I don’t know how you feel about your body, but the relationship that I have with my body is deep, complex, and not at all consistent. Over the years, I’ve been quite mean to both my body and myself.
In fact, there was a time when I believed myself to be so undesirable that I almost cried when a lover said he wanted to touch me after seeing me naked.
The fear and the self-disgust were paralyzing.
Thoughts around body love and sex have been swirling in my head for months, but last week I watched a new documentary called “Inside Her Sex”. One of the women in the film, Elle Chase, said something incredibly profound about not needing to love your body in order to feel sexy, and I realized THAT’S what I’ve been wanting to say.
Your relationship with your body can be a work-in-progress
Feeling comfortable in your skin is important. Being kind to yourself, regardless of what your body looks like or feels like, means moving through life with less stress, less anxiety, and a lot more gratitude.
But, if you are still working on finding that acceptance, it’s OK.
What so many people in the body-love movement gloss over is that even when you’ve moved mountains to transform the way you think about and experience your body, there will still be days when all you can see are the things you don’t like.
Growth and healing are not linear acts – they don’t happen in a straight, consistent, predictable line. Think of it like this success graph. Simply replace “success” with your path to body acceptance.
If that’s true, you cannot afford put your pleasure on hold until you reach some specific and often-shifting body ideal.
Your body is capable of delicious sensations and sensual experiences right now.
Whether you’re 130 pounds or 430 pounds, your skin still tingles at a light touch or shivers at an ice cube being dragged slowly across it.
Whether you’re walking with ease or walking with a cane, you can grab your Hitachi Wand or the detachable shower head and give yourself an orgasm (with or without a partner).
Pleasure isn’t dependent on body size or fitness level or flexibility. You can experience unbelievable yumminess exactly as you are, in this moment.
The trick is to give yourself permission to experience it.
Decide that you deserve this.
More than the voices in your head pointing out all of the parts of yourself that aren’t fit to be seen. More than you’re worried about how you look. You deserve this.
On my journey, after years without sex, I got so fed up and so mad that I was missing out on the sex I dreamed of that I stubbornly decided to just go for it, even if my lover ran for the hills when he saw me naked. It was an act of bravery and I was terrified. But dammit, I wanted it. I deserved it.
Sometimes it will feel like the scariest thing in the world, but just remember you deserve to feel all of the things you’re craving and dreaming about.
Fake it ’til you make it.
This is something I recommend to many of my clients for a wide variety of problems, but it works like a charm.
First, imagine how you’d behave if you were the fiercest, most confident person you can think of. How would you walk into the room? How would you climb onto the bed? What would you say if every single inch of you dripped with sexual confidence?
Now put on your acting hat and embody that person. Pretend you ARE that confident and sensual.
You don’t have to force some big gesture. Simply imagine feeling totally at ease in your body for a few minutes, and then step into the shower with your partner or climb sensually on the bed and ask for what you want or crawl across the floor like a tiger and watch yourself in the mirror before seducing yourself.
Remember that you are MUCH harder on yourself than the people you choose to play with (if you choose to play with others).
When you see yourself in the mirror, it’s easy to focus on all the things you want to change – the scars, the stretch marks, the saggy skin, the too-bony spots, the grey hair – whatever it is.
This used to paralyze me. I would spend so much time trying to hide my big, round belly and my thick thighs from my lovers.
One day I realized that no matter what, they could still see the things I was trying to hide. Plus, I never focused on the tiny imperfections littering their bodies. I couldn’t tell you if they had scars or stretch marks or uneven anything. Even if I could, it was a passing thought, not something I cared about at all.
Instead of all of that, I could tell you in graphic detail what their hands felt like, how they kissed me, how their bodies felt against mine.
And that was such a wake-up call.
Your lover(s) won’t see the things you hate most about yourself. They’ll see the things they love and pass over the rest in their quest to enjoy YOU.
So while you may not love yourself, try adopting a “well, fuck it and let’s do this” attitude. The more you focus on having fun and soaking up those lovely sensations the more you’ll forget about the way your body looks.
The trick is to get lost in how your body feels.
You have permission to have throw caution to the wind, to have amazing sex, and to roll in the pleasure you’re capable of without loving your body.
If you get stuck in your head obsessing about some part of your body you’re really insecure about? Focus all of your attention on your lover or drop into a juicy fantasy in your head and redirect yourself gently.
You can’t be too distracted by your uneven boobs if you’re totally lost in the driving your lover crazy with your tongue, right?
You can have amazing sex even if you don’t love your body. Don’t let that hold you back any longer. Throw caution to the wind, get a little brave, and focus on how everything feels rather than how everything looks. Your lover only cares about sending you to the moon with their skill, not whether you forgot to shave your legs or how many rolls are on your tummy.*
Looking for some kick-ass inspiration?
Check out these badass resources that inspire me on my worst days.
Militant Baker. Read her amazing piece Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls So I Will.
The inspiration for this piece, Elle Chase, talking about feeling sexy at 45 in a fat body.
This Mind Body Green piece on not having to love your body.