How to have sex with the lights on
Dont let your body hang-ups ruin your fun, says sex therapist Anna Kingsley
A world that doesn’t equate big with beautiful can leave those who are big (many of us either are or think we are) feeling pretty undesirable.
If we’re not careful, our insecurities can cause our self-esteem to plummet and our sex lives to dry up. Why? Because if we can’t accept ourselves as attractive, how on earth are we going to feel sexy in the bedroom?
The sad fact is that the number of women unhappy in their own skin has doubled in the past 20 years. This doesn’t bode well for intimacy. If you’re ashamed or anxious about your body, you’re less likely to initiate sex. And if you’re preoccupied with the size of your stomach or the fat on your thighs, you’re not going to be able to focus on his desires or yours when you do have sex. There’ll be a third party in the room: you, your man, and your cellulite. That’s hardly erotic.
There’s no denying that negative female body image is a huge problem with no easy solutions. Change, if it happens, will be slow and steady.
Whatever you do, don’t put your sex life on hold while you wait for those last 10lbs to disappear. Yes, losing weight and getting healthier can get those urges going again, but depriving yourself of romance is not a good idea.
First off, you need to believe that a man could find you attractive. Buy some nice bubble bath or shower gel and spend an extra 10 minutes in the bath touching every part of your body – head to toe. It’s a good way to remind yourself exactly what your body looks and feels like.
Next, try walking round the house nude, just to get used to the sensation. Stand in front of a full-length mirror and don’t move until you've come up with three good points about what you see. If you can't do that, try dancing in the nude.
You only get one body so be nice to it. Treat yourself to a face mask, a manicure or spray tan. Buy yourself new lingerie that flatters your body and wear it even if you know your man isn’t going to see it. This is all about having a positive attitude for yourself.
That’s where change has to start: the more confident we feel about our attractiveness, the more likely we are to be perceived as attractive. Even if you don’t have a man, you’ll feel better about yourself and, because of that, you’ll enjoy your life more in other ways.
Once you’ve worked out where your hang-ups are, you can find a sexual position that works for you: one that allows you to hide the flaws and expose your good side. If you have to, practise in the mirror to see what angles work best.
Did you know?
13% of women will only have sex with the lights out...