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While waiting to board a plane to Berlin this summer, I got completely absorbed by an article printed on a foreign issue of Cosmopolitan on — get this — sex positions for a woman to camouflage the parts of her body that she hates. As in, “Hate your tummy? Try reverse cowgirl!”

What. the. fuck.

I can handle magazines giving out advice of the “Get shinier hair!” sort, but I barfed a bit upon seeing that their best advice to women with body insecurities was to hide it instead of getting over it and enjoying sex. I mean, reverse cowgirl doesn’t even let him see my face. You go, Cosmo, for taking the easy way out. Establish yourself as the most fashion-forward breeding ground of insecurity!

Of course, I completely forgot about my own insecurities. A few years ago, I had major issues with my body. By the time I started high school, I was sporting a pretty bodacious rack and getting the attention that came with it. And the women in family run thick, so I was stuck with a few extra pounds on my thighs and butt that not even the Atkins diet could shake off. As far as I knew, I had the most whack-ass body in the entire universe.

And then when I started having sex, my insecurities were a bit of an obstacle. You know those girls who get naked and cover themselves with the sheets and insist on having sex with the lights off and wake up early to groom, lest she look like Chewbacca? That was me! It made absolutely no sense. Oh, and Cosmo wasn’t even the first one to come up with tummy-minimizing sex positions, because that’s how I got into the missionary.

At some point, I was getting with a guy and I was too hammered to be self-conscious and voilà: the best sex of my life. Like, I’m never ever going to top that and I should probably stop having sex so that I don’t ruin whatever is left of my life. That kind of sex. “I’ve never been with a girl who is that into her body,” he told me the next morning. If he only knew!

I’m way more confident now — I know I don’t look like a supermodel, but guess what? I also don’t have to diet and work out like one. My boobs are still strange-looking and my thighs are still thick and my ass still doesn’t fit into 99 percent of jeans, but I like my body. I can have sex with it, and sex is pretty awesome. I should have thought of that before.

So if you haven’t figured out what my message is yet, let me spell it out: Stop obsessing. Sex gets a million times better when you stop thinking about your jiggly thighs or your beer belly or what-have-you and focus on more important things like, you know, your orgasm. If someone finds fully-clothed you attractive enough to pin down to the mattress, I doubt they’ll find something scary enough to change their mind once you’re naked. For all you know, your partner might have his own body hang-ups!

I know what you’re thinking: Easier said than done. Confidence is not built overnight but there are things you can do to feel better about yourself, like hanging out naked to get more comfortable with your body. Look at your body as this awesome pleasurable thing instead of a source of anxiety. The things you might dislike about your body might be the things people find beautiful in you, so start listening when people compliment you and take it to heart. Remind yourself that you are damn babeful and awesome and unique, and all of that makes you completely fuckable. Confidence is the biggest turn-on ever, so all the effort will pay off.

But the best piece of advice I can probably give you, and the one that’s helped me the most, is this: Instead of focusing on your insecurities, focus on the fact that the person on the other end is way excited out of their mind to be screwing you soon. If they do give you shit about your body, kindly remind the asshole in question that he’s lucky enough to be getting laid and if he’s going to get sassy, he can take his limp business elsewhere. Do it in any position you want, and for fuck’s sake, please leave the lights on.

M. is a senior in Course 10. She can be contacted at undress@tech.mit.edu.