The Sexiest Valentine's Gift for Him (that's Really for You)

by NoGamesLove Dating Coach Laurel House

My Boudoir photo shoot!My Boudoir photo shoot!I'll admit it… I have scrolled through the "galleries" of photos on AskMen.com and flipped through the pages of scantily clad women in Maxim, and the seductively posed celebrities in GQ and Esquire. My eyes roll over their curves and my mind starts to race- how can you not get just a little turned on by peeking at such a sexy scene. But it's more than looking at their bodies; I'm imagining myself in those positions, wearing those clothes, and feeling that beautiful. I want to look that sexy. But more than that, I want to feel that sexy. Of course then that nasty voice chimes in my head and starts spitting out venomous comments like "your thighs are too fat," "your face is too round," "your ass is too wide…" you could never look like them.

And I'm not alone. As a dating coach, I hear from thousands of women who reveal their own body insecurities. In fact, some of the women who seem most "perfect," the women who you gawk at and wish you could look like them, they are often the ones who put the most pressure on themselves to embody perfection, and therefore fixate on the most seemingly minute and practically unnoticeable flaws. We are tearing ourselves apart, cutting ourselves down, and destroying our self confidence and self worth in the process. And let me tell you something- if you are sharing these insecurities with your guy, you're also potentially destroying your relationship. You are forcing him to see you through your eyes. Is that really want you want to do? Do you really want him to look at your ass and think "wow, she's right, it really is huge! I always thought it was sexy and voluptuous, but now that she points it out…" It's got to stop.

So I decided to take the first step. In my coaching I lead by example and put my many mistakes on display so that my clients can learn from them and avoid making them themselves. I wanted to prove to myself that I could be that sexy- as sexy as the girls in those magazines. Ok, maybe not quite that sexy. But at least I would feel that way. I decided to strip down and be photographed.

This is me on a camping trip- no makeup and probably no shower for several days!This is me on a camping trip- no makeup and probably no shower for several days! Though I live in Los Angeles, I drove the 3 hours both to and from San Diego because I had to shoot with Boudoir Divas. The moment I walked into the studio I felt like a supermodel. They handed me a glass of champagne and led me into a room filled with inspiring photos of other clients with an array of body shapes and sizes, each of whom oozed with confidence, beauty and sex appeal. My nerves began to untangle. Next I was escorted into hair and makeup where my skin tone was evened out, false eyelashes were affixed, and my hair was bolstered with curls and hairspray. Feeling sexier by the second I was walked through the expansive studio of several "sets" and into a girl's fantasy suite- a huge closet filled with high heels, lingerie, sexy outfits and accessories. My photographer came in and we discussed my purpose for taking the photos- because I wanted to prove to myself that I am sexy, even if sometimes I don't see it. From military women who want to feel sexy to bride-to-be's who are giving these photos to their guy in order to amp up the pre-aisle walk excitement, women who have lost a lot of weight and want to celebrate to recently single ladies in need of an injection of confidence before going back out into the dating scene, the core desire to both look and feel sexy was the thread through most of the women's stories.

My Boudoir photo shoot!My Boudoir photo shoot!

We decided on two outfits (both of which I had brought) and two sets, and the photo shoot began. From the moment I removed my robe, I felt completely safe, but more than that, I truly did feel like a model in a photo shoot for one of those magazines. I loved feeling my body move as the photographer gave me tips to enhance my sexy curves. I felt liberated and energized and gorgeous! When I saw the photos I was shocked that I could look so good. Finally I allowed myself to take off my tainted glasses and see my body through someone else's eyes- the photographers. And within that fresh view I saw, and finally felt, beautiful.

A boudoir photo shoot just might be one of the most confidence-boosting gifts you can give yourself. And if you're in a relationship it's one of the sexiest gifts you can give your guy. With the right hair, makeup, clothes, angles, photographer, and maybe airbrushing (which is EXACTLY what the women in the magazines experience) you can transform your confidence. Look good/feel good. Feel good/look good.


Single?

Give this gift to yourself- because you're worth it and you deserve to feel sexy and confident and beautiful.

Coupled?

Give this as a gift to him (knowing that it's really for you), and you will blow his mind.

In the end, my boudoir photo shoot allowed me to not just see beauty (though in the photos I definitely did), but to be simultaneously vulnerable and confident- which made me truly feel sexy. Within that space, on those sheets, in that sexy outfit, with my hair and makeup done- my true radiance was revealed- and it had nothing to do with my face.


SAFETY Tips Before You Book Your Boudoir Shoot:

-Don't just let any random person take sexy pics of you.

-You don't want your sexy pics to get into the wrong hands

-You must trust the person/company who is shooting the pics

-You must feel and actually BE safe. You are opening yourself up to be very vulnerable. Some people could try to take advantage of that, and of you.

-If you are having an individual (as opposed to an established company) take the pics, you can have them take the photos in YOUR camera only so that you have complete control of the images after the shoot.

-If you choose to hire a company, do your research first. Don't be embarrassed or feel like you are inconveniencing them by calling and asking more questions.

xx Laurel

Laurel HouseLaurel House is an international Dating Coach and Lifestyle Expert, MTV's MADE "It Girl" Mentor, 4x published Lifestyle Author, and a go-to Expert on E! News. She recently sold her 5th book "Screwing The Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love," which will be released in December 2014 with Running Press.

With over 12 million views on YouTube, Laurel has created a platform to deliver dating and healthy lifestyle tips to the masses. Laurel is a Dating With Dignity dating coach. Her tips also appear on CupidsPulse.com, YourTango.com, SheKnows, and FabFitFun.com. Because of her edgy, honest, and wide-ranging advice, she is often referred to as the modern-day Ann Landers.