Body Image Issues and Your Sex Life…Let’s Communicate
If you’re anything like me, when you look in a mirror or see yourself in all of your naked glory in the shower, all you see are your flaws. UGH! Why are we designed this way? It’s as if our brains are programmed to self-sabotage. I don’t look for these things intentionally, my eyes are drawn to them and my brain goes into overdrive with negative thoughts, overwhelming anxiety, and then I end up in a dark place and a spiral of depression. All of these things affect us in so many different aspects and can destroy our image of ourselves, self-worth, self-confidence, self-love, and...yes, of course, our sex life.
If we don’t feel sexy and embrace the beauty of our flaws, how can we flirt, feel connected to a partner, or perform sexually without non-stop negative thoughts running through our minds and ruining the mood? If we are busy judging ourselves and expressing/harboring frustrations over what others very well may believe are our best assets, could they perhaps be adversely affected by thinking we're judging them and their bodies just as harshly as we judge our own? If so, that is a whole different level of complication our body image shame is projecting. It is a slippery slope. We need to be better to ourselves, and in turn, will have a better viewpoint from what our partners think we think of themselves. Communication is so important for so many reasons. You need to be able to express how you feel, but without making your partner(s) feel uncomfortable (and reassure them that you are not thinking the same of their bodies). My mission throughout my career as a best-selling erotica author and public sexual figure is to promote sex AND body positivity. I see bodies of all shapes, colors, abilities, and sizes, and I find beauty in each and every one. Why do I struggle so badly to see the same in my own?
I’ll be the first to admit this is how my brain functions at default. I hear that I am sexy, beautiful, gorgeous, etc. but I do not see it myself. I fully believe that when people tell me these sweet sentiments that they truly believe and mean it, but I have a hard time seeing it and well, seeing is believing, right? I have a fairly severe anxiety disorder and the medication that has finally worked for me is the same one that has caused me to gain weight. Again, UGH! Then, having a chronic pain disorder like fibromyalgia, makes me tired A LOT, and my body hurts just from existing, so working out is difficult for me because of the soreness and associated pain- so I just end up feeling gross and a whirlwind of self-hate ensues. Don’t get me wrong, I am VERY attracted to curvy bodies and those considered “plus-sized”. I have never and will never fat shame -- totally the opposite. I fully embrace every ounce of any human I am blessed to meet whether virtually, physically, and to think of it, even those I may never meet. I know I am not unhealthy, I eat very clean, I have superfood smoothies to start my days, I do the things -- but, I just don’t feel sexy. Does the level we feel the sexiest stop when our metabolism does? Because... what the heck? Is it just because I am getting older? What gives? Who else struggles? What do you do to “snap out of it” and get back to feeling sexy no matter what your body looks like, or rather, what you have imagined yourself to look like? Because we all often think we look far different than what we actually do.
Many factors come to play with this emotional rollercoaster of body image and insecurity. Sometimes when a relationship suddenly becomes distant, whether from stress, anxiety, depression, or whatever reason, that distance gets in our heads and can make us doubt the attraction our partner(s) have for us. Why? Because there is less communication, less physical touch, less time spent together, and far less sex than what we might be used to.
If we bravely open ourselves to vulnerable communication, discussing these feelings with our partner(s) is the best thing we can do. Often, we discover that these thoughts were just that, thoughts, and that they are not always valid. Our partner(s) might be feeling the same way about themselves, and without talking about the way we feel, we might never know they believe similar self-harming ideas as we do. This can become a vicious cycle of toxic and negative self-reflection, which is, of course, unnecessary and unhealthy for all involved. With COVID-19 changing the lives of so many, we are indeed affected whether or not we know it, admit it, or understand it. COVID-19 can be the cause of added stressors and anxiousness, causing a distance in relationships and sex drives, impacting our sex lives. Don’t allow yourself to become consumed with negative thoughts and images of yourself. Openly discuss these issues with your partner(s) or someone else you trust with such vulnerable information regarding your own sexual experiences and body image struggles. We are all beautiful and we all deserve to know it, to feel it, and to believe it. So, what are your favorite parts of your body? Email me and let’s talk positively about your perfect imperfections. I believe we can do better and be better for ourselves and for each other.