Girl, Wash Your Face Lie 7: You Can’t Improve Intimacy

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you feel like you’re failing at your sex life? Are you looking for tips to improve intimacy with your significant other?

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis explores the 20 lies we’re told by society and that we tell ourselves and how to overcome them. Lie 7 is telling yourself that you’re “bad at sex.” But it is possible to work through your insecurities and fears and improve intimacy for yourself and your partner.

Keep reading to learn how you can work to improve intimacy and to stop listening to lie 7.

Lie 7: I’m Failing at My Sex Life

Many women feel insecure about their sexuality, going through the motions to please their partners but not fully enjoying the experience. This problem gets worse as they have children, their bodies change, and life gets busier. But it is possible to work through your insecurities and fears and improve intimacy for yourself and your partner.

The author also experienced insecurity about her sexuality. She stopped enjoying sex as her relationship left the honeymoon phase; their sex life petered out and got worse after having babies. She went through the motions, but was less and less comfortable, not enjoying the experience. She began to resent the feeling of obligation.

She didn’t want to hurt her husband’s feelings, but when they finally did talk, she was shocked to hear that he no longer enjoyed intimacy because he could tell that she was stiff, uncomfortable, tired and unenthusiastic. He also wanted to improve intimacy between them.

Tips to Improve Intimacy

With effort and love, Hollis was able to move past lie 7 and turn things around. To help other women, she shares the seven steps she took to create an exceptional sex life:

  • Change how you view sex. She decided that sex was going to be a fun experience, more compelling than anything else she could be doing at the moment — watching TV, reading a book. She stopped making sex “second fiddle” and began to look at it as an awesome opportunity — making it more likely she’d choose it.
  • Figure out how to enjoy sex more. She realized if you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re not having good sex; the only thing holding you back is you. She opened up to her husband about feeling nervous, shy, and uncomfortable, and they worked to improve intimacy together.
  • Reconcile Christian beliefs with having great sex. She realized she had hang-ups because of her Christian faith, but had a breakthrough after reading Hebrews 13:4: “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled.” She took this to mean that what’s happening in bed with her husband isn’t weird or bad or wrong. 
  • Embrace your body, flaws and all. A low opinion of your body kills your ability to enjoy sex because you’re worried your partner is finding fault with you. Practice positive self-talk about how great your body looks, and you’ll start to believe it.
  • Commit to your orgasm. The author used to feel that orgasms were icing on the cake; she came to the conclusion that orgasms are the cake. Her advice: commit to the idea that sex means having an orgasm. Because pleasing your partner is a source of pleasure, your partner will enjoy this as well and it will improve intimacy for both parties.
  • Figure out what turns you on. Experiment until you better understand your body and what really excites you.
  • Commit to having sex every day for a month. While this challenge can be hard with kids and work, it’s worth it. It gives you the chance to experiment and try things out with no pressure — and more sex makes you want more sex.
Girl, Wash Your Face Lie 7: You Can’t Improve Intimacy

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Rachel Hollis's "Girl, Wash Your Face" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Girl, Wash Your Face summary:

  • Why you should accept that life can be messy
  • How seeing that you're in control of your life can help you live more joyfully
  • The 20 lies you might be telling yourself

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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