Recently the results of a national survey indicated that “losing weight” is the number one way Canadians would improve their sex life.
That seriously bums me out.
As a sexuality educator and advice columnist, I’ve spoken to countless people searching for ways to add a little more sizzle to their sex-capades. Heck, I’ve been sexually monogamous for seventeen years. My partner and I have had to help each other out of a few ruts over the course of our relationship. Sex can be very good…but sometimes there’s room for improvement.
In my experience, self-exploration – both mental and masturbatory; open, more explicit communication; and the introduction of new techniques and/or activities are all pretty effective ways of cranking up the heat on the sexy times. And yes, feeling good about your bodies helps. A lot. Confidence is a powerful aphrodisiac. When you’re comfortable in your own skin, well…someone’s gonna want to get on that!
But body-confidence is not the exclusive right of thin people.
Confession. I am and always have had a relatively thin body. I’m also cisgender, able-bodied and youngish by certain standards. So while I’m certainly not immune to the pressure and scrutiny many of us feel around our physical appearance, I have to admit that I am speaking from a place of privilege. The oppressive, fat-phobic attitudes in our society do effect me but usually in an indirect way. I’m rarely told that my body disqualifies me from sex or sexiness. But I know that others are. And that? Is not on.
I don’t blame people for thinking weight loss is the key to better sex. Our society – in particular our media – teaches us that weight loss is a universally positive outcome. We’re also told that slender-bodied people are entitled to happiness, success, love and satisfaction and that they are the standard that we must all aspire to. It’s a head trip, to be sure.
The messages are subtle, insidious and built into everything from fashion magazines to Facebook ads. We’re assaulted with the unrelenting message that sexy looks like something – or more accurately – someone very specific and that if you don’t look like that, you don’t qualify.
Also? Nonesense and shenanigans!
Sexy isn’t about achieving a certain weight or having a specific type of body. It’s about you embracing your sexuality. It’s your body. You’re allowed to feel good about it if you want. You have every right to experience physical pleasure if that’s what you choose. You deserve to experience touch and intimacy if it makes you happy. You are totally allowed to be naked and flaunt what you’ve got in front of your partner(s). Because you own that shizz…literally. Your body belongs to you. So if you want to be sexy, you go right ahead and be hella sexy right now!
And I know, it’s about a million times easier said than done. Too often we’re shown the same commercialized, artificial version of sexuality that’s repetitive, limiting and only validates the experience of a chosen few. But the truth of sex is that it’s a diverse and and varied human expression, experienced by diverse and varied bodies.
As Sally says, you’re already pretty. And I say you’re already sexy. Losing weight won’t make you a better sex partner. Accepting your body? Might just do the trick.
Image courtesy puuikibeach.
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Already Pretty contributor Nadine Thornhill is a sex educator and blogger at Adorkable Undies. She is also a burlesque performer, poet and playwright, living in Ottawa, Ontario – Canada’s national capital. Her writing tends toward subjects such as clitorises, feminism, vibrators, body image, gender politics and non-monogamy. She is a passionately committed Scrabble player and lifelong klutz, having sustained 16 concussions to date.