Today’s blog post is about what I think are the Olympics of body image: Feeling great when someone sees you naked. It’s enough to strike fear into the heart of many women of any size. Today I talk about where these insecurities come from, how they manifest in our lives, and how they rob us of an essential part of our humanity (for those of us who identify as sexual beings at least). If this sounds familiar, our October body image coaching retreat is made for you: I went from refusing to let anyone see me naked to being happy to drop it all in broad daylight. Let us teach you how – sign up here!
Stop me if this sounds familiar.
I don’t want to have sex with the lights on because I don’t want him to see what I look like naked.
I don’t like being on top because I’m too heavy, I’ll squash him.
I don’t like having sex from behind because my I don’t like my ass.
I don’t like it when my partner touches or kisses my stomach.
I don’t like taking off my bra during sex because my breasts aren’t shaped right.
I know what it’s like. The minute you start to get physically intimate with someone, all your insecurities flood into your head like a rushing river. It could be an exciting new date, a partner you see regularly, or even your boyfriend or your husband. The kissing starts, and it feels nice, but already your mind is racing.
It feels like there’s no good solution, no position you can get in where you feel confident, comfortable, and sexy in your skin. And with all those insecurities rearing their ugly heads, you can’t stay in the moment and actually enjoy the sex. You don’t feel connected to your partner because you’re worrying about how you look, and you can’t really get turned on because your anxiety is taking up all the space in your chest.
Is it any surprise that sex ends up feeling like it’s not really worth all the trouble? Or maybe it feels good once you really get going but it’s a momentary reprieve before you start worrying about how your body looks again the minute after you orgasm, if you’re even able to reach orgasm at all.
Insecurity about your body can be so debilitating in bed that I have clients who come to me and tell me that they like to read on their phones while a partner goes down on them. They don’t realize why they like it, but it’s because feeling insecure about your body can be so distracting that you end up having to occupy your brain with something else, like the news or a novel, in order to give your body a chance to build to climax. It’s like trying to multitask during sex!
This is so pervasive that many of my clients don’t even realize that sex can be any other way. Insecurity about your body, what you look like naked, and how you are in bed can ruin your sex life.
For one thing, it cuts you off from your own body. When you’re worried about how your stomach looks you’re distracted, and you don’t feel physical sensations as intensely. Since good sex requires the brain and the body to be in sync, being mentally distracted can actually dull your physical sensations. And when you’re mentally checked out of your body, you never get a chance to really learn what you like or don’t like, what feels good and what feels bad, what will help you climax if that’s what you want to do, and what won’t.
Feeling ashamed of how you look during sex also makes it harder to connect to your partner. Just think about the fact that so many of us would rather that our partner close his eyes so he can’t see us – talk about making it harder to connect! When you’re insecure about your body, you’re thinking about yourself – how you look and what he thinks of you. That means you’re not able to truly experience intimacy. And in the end, it makes it harder for you to connect to your own body, to find out what good sex means to you, and to learn how to have it.
Ultimately, insecurities about how your body looks naked produce feelings of alienation and distraction during sex. When you’re more worried about how your body looks than how it feels, you’re deprived of one of the most essential dimensions of being a human being: A joyous and pleasurable sex life.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. This may sound far-fetched right now, but imagine feeling completely confident in your body.
Imagine loving how you look naked, and being excited to uncover a form you know is beautiful, radiant, and perfect.
Imagine having sex anywhere in your house or apartment – or outside! – without worrying about how you can get into a flattering position.
Imagine not caring if the lights are on or off – or even imagine wanting the lights on yourself because you like to see the look of total lust and adoration in your partner’s eyes, and you’re in love with the sight of your own skin.
Imagine knowing exactly what feels good to you and having a partner who touches you exactly the way you like.
Imagine being excited to try any new position or toy or act without giving a second thought to how you will look while you’re doing it.
Imagine truly believing that you are beautiful, desirable, and outrageously sexy – and knowing that your partner believes this too.
This might seem impossible. You’ve tried saying affirmations in the mirror about your body, but it never works. You’ve tried putting on sexy lingerie but you just felt self-conscious. You’ve tried asking your partner to touch you more gently (or more roughly) once or twice but he never really did it and you gave up trying. In the end you just ended up back where you started – sometimes sex is enjoyable, sometimes it’s kind of meh, but it’s always accompanied by a flood of insecurity and shame about how your body looks when the clothes come off.
Our October retreat is the answer to your problem.
The truth is, you absolutely can have an incredible sex life. You can feel desirable, appealing, beautiful, sexy, and passionate. You can have the sex life you want and you can feel completely confident that your body looks amazing and your partner thinks you’re the most ravishing creature he’s ever seen. Our retreat will teach you how to learn what you like and what you want, how to enjoy and seek out pleasure, how to communicate with your partner (whether he’s a one-night stand or your husband of 30 years), and how to feel great naked no matter what. And because sex is both a mental and a physical experience, we’ll also teach you some concrete tips and tricks to make sex itself easier and more fun.
Join us this October in New Orleans. Can your confidence and sex life afford to wait?