Body insecurity is one of the most common but least talked about issues amongst young women and teenagers. Negative body image can sprout from several reasons, like familial or cultural ideas and practices, influence from social media and digital platforms, lack of confidence and self-esteem, and so on.
The cultural influences shape our notions about the ‘ideal body,’ and this differs vastly from our ‘actual body.’ Repeated focus on the perceived bodily flaws and nitpicking them result in body insecurity. This can turn into a severe mental issue and can have long-term repercussions.
Even when it is not severe, the impacts can be noticed on your sexual life and sexual well-being. In this article, we will focus on the hindrance in the sexual intimacy and sex life of women who suffer from body insecurity.
Your self-confidence dwindles down.
We all have our ‘ideal bodies,’ be it toned abs or flawless glowing skin. There is nothing wrong with wrinkling your nose at the muffin top you see in the mirror recently. But when your thoughts solely focus on the gaps between your ideal and actual body, it becomes a serious issue of body insecurity. How you perceive yourself plays a significant role in your confidence. When you consider yourself sexually attractive, it amps up your confidence and brings an extra bounce to your steps. Naturally, your potential dates or partners also notice it. But if you focus on your ‘problem areas,’ it impacts your self-confidence. Low self-esteem is not easy to hide in the bedroom or even in the boardroom. So your dates, partners, or potential matches can also sniff out your self-confidence, which further hinders your positive thoughts.
You think others perceive you as unattractive.
Even though we like to get dolled up and look pretty for ourselves, it feels good to turn heads on the street as we strut in all our dressed-up glory. Being desired itself sometimes serves as an aphrodisiac. Sex is an act of desire, and if we think that our partner is finding us desirable, it boosts our esteem. A negative body image can severely affect your thought process. When you think that your partner is not attracted to you, you find yourself in the throes of negative talks instead of pleasure. Even if your partner compliments you, you find that inadequate and usually do not pay heed. You continually nag them about how you look, if your dress or lingerie or haircut suits you, and so on. Sometimes you point out your flaws and seek affirmation from them, and you get upset whatever their answer is.
You lose interest in initiating sexual acts.
Your body insecurity may result in overthinking and anxiety before initiating sexual acts, both implicit and explicit. When you are repeatedly looking at your butt and grimacing, your attention diverts from your social or household surroundings. Your socializing becomes devoid of flirtation, seduction, and establishing a sensual connection. The initiation of intimacy, even as mundane as holding hands and kissing on the lips, fills you with anxiety and overthinking. Even though you find someone staring at you with bedroom eyes at a party or your boyfriend giving you hints, you take no action. Eventually, you stop being actively pursuing sexual relationships and showing interest in sex.
Your arousal becomes delayed.
When your head is functioning at a mile a minute, it does not bode well with your sexual pleasure. Our sexual pleasure is directly related to our engagement in the act. So the focus on the physical sensations results in your visceral reactions and responses. Body insecurity results in the shifting of focus from your bodily experience to your mental voice, yammering about your imperfections and flaws. Kissing, caressing, stroking, every weapon in the arsenal your partner falls short in arousing you.
You face difficulty in reaching orgasm.
Orgasm is often seen as the final stage of our sexual pleasure. Better sexual pleasure means more intense orgasm. However, if your insecurity is yammering inside your head about how you are looking when you are aroused or how your hair is looking all limp and lifeless when your partner is going down on you, that takes your attention away from the pleasure you are feeling. The sensations become dimmed, and your climax bears the brunt. You start having difficulty in orgasm.
Your pleasure (and that of your partner) takes a back seat.
Body insecurity changes your lifestyle and priorities. If you are not comfortable in your skin, you cannot be comfortable in sexual intimacy. If you already lack self-esteem in your appearance, nudity during intimacy can be challenging. The prospect of sexual intimacy seems more daunting to you by the days. The risk of baring your body in front of your partner does not seem worth the reward, and as a result, your engagement in intimacy also reduces, both qualitatively and quantitatively. You do not feel grounded at present during sexual intimacy.
Your bedroom game goes haywire.
If numbers are always swimming inside your head, be it the size of your waist, the numbers of pimples on your face, the numbers of hairs you are shedding, the measurement of your chest and butt, your sexual interest and expertise get pushed back at the back of your head. You do not feel confident before, during, and after sexual intimacy. Your bedroom etiquette, engagement in pleasuring your partner, opening yourself to the physical and emotional experience face hindrance.
Your dating life nosedives
- If your self-image continues to remain at the sea-level, it may damage your sexual well-being.
- If you are in a committed relationship, the relationship comes under the strain of your negative body image.
- or if you were dating and socializing before, now the prospect of those fills you with anxiety.
A cold sweat breaks out whenever you think about going on a date or at a party and spending time with an attractive person. As a result, your dating life or relationship nosedives and your sexual acts also become non-existent.
There is nothing wrong with aspiring to look and feel better. You should take care of your body and groom it as you see fit. But do not obsess over your flaws and limitations. Since sexual intimacy is closely linked with bodily exposure, be confident in your own skin.
Eat healthily, work out and dress up to boost your confidence, and stop focusing on your ‘defect’ areas. Your perceived flaws make you real and a living, breathing human being; they do not deter your beauty or attractiveness. It is a slow and difficult journey to get over your body insecurity and have a fulfilling sex life, but the end result is worth it.