Several of the links that I shared in this week’s body loving blogosphere targeted reasons for females having decreased libidos, and while there are many different conjectures for why this may be, one in particular interests me: impaired body image. Other demons include stress, financial woes, fluctuating hormones, and health issues, however, I think that the negative effect that having a damaged or poor body image is a supreme reigning factor in a woman’s ability to achieve or seek sexual satisfaction. The fact is: it is really, really difficult to even WANT to have sex when you are experiencing negative emotions about your body/weight/appearance/sexual ability.
Often I talk about the importance of working on and boosting one’s body image, as it is a central issue in many women (and men’s) lives, but it is mostly because I believe that the ripple effect of disliking your own body is more wide reaching than many realize. In this same effect, it is phenomenal how much better your life can become when you begin to love yourself, even just a little bit at a time.
Feeling sexy is a muscle that you need to exercise, often, in whatever manifestation that occurs for you – whether it be sex with a partner, fetish acts, solo-sex, watching pornography, the list is endless, but the point is an important one. It is easy to get out of the routine of incorporating sex into your daily life, and the more you exclude it, the farther off it feels. In that same regard, when you get out of practice sexually, the act can begin to seem like a chore. I often feel the same way about showering. I’m not sure why, but sometimes it seems near impossible to go from sitting, dry, to immersing yourself in water, as if the mere act would require such an energy expenditure that I would rather forgo showering daily for showering every other day and so on. The difference here is, showering is something that we are expected to do often, and so we do, out of habit, even when it seems unnecessary and difficult. Sex for me can feel the same way, but there are few external sources that push me to engage when it seems too far away or difficult or complicated.
If I give into such lax sex rules, then it could EASILY be a week, or two, before I felt the natural urge to copulate again. When, often, I am propelled by my low self esteem – we haven’t had sex in WEEK. Am I ugly? Am i unattractive? Do I repulse my partner? The reality is that an active and satisfying sex life is something within reach, no matter how far or hard it seems, but requires a little bit of action on your part. Make it a priority. Set aside time. Are you exhausted at night? Have sex in the morning or during the afternoon. Are you too stressed out? Create an environment free from the everyday realities of your life where you allow yourself to fantasize and make time for yourself. Your body, mind, and partner will thank you for it.
The great thing about this problem is that there truly is an easy fix, as with learning to love yourself more, learning to feel sexy again is a similar process – just begin. Do something for yourself that feels sexy, validate spending $xx on lingerie, shave your legs, get a pedicure, have a fling with a stranger leaving town the next day, do WHATEVER it is that you can do immediately. And don’t stop there. Stop asking your partner, do you want to have sex? Not sexy, and everyone is a victim of this. You’re bored, and have been with the same person for a million years so you just ask lazily secretly hoping the answer is no. If you want to have sex, actively pursue it. Make your partner feel wanted and sexy. If it has been awhile, and this whole process seems awkward and forced – embrace that and persevere. It may seem forced and fake at first, but will become comfortable and sexy soon.
Your body will thank you.