A couple sits in my office. One partner is sad and frustrated that the other doesn’t seem to be interested in sex anymore. They are feeling very rejected.
The other partner says quietly, eyes looking down, “Honestly, it’s not about you. I don’t like my body. This weight I’ve gained, I can’t stand to look at myself in the mirror. I don’t know how you’re attracted to me…when you touch me, all I can think about is what I want to change about my stomach.” A tear begins to well in their eye.
When we don’t feel good about our bodies, sex can seem like the last thing we want to do. There’s a lot of pressure we get about needing to look a certain way in order to be sexy (usually from media and sometimes from people we know, or worst of all from past or current partners).
We soak up these messages like sponges and we start believing them.
Pardon my crassness, but eff that.
Your body is wonderful (and sexy) just the way it is because our bodies were made to feel sensations. The touch of another person can ease stress, anxiety and depression; it can give us a rush of happy hormones, helping us bond on a deep and intimate level.
We might not be able to stop these negative messages from existing, but let’s start adding some positive ones, too.
And listen to me: Fat bodies can be sexy. Skinny bodies can be sexy. Vulvas and penises of all kinds, shapes and sizes can be sexy. Hands, mouths, your voice, your touch all can be sexy.
There aren’t limitations on what is sexy unless you let them exist.
Don’t believe me, but want to? Talking through your thoughts and feelings about your body and sex with an experienced therapist (either alone or with your partner) can help.
If you are ready to get support around this or other relationship issues, you can schedule an appointment with one of our therapists. We’re here to help.