Body Positivity during intimacy

Things are getting steamy in the bedroom. You’re kissing passionately, and then you open your eyes, look down… and find any possible excuse to turn the light off. We’ve all been there. Once, I even held my breath for the entirety of intimacy in the hope that my belly looked thinner. But what makes us […]

Gemma Powell
26th October 2020
Things are getting steamy in the bedroom. You’re kissing passionately, and then you open your eyes, look down… and find any possible excuse to turn the light off. We’ve all been there. Once, I even held my breath for the entirety of intimacy in the hope that my belly looked thinner. But what makes us behave so strangely?

At the heart of it, we think we are undesirable. I’m in an established loving relationship of two years and I still think “why is he with me?” on a daily basis. The feeling of not being desirable is even worse when you’re single.

But what makes a person desirable? For me, I don’t even have a type. Slim, curvy, muscular and like me chubby, we’re all great. It’s definitely not about Euro-centric beauty standard or looking like the next top model in the bedroom. The key to desirability is confidence.

Confidence during intimate times usually means better intimate times.

Confidence in the bedroom, in the club or in the streets is the key to body positivity. And confidence during intimate times usually means better intimate times. If you’re too busy paying attention to the fact that you might have a stomach roll, you stop paying attention to your partner and forget what you’re actually there for: normally happiness and/or pleasure for both of you!

Poor body image is not so easy to get over. Several generations have now been told exactly how our bodies should fit into this idealised gender binary, and the diet industry's exhaustive marketing of diet pills, laxatives and muscle building pills does little to help. Some scientists go so far to say that poor body image can even be inherited.

So how do we combat this then? Confidence for me has only come with learning to trust someone over a long period of time. It honestly shocked me to know there were moments when my partner was as self-conscious as me. I think realising that the other person/people in an intimate moment feel the same as you helps you forget about the imperfections you think you have and move on.

Another trick is to leave the lights on. It might be uncomfortable at first when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror but actually, lights on becomes liberating. It may be a little confusing to a partner when you try and hide away. Then, you end up having to have the old “it’s not you, it’s me” chat and that’s especially awkward on a one-night stand.

It might be uncomfortable at first when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror but actually, lights on becomes liberating.

One final tip is to compliment your partner’s body. Or if they have a certain body area that they are generally weary of exposing, kiss it or caress it with their consent. Helping someone else feel positive will lead to them helping you feel positive. It doesn’t have to be a particularly sexual part of the body as my current partner’s worries have been about the bottom of his back and mine are the stretch marks on my upper arms. This is obviously easier to do with a long term partner but giving out some selfless love is normally appreciated.

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