“I’m crying because I feel gross! I feel so ugly!”
“Why are you crying?”
“I’m crying because I feel gross! I feel so ugly!”
“Baby, come on… I think you look amazing.”
Nelson assured me as he ran his hand down my back. I quickly pulled away, afraid he’d feel the line where the shape-wear dug into my back.
I’ve been spending entire days in spandex tubes engineered to suck things in and push things down I haven’t felt the natural skin of my stomach since having Emilia, not to mention that I was probably poisoning myself internally with carbon monoxide because I hadn’t fully exhaled in months.
“I don’t. I just feel disgusting right now, like, my whole body.” I sobbed.
Nelson could tell me I’m beautiful until he was blue in the face, and it wouldn’t make a difference because I didn’t believe it myself. Post pregnancy, everything had moved around and re-distributed to new areas, and I struggled dressing and accepting my new body. On top of all of the internal issues, you can add 1 million exterior issues..
Disliking your body will interfere with your sexual comfort and satisfaction. Research has found that the worse a woman’s body image is, the more likely she is to avoid sexual situations and, when in them, be more hesitant to tell her partner what she wants. On a positive side, research has found that the more a woman likes her body, the more she initiates sex, the more sex she has, and the more orgasms she enjoys.
How much a woman dislikes her body and how much this interferes with her sex life is more about her body perception than about her actual body size or shape. You can overcome your negative body image. You can remind yourself that your partner appreciates your body. It’s ultimately more powerful if you can learn to love yourself. To start, an effective strategy is self talk. Saying things like “I love myself. I love my body. I love my sexy hair. I love how it feels to orgasm.”
The idea of having sex without any covers over my body, causes me anxiety. And the worst part of having sex is being nude in front of another person. During sex, I’m always concerned about how my body looks to Nelson. Sometimes I prefer to have sex in the dark, or sometimes I like a certain sexual position only because it covers up a certain body part. And I’m not alone… Countless women in our culture hate their bodies – or at least dislike some of their body parts. Much of this is a reaction to the unrealistic cultural expectations of what women are ‘supposed’ to look like. False images of small and symmetrical inner lips are causing some women to feel self-conscious about the way their vulvas look - and this creating a rise in labiaplasty. Advertisements for “feminine hygiene products” lead some women to believe that their genitals are dirty and smell bad, and obviously women who think their genitals look, smell, or taste bad are not going to be able to relax during sex.
The dislike women feel for their bodies isn’t limited to their genitals. Women often hate their stomachs, their thighs, their boobs, their hips, their asses, and the list goes on. Basically, if there’s a body part, there’s a woman out there who dislikes hers. Along with disliking specific body parts, countless women (like me) struggle with feeling distain for their overall size and shape – and, of course their weight.. next I will tell you how I am learning and what I’ve done to get through this shit storm... https://instagram.com/p/Bp-XfZ4g13A/
My favourite strategy to help ..
One of my favourite strategies is…
wait for it…
HA HA! Just kidding. (If you know me, you know I fucking hate exercise.)
But hear me out… I admire people who can maintain a workout schedule and a training program that benefits their lives, makes them feel good, and doesn’t ruin their psyche. I am definitely not one of those people! NOPE. fuck that. After years of distractive behaviour, I finally learned how to allow my body to just be. For six months, I stretched in the morning, walked when I felt like it, and slept a lot. In the six months following I practiced yoga a few days a week. Sidenote - Yoga- has been found to be especially related to good sex. This may be because yoga teaches you to be fully immersed in the present moment, or maybe because it teaches you some sexy bendy positions?
Anyway, I started to create a “positive movement practice” in my life. It’s fucking amazing. I do what I want to do and it helps me maintain a body I feel good in without the self-loathing drill sergeant rules that a workout schedule or training program brings me. Positive movement practise consists of doing things that you enjoy doing, but just happens to be “workouts.” No training program. Sometimes just a calendar of all the activities going on in your area and a list of things you can do on your own time. What you do on any given day depends on how you’re feeling, what the weather’s like, or how your day is flowing. For example... this Monday, I dressed in a bra and panties and danced like a stripper in the kitchen while I was eating yogurt like those girls in the commercials... “mmm.” Tuesday I took the subway and a half hour walk there and back to a coffee shop, by myself on my way to a therapy appointment! Wednesday I mopped the shit out of the house/ cleaned and folded a fuck ton of laundry. I was sweating my ass off! Wednesday, I went for a little jog, by jog I mean “run ONLY when a car was in sight to look like I jog.” The only thing I wanted to do was listen to a new album from my favourite singer!
All of the things on my list are things I like, not things I think I should do. Life is too short to do things you don’t want to do, with people you don’t enjoy being with for results that won’t cure you of the unhappiness you have about your body. Bonus: exercise has been not only to enhance sexual function but also to be an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. Some studies have found that exercise is equivalent to some antidepressant medications but without the side effects, including sexual ones, such as diminished orgasms.