SEXUAL HEALTH: Secret to best intimacy ever

Your lack of body confidence is getting in the way of a fulfilling sexual experience. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • And what of men and women who are unhappy with the sizes of their tummies?
  • They are quite a number out there. They by all means want their tummies flat.

The one common reason why men and women are not enjoying intimacy is lack of love for their bodies.

For you to feel fanciable, you must first accept, appreciate and love your body. This, however, is not always the case.

Take the case of Cathy. She has pimples on her face. She has unsuccessfully tried everything to clear them.

Occasionally she pops them, leaving her skin damaged. She hates looking at herself in the mirror. It depresses her. She wishes her face was smooth like her friends’. For Mary, it is the size of her breasts. She feels they are too big.

“They are like sacks of potatoes hanging on a stick!” she describes them figuratively.

She wishes she could do plastic surgery to reduce them. She has tried tight bras but they only worsen her shape.

She hates her body. For James, it’s the size of his chest and muscles.

He feels he is not muscular like other men. He has been taking steroids and lifting weights ‘to look like other men’.

And what of men and women who are unhappy with the sizes of their tummies?

They are quite a number out there. They by all means want their tummies flat.
“I do 20 sit-ups every morning and evening to deflate this tummy,” says Joyce, “but the more I do them, the more it protrudes.”

Jane uses a cosset around her tummy with the hope that it will flatten it.

She has done this over the last eight months but nothing seems to change. She hates the shape and size of her tummy. She wishes she could exchange it for her sister’s.

Her mother always reminded her of the tummy when she was young, and sometimes said she looked pregnant!

For Tom, it’s the head. The shape and size of his head has always bothered him.

Comments and insults by his siblings and friends do not make things any better. They have even nicknamed him ‘Head office” . In sexology, the feeling of unhappiness with one part of the body is called body dysphoria.

Body dysphoria interferes with self-image, confidence and self-esteem.

In the bedroom, body dysphoria makes one feel insecure about their body around their partner.

As such they avoid showering together. They do not allow their partners to massage their bodies because this would require them to be seen naked.

Before undressing, they put off the lights to hide what they hate. Causes of body dysphoria are multiple.

The common one is that the person has grown up in shame, being called names because of his or her body shape.

They grow up ashamed of their bodies. The belief that they are not good enough begins to get cemented.

The other thing may be what one’s community generally deems beautiful. Nowadays, some women want to be thin because that is the concept of beauty being propagated. Unfortunately, some round women feel ugly and inferior.

Of course some thin ladies also want to gain weight especially if they have been humiliated due to their body size.

Whatever the causes, people with body dysphoria feel inferior. This makes them feel less fanciable.

Consequently, it makes them avoid intimacy with their partners. In fact, in some cases, it makes them abhor their partners subconsciously. This affects sexual intimacy and the relationship as a whole.

One way of dealing with body dysphoria is to do a reality check. This involves looking at photos of other people’s bodies.

By doing this, most people realise that they are not abnormal after all. In fact they may discover that they are the better ones among others.

Where body dysphoria is severe, it’s necessary to go for therapy.

This is because body dysphoria sometimes results from emotional trauma or abuse early in life that can only be treated with structure therapy. Many cases of deeply rooted body dysphoria manifest as sexual dysfunction,s and are only discovered by a keen sex physician.

So, if you are facing many common problems that sabotage your whole sexual experience such as low sex drive, painful sex, failure to get orgasm, you may want to see your sexologist to be sure that it’s not an issue of body dysphoria disorder.