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Looking at the spread for Complex magazine’s upcoming December/January issue, you would think Paula Patton is accustomed to prancing around in racy clothes and striking suggestive poses, but the actress says the truth is quite the contrary. Now, only after steady media buzz over her films, including “Déjà vu,” “Precious,” “Just Wright,” “Jumping the Broom,” and the much coveted role of Tom Cruse’s female lead in the guaranteed blockbuster “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” the actress says she has eased into her sex appeal.

Here are a few highlights from her interview where she talks about getting to a point of being comfortable with her body; having the support of her husband, soulful singer Robin Thicke; and why every woman needs to be her man’s sex therapist:

What brought about your newfound sense of confidence?
Being honest with yourself as you get older, and after you live life longer. I’m more comfortable with my flaws now, and with that, you start to feel more confident. When you’re trying to hide all of your flaws, and you’re embarrassed by them, it can be so uncomfortable—very, very uncomfortable. You don’t know who you’re supposed to be. I just hit a certain point when I started to think, “You know what? These are my flaws, and I’m OK with them.” I love me! I’m doing the best I can with what I have. I’m not afraid to say that anymore. I feel comfortable in my own skin now.

Why has it taken so long for you to get to this place?
You come to a certain place in your life where you don’t feel like people only look at you for your physicality anymore. And I don’t even know if that’s true or not for me. Some people might see a picture of me in a bikini and think, “Who is this chick? I don’t even know who this chick is,” and just look at my body. But I guess I just needed to know that I’m more than that.

So you’re cool with men drooling over these pictures?
It only matters what I feel. I know that I’m smart, and I know that I’m about more than just putting on [skimpy] clothes. It’d be a lie for me to say that I don’t enjoy putting on [skimpy] clothes and showing myself off, and my husband would tell you the same. [Laughs.] He’d be like, “People don’t know who you really are!” Why should I have to hide it? That’s silly.

How big of a factor is your husband in this new confidence?
He is my greatest supporter. He’s never stopped me from doing a single thing; he only encourages me to go for it. He tells me to do things before I even think I’m ready myself.

The two of you have been together for half of your life. For a couple in the public eye, that’s unheard of. How does it continue to work amidst all the stress of fame?
There’s no recipe. There’s no other way to say it—it’s true desire. We’re crazy enough that we just keep wanting to be together. We just don’t not want to be with each other. [Laughs.] It doesn’t mean that we don’t have our ups and downs. We just don’t want to be with anyone else. That’s how we keep it together: desire.

In one interview, he called you his “sex therapist.” Does it ever make you uncomfortable to read things like that in print?
I hope he’d say that! [Laughs.] Who else would I want it to be? Your wife should be your sex therapist, or if you’re not married, your girlfriend should be your sex therapist. If she’s not, then things aren’t going so well.

To read the rest of the interview and see more edgy pics of Paula, click here.

What do you think of Paula Patton’s newfound confidence? Does it come through on the cover?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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