, I made sure to let my belly, and my entire body, be out in full display without feeling ashamed of it. Over time, that shame transformed into pride. That little moment between me and my partner helped catapult an entirely new lifestyle for me. I now expose my belly all over my Instagram, pride myself on being a fat slut, and turn almost all of my t-shirts into crop tops.” ― Alison Stevenson, comedian, writer and creator of Thick Strip Enterprises
“Oh my God, you are just so sexy right now!”
“I was with a male partner and although he was loving and kind, he had trouble giving compliments. One time when we were fooling around, I was particularly uninhibited in my experiencing of pleasure and had dropped into an energy of raw insatiability. My partner burst out, ‘Oh my God, you are just so sexy right now!’ It was such a genuine compliment erupting from his overwhelming desire and appreciation, and it felt great!” ― Jennifer Gunsaullus, a sociologist, intimacy speaker, and author of From Madness to Mindfulness: Reinventing Sex for Women.