The two of you are there, in the middle of the most passionate and intimate act — sex — when your hideous and incorrect views of your body cause discomfort, displeasure, or sadness in the middle of the deed! Except here comes the worst part: you don't even know that this is happening but your partner, who is the victim as well in your bad body image game, is aware. Painfully so. You may not even realize it, but your toxic feelings about your body are ruining the most precious and intimate aspect of your relationship. Here are four signs that your body image is negatively affecting your sex life.
1. You Experiment Less
Because you think your thighs, butt, or what have you are too big, too small, or not right, you experiment less in the bedroom. You're uncomfortable in your skin and so you're not ready to jump into a sexual relationship feeling confident and free. Instead, you're feeling burdened and restrained.
2. Lights Off Is a Must
You think you look terrible, so you turn off the lights or you put on a shirt, or you refuse certain positions because you're not "comfortable." To you, this is perfectly acceptable. Why would your partner want to see these "bad areas" on your body?
But to your partner, there are no "bad areas" on you! He thinks your body is perfect.
He thinks you're beautiful, but you won't let him enjoy your body the way he wants to. How is sex then enjoyable for him, if he can't enjoy you? It's not. It takes away from his bedroom experience with you and, whether you know it or not, consciously trying to "hide" your body is taking away from your experience, too!
3. The Complaints Keep Coming
"I feel fat."
"I don't look good in this."
"Don't touch that part of me."
All of these comments add up and slowly erode your self-esteem and kill your sex life.
4. You Crave Sex Less and Less
The less happy we are with our bodies, the less likely we are to want to be intimate. A former friend of mine, who was suffering with anorexia, was refusing any sexual activity with her partner because she was so miserable with herself and her body.
Eventually, they broke up.
These are just four signs that your sex life is negatively impacted by your negative body image. How can you tell your sex life is already starting to die?
- Your partner starts to get irritated with your negative body comments and calls you out on them.
- Your partner wants sex less frequently.
- Your partner complains that you are not emotionally present during sex, refuse to undress, or are "colder" to him.
- Your partner withdraws.
Negative body image doesn't simply hurt you: it hurts those who are involved with you intimately. And before you say, "Well, everyone has issues with his or her body," you may be right, but someone who has severely distorted views of his or her body is apt to have other mental health issues as well. Having a hate-hate relationship with your body is not healthy. If you feel this relates to you, consider going to therapy to unearth why you feel so conflicted, sad, and torn over your own body. You only get one body — learn to love it!