I tend to stay away from the really body positive stuff on this blog - maybe for good reason. Firstly, just because it’s something I’m interested in doesn’t mean everyone is - and I’m not about alienating readers. I also try to stick with topics that are at least well-researched and informative as opposed to purely opinion based - sure it’s a blog about sex, and sex toys but that doesn’t mean we can’t all learn something new while stocking up on dildos, does it?! Lastly, I erroneously believed that the body positivity movement doesn’t really have a place on a blog about sex. That is where I was mistaken, mon amis.
Sex is all about being in your body…and most likely someone else being in there too. The problem is, it’s pretty difficult to be present in your body during sex when you don’t want to be there at all - and it’s impacting our ability to enjoy our sex lives. It’s scientifically proven that negative body image is one of the biggest factors interfering with woman’s sexual desire, arousal and responsiveness. (I should also point out here that men obviously suffer with body issues too - which is definitely worth discussing in greater detail. But! Those issues rarely get in the way of sexual function the same way women’s do.)
When you grow up as a girl, you learn every single thing that is “wrong” with your physical appearance pretty early on. It’s not difficult to figure out, because you’re constantly being bombarded with images coded to infer that you’re not good enough as you are : ads, magazines, film and TV shows all project this homogeneous idea of what is beautiful and what is not. We project these ideas onto ourselves and each other - essentially creating an echo-chamber where it’s really difficult not to buy into unrealistic beauty standards and internalise it - and unfortunately most of us have in a big way.
Self-esteem issues abound - and they’re getting in the way of us getting down. Negative self- image can make it really hard to get out of your head and preoccupation with how your body looks, feels or is sized can make it really difficult to enjoy it being touched. A lot of the problem comes from us projecting our own issues on our partners. If we think that our body looks terrible it’s likely that we think our partner feels that way as well - even when that’s absolutely not the case. Most women need to be desired to feel sexy, so if they think they’re not desirable things are not going to go well in bed. If you spend all of sex trying to suck in your belly because you think your partner wants that, it’s likely that you’re not going to be in the right mindset to have an orgasm.
When you break it down it comes to this; to have good sex, I mean really good -toe-curling - astral - projecting - sex, you have to be able to lose your inhibitions. If your preoccupation with your body is getting in the way of this you have to try to forgo the ideas about attractiveness you’ve been taught your whole life and move beyond it. Easier said than done, but not impossible.
The first thing to remember is that the beauty standards we’re used to are absolute bullshit. There is no one way to be beautiful - and there is beauty to be found in everyone. It sounds incredibly lame, but it’s true. Question every image you see and remind yourself that photoshop, filters and make up are all a thing - comparing your whole being to a picture that is probably altered makes no sense. Try to disengage from conversation and media that makes you feel less-than because you don’t look like a long lost Hadid sister. You won’t regret it.
When it comes to looking “good” for a sexual partner, it’s also worth remembering that if someone is down to have sex with you, they most likely also already find you attractive. Most people don’t hop into bed with just anyone, even the most casual of sex-ers at the very least want to get it on with someone they like the look of. To them, you are hot - that’s why they want to do filthy, filthy things with you - believe it!
When I was younger I used to regularly (loudly) despair the fact that no one would ever want to go out with me - which in classic dramatic teenage girl fashion I truly believed. My mother’s patient response was to tell me that there’s someone out there for everyone. Now, I’m pretty certain that she wasn’t talking about casual sex partners (not very PG) but I think the same message applies.
A quick Google will show you that there are people who have a preference for every single feature or quirk you can imagine. Regardless of what you look like, someone will want to fuck you. I promise you that. There are literally people out there who lust after My Little Ponies - and you think someone can’t find your belly sexy? Come on.
Finally, and most importantly, you need to remember that you deserve to feel beautiful because you are. No tea, no shade - I guarantee you that you are an attractive person, even if you don’t feel like it. You deserve a good, healthy sex life and getting past your hang ups (hard as it may be) is the only way to get there. And you will.