Learning to love your body is good for your overall health. When you feel good about your body, you’re more likely to be happy in your relationship, report higher levels of self esteem and lower levels of depression and anxiety.
But the benefits of body positivity extend into the bedroom, too. Here are just a few of the ways in which body positivity makes you a better lover:
When you love your body, you’re willing to let it perform, explore and experience sex in new and exciting ways. Rather than worrying about how you look, you’re able to indulge in sexual sensations with a genuine focus on how they feel.
Loving your body makes it more likely that you’ll be willing to try new positions, moves and techniques. You’re less likely to be inhibited by negative self-talk (e.g. Does the lighting make me look bony in this position?) and more likely to delight in the endeavour itself. Rather than worrying about what your partner is thinking (e.g. Can they see the birthmark when I’m down on my knees?), you can put your energy into moving, grinding, bouncing, thrusting and/or breathing in a manner to enhance your pleasure — and your partner’s.
Research reveals that body image and overall self-esteem are positively correlated. And since confidence increases your willingness to try new things, loving your body is likely to make you a more open-minded, adventurous lover.
A study published in the International Journal of Sexual Health used a newly-developed scale to measure men’s and women’s attitudes toward genitals and revealed a connection between attitude and experience of sexual pleasure. Women who feel good about their genitals are more likely to have orgasms and practice sexual health-promoting behaviors. These behaviors include performing self-examinations of their vulvas and visiting the doctor for gynecological exams.
The study also revealed that men generally have a positive attitude toward women’s genitals with regard to look, smell and taste despite cultural stereotypes that may suggest otherwise.
So go ahead and get to know your genitals in the name of bigger, better orgasms. Use a hand mirror to check them out. Feel the texture of your skin. Get familiar with your contours and your body’s unique reaction to physical touch which is likely to change with your sleep patterns, diet, stress levels and menstrual cycle.
If you’re a person with a vulva, you may also want to give yourself a non-sexual massage once in awhile — not all genital touch is sexual. Try using a few drops of Astroglide O on the tips of your fingers. Apply to your lips with a slow, firm, rubbing motion and feel the relaxation spread across your body.
When you love your body, your partner is likely to be more at ease with their physical appearance, as body image is contagious. People who fraternize with peers who speak disparagingly about their own bodies are likely to do the same. It follows that how you feel about your body affects how your partner sees you and how they see themselves. Research also suggests that confidence is the ultimate sexual attractor, so ditch the negative body talk and find reasons to love your body.
Does your body perform for you in the realm of dance, fitness, yoga or another physical activity you enjoy? Show it some gratitude.
Does your body carry you exciting places as the vessel of your humanhood? It sure does! You had better appreciate it.
Does your body move at will? Can you control (some of) your bodily movements? Be thankful; the ability to move one’s body at will is not a universal experience.
When you complain to your partner about your body, you detract from their appreciation and admiration of it. For example, if you complain about your stomach or thighs, they may avoid touching these areas for fear of upsetting you during sex play. Your body negativity can affect their comfort in bed and though they may work to reassure you of your attractiveness, this can divert their focus away from simply delighting in your beautiful form. So stop complaining! It does nothing for your self-esteem or your sex life.
Loving your body means that you’re less likely to fall into the bad habit of spectatoring (looking in at the sexual experience as though you’re an outside observer) and more likely to relax and truly experience the encounter with both your body and mind. Research shows that it’s common for one’s pleasure to be positively correlated with their partner’s pleasure (or at least their estimation of their partner’s pleasure), so by loving your body and enjoying sex — rather than analyzing how you look — you’re also helping your partner(s) to do the same.
Have you taken a moment to look in the mirror and admire your body today? Go ahead and do it now. You’re a sexy beast.