|Posted on April 14, 2016 at 8:45 PM|
Our Body Images in the Bedroom
by Chanta Blue
Tonight, as we continue dealing with body image and our sense of belonging, we have with us sex and relationship therapist, Chanta Blue. I absolutely love her approach to helping women get in touch with their bodies and their bedrooms. Let's see what golden nuggets she has to share with those of us who want to push beyond negative body images and move onto positive intimate encounters.
“Ugh! I hate my thighs.” “I wish my boobs looked like hers.” “If only I was 20 pounds lighter I would be happy.” These and thousands upon thousands of other phrases haunt women all around the world. We look at ourselves in the mirror and pick out every little imperfection we can find, regardless of the many wonderful attributes we have. But why do we do this? Why can’t we see how beautiful we are…flaws and all.
Who is it that determines what we are supposed to look like? TV commercials? Movies? Print ads? Who are they to determine the perfect height, weight, and overall size of beauty? We are all beautiful in our own right and we shouldn’t let others determine our self-worth. But the reality is, we still beat ourselves up about the way we look. And no matter how many self-affirmations we do or how many times our girlfriends tell us how gorgeous we are we still struggle with our body image daily.
Although we hear and read a lot about how our body image can impact our self-esteem and thus our overall wellbeing, we rarely hear about how these negative self images impact our ability to allow ourselves and others to satisfy our sexual needs. These feelings of shame and anxiety about our bodies aren’t just about our stomachs and thighs anymore; it has recently been extending to our genitals as well. More and more women are becoming so self conscious about the color, shape, and size of their vulva that they don’t want to touch it or allow anyone else to touch it either.
These are issues that have been ingrained in us since we were little girls. Now, as we’ve gotten older, it has become harder and harder to block out those negative images and they keep us from enjoying sex in all its many forms. Women with body image concerns tend to avoid physical closeness, initiate sex less often, and report reduced sexual satisfaction in intimate relationships.
As a sex and relationship therapist, I see a lot of couples and individual women who find it difficult to get out of their own heads when fulfilling their sexual desires. It can be really hard to focus on the arousing possibilities of sex when you’re distracted by your love handles. If we as women can embrace all of our sexy curves, luxuriate in our thick thighs, and love our unique vulvas, we would be able to revel in the gloriousness of giving and receiving sexual pleasure.
So I wanted to leave you sexy ladies with some helpful tips to combat your body image woes:
1. Self-Love is the Best Love: Doing something for you and only you can be a huge confidence booster. It could be as simple as getting your hair and nails done or as extravagant as taking yourself on vacation. Find something that makes you happy!
2. Go F*ck Yourself: Yes, I know that was a little vulgar, but sometimes a good f-bomb is needed! Masturbation is one of the best ways to tackle body image issues. It is the safest and most hygienic way to explore your body and learn where your most sensitive erogenous zones are. Knowing where and how you like to be touched will make it easier for you to communicate your needs to your sexual partner(s). Which leads me to the next tip…
3. Talk it Out: Talking to your partner about feeling unattractive can help them understand the internal struggle that you are dealing with in the bedroom. If your partner is unaware of the reasons behind your avoidance of certain sexual situations, they may begin to internalize your rejection and begin to feel unattractive or resentful. When we keep the lines of communication open with our partners, it helps increase support, trust, and intimacy.
4. Something New: Learning and mastering a new bedroom trick can help take the focus off of your body images woes and place it on something more positive. When we learn new skills and are good at implementing those skills we increase our confidence. This confidence continues to grow as our partner continues to provide us with positive feedback and lessens our body anxiety.
5. Read a Book: This last tip can be great for any woman, whether they have body image concerns or not and whether they're partnered or single. There are three books that I absolutely love to refer to when it comes to women’s sexual pleasure:
Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts on body image and the bedroom with you! I know from personal experience that it can be a long and arduous journey to becoming comfortable in your body. If I can be of any help to you as you go through your own journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Now go and have some fabulous, fierce, and sexy fun between the sheets!!
Chanta Blue, LSW is a sex and relationship therapist at the Blue Counseling and Wellness Center in Montclair, NJ. For more information and to learn about their upcoming events, please like their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlueCounselingandWellness/