How Being More Body Positive Can Improve Your Sex Life
The body positive movement is about accepting and appreciating all human body types, no matter what they look like.
What society considers to be beautiful should not cause a person to lose confidence or to feel unworthy of love and respect.
Society's "beautiful" changes every five minutes anyway, so why bother attempting to keep up with what’s trending? We’ve spent the last three years obsessing over our eyebrows... we’ll probably be shaving them off by 2020.
We often hear about body positivity in conjunction with the fight against fat-shaming and the pressure women face to look a certain way.
There is more to the movement than that. Body positivity is against both skinny and fat-shaming, because body-shaming in all its forms can lead to mental health problems and harmful eating disorders.
But body positivity should be inclusive of all genders, races, and abilities, not just female weight. So how can being body positive improve your sex life?
When You Embrace Body Positivity
One major benefit of body positivity is a great sex life. Don't believe me? Well, have I got news for you!
Learning to love your body is sometimes easier said than done. But when you get to a stage where you feel confident, sexy and desirable, you'll discover that:
You'll no longer be a spectator when you have sex
No longer an outsider looking in and critiquing, you'll be a fully-fledged participant. Someone who is relaxed and enjoying the experience.
Your confidence will be infectious
Your partner will echo your enthusiasm and self-assuredness, which makes for passionate, raunchy sex.
You'll feel more free
You'll still have your own personal likes and dislikes in the bedroom, but you'll no longer feel held back by any inhibiting rules. Lights on? Check.
Trying new things may become easier
You may have always been interested in an aspect of BDSM but just never felt like you had the 'right' body. Well newsflash, there is no 'right' body!
When You Don't Love What You Bring to the Bedroom
When you're self-conscious about how you look in the boudoir, you may find that:
Sex comes with 'terms & conditions'
You may not necessarily want to have sex with your clothes on, with the lights off, or in a certain position, but you might feel this is compulsory for your partner to enjoy your sex.
You never let your guard down during sex
Instead, you concentrate on not being seen at a certain angle or you worry about what your partner must think of you.
You're in the mood for some hot lovin' – but you turn down opportunities for sex because you just don't feel attractive enough.
When your partner tells you how sexy you look, you brush it off or assume it's a lie to placate you.
When you don't love the skin you're in, it becomes difficult to relax and enjoy the moment. Being tense and anxious during foreplay and sex means you're less likely to have an orgasm.
If you regularly complain about certain areas of your body, like your stomach or thighs, your partner may end up avoiding these areas during your play in case it upsets you.
Several of your prime erogenous zones could be missing out, unable to supercharge your sex life because you've reluctantly declared them 'out of bounds'.
Criticising your own body can also affect others. After listening to your self-criticism, your partner may feel like their own body isn't up to scratch.
How to Be More Body Positive
If you're someone who is consistently puts themselves down or has always struggled with self-love, becoming body positive won't happen overnight.
Think of body positivity as a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it will become. Here are some 'workouts' you can do to achieving a bangin' sense of self-worth.
Ask for help from your friends, and your partner if you're in a relationship
If you talk about yourself negatively in your day to day life, tell your friends to call you out on it.
Let your partner know that there are parts of your body that you perceive negatively, and that you are trying to change this perception.
Communication is key and the more people you have in your corner supporting you, the better.
Make time to show yourself some love – both figuratively and literally
Pampering yourself and doing small things (like posting that selfie that is pure fire!) are ways you can start to celebrate how beautiful you are.
By the same token, masturbating is a body positive activity. You're relaxed, you're in control and your pleasure is the only priority.
Masturbating illustrates what your incredible body is capable of, so don't hold back.
There are plenty of sensational sex toys for men on the market, and vibrators remain incredibly popular with women as a first-time sex toy (read our Beginner's Guide to Vibrators if you don't know a bullet vibe from a butterfly yet).
As the saying goes – look good, feel good
You may find that lingerie takes you from vulnerable to va-va-voom!
Lovehoney lingerie offers confidence-boosting styles in NZ sizes 6-28, with a number of plus-size specific collections.
Better yet, their designs practically sizzle with sensuality. (No beige-looking granny panties in sight.)
If there is a certain social media account or publication that triggers feelings of inadequacy in you – unfollow and unsubscribe, my friend.
When we were kids, our parents were in charge of what we watched in case we were exposed to stuff that was upsetting.
Now, we're in charge of what we see. So, if something regularly makes you feel like your body isn't enough, cut it out of your life. You're the boss.
Body positivity isn't always easy to achieve. But if you're willing to work at changing how you perceive yourself, your sex life (and indeed, your everyday life) are bound to benefit!
Audrey Andrews is a student blogger for Lovehoney. In her spare time she loves to do craft, but would not advise knitting your own condoms.
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