The Star (St. Lucia) - Life Begins 2 Nite - - CONTENTS - by Laura Lif­shitz

The two of you are there, in the middle of the most pas­sion­ate and in­ti­mate act — sex — when your hideous and in­cor­rect views of your body cause dis­com­fort, dis­plea­sure, or sad­ness in the middle of the deed! Ex­cept here comes the worst part: you don’t even know that this is hap­pen­ing but your part­ner, who is the vic­tim as well in your bad body im­age game, is aware. Painfully so. You may not even re­al­ize it, but your toxic feel­ings about your body are ru­in­ing the most pre­cious and in­ti­mate as­pect of your re­la­tion­ship. Here are four signs that your body im­age is neg­a­tively af­fect­ing your sex life.

1. You Ex­per­i­ment Less

Be­cause you think your thighs, butt, or what have you are too big, too small, or not right, you ex­per­i­ment less in the bed­room. You're un­com­fort­able in your skin and so you're not ready to jump into a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship feel­ing con­fi­dent and free. In­stead, you're feel­ing bur­dened and re­strained.

2. Lights Off Is a Must

You think you look ter­ri­ble, so you turn off the lights or you put on a shirt, or you refuse cer­tain po­si­tions be­cause you're not "com­fort­able." To you, this is per­fectly ac­cept­able. Why would your part­ner want to see th­ese "bad ar­eas" on your body? But to your part­ner, there are no "bad ar­eas" on you! He thinks your body is per­fect. He thinks you're beau­ti­ful, but you won't let him en­joy your body the way he wants to. How is sex then en­joy­able for him, if he can't en­joy you? It's not. It takes away from his bed­room ex­pe­ri­ence with you and, whether you know it or not, con­sciously try­ing to "hide" your body is tak­ing away from your ex­pe­ri­ence, too!

3. The Com­plaints Keep Com­ing

"I feel fat." "I don't look good in this." "Don't touch that part of me." All of th­ese com­ments add up and slowly erode your self-es­teem and kill your sex life.

4. You Crave Sex Less and Less

The less happy we are with our bod­ies, the less likely we are to want to be in­ti­mate. A for­mer friend of mine, who was suf­fer­ing with anorexia, was re­fus­ing any sex­ual ac­tiv­ity with her part­ner be­cause she was so mis­er­able with her­self and her body. Even­tu­ally, they broke up. Th­ese are just four signs that your sex life is neg­a­tively im­pacted by your neg­a­tive body im­age. How can you tell your sex life is al­ready start­ing to die? 1. Your part­ner starts to get ir­ri­tated with your neg­a­tive body com­ments and calls you out on them. 2. Your part­ner wants sex less fre­quently. 3. Your part­ner com­plains that you are not emo­tion­ally present dur­ing sex, refuse to un­dress, or are "colder" to him. 4. Your part­ner with­draws. Neg­a­tive body im­age doesn't sim­ply hurt you: it hurts those who are in­volved with you in­ti­mately. And be­fore you say, "Well, ev­ery­one has is­sues with his or her body," you may be right, but some­one who has se­verely dis­torted views of his or her body is apt to have other men­tal health is­sues as well. Hav­ing a hate-hate re­la­tion­ship with your body is not healthy. If you feel this re­lates to you, con­sider go­ing to ther­apy to un­earth why you feel so con­flicted, sad, and torn over your own body. You only get one body — learn to love it! –

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