The influence of body image on sexuality

Do you have a good body image? I haven’t really for most of my life. There have always been parts of me that I wished were different, but I would say in the last year or so I have come to the place were I really embrace how I am. The only thing I still didn’t like is that I was mildly, but uncomfortably overweight. I had an epiphany quite suddenly this past summer that involved the realization that perhaps I could actually do something to change this. So I made some minor, but effective changes and am well on my way to having a body that I feel better about. So I accepted the things that I could not change and started changing the things that I could.

As this relates to my sexual relationship with my husband, I really hated certain positions that showed the rolls on my belly and I felt like I wanted to give him something better to look at. Of course, he always loved and accepted me and he never said anything derogatory about my body, but he has also appreciated the effort I have made to get fit again. He is doing the same thing, working towards a more fit body and a healthier lifestyle.

Having lost a sizable amount of weight I definitely enjoy looking in the mirror more when we are having sex than I did before. I love running my hands over my thinner frame when we are intimate. Certain positions that were uncomfortable for me before are more erotic and passionate now. Sometimes when we are making love he will run his hands over my back and say “Man, you really have lost weight, haven’t you.” I love that I got victory in this area of my life that was pretty much out of control for quite some time.

What I am saying is that because this was important to me, having made the change has had a positive effect on our sex life, but it was just as important that I come to a place of accepting the parts of me that I could not change. I needed to embrace those things in order to walk confidently into my bedroom and be the sexy wife that I am now. God created me with certain physical features that are unchangeable (unless I was to get surgery of some kind to change it.) If I was still annoyed by my breast size and overly irritated by the shape of my nose, I believe that I wouldn’t be as free in all the areas of my life where I have seen freedom come, including my sexuality.

So I have happily found my way through this balancing act of learning to embrace who I am on every level and I feel better about myself than I ever have. Please know that I do not presume that the exact journey I have been on needs to happen for everyone in the same way it did for me. I needed to change the size of my body, but that may not be the thing God calls you to at this time, or at all for that matter. I do think, though, that all women need to come to a place where they love every part of themselves for it is then that we can be confident in who God has made us which will end up blessing everyone around us, including our husbands.

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One thought on “The influence of body image on sexuality

  1. First I’d like to say thank you for your ministry to Christian marriages. This site has been an answer to much prayer. I’ve been married for 25 years and can now say I’m free to embrace who I am and to explore and enjoy a healthy sexual relationship with my DH without guilt, shame or fear. Sad to say, it has not always been this way. Growing up, I had horrible self-esteem issues and dreaded the skin I was in. Every woman has issues about their bodies whether they are perfect coke bottles or the average 2 liter varieties. LOL. Most of my negative self-image was a result of continual sexual abuse suffered at the hand of a perverted uncle. Like most victims of incest, I kept silent and suppressed the thoughts and emotions that went along with the memory of my bad experience. Because I never talked about it, in my mind sex and my sexuality was associated with guilt, shame and fear. Pleasure and sex didn’t register and I did everything in my power to hide my body. I was a mess.
    Surprisingly I married at an early age to a great guy. Unfortunately, I merely went through the motions relating to my sexual relationship with him. I didn’t hate sex but I definitely wasn’t enjoying it like I do now. I had a bad body image that deeply affected my marriage. Sex was a chore and I struggled with what was expected of me and what was appropriate in our marriage bed.
    To make a long story short, God has delivered me and I thank Him for a wonderful, patient and understanding husband who refused to abandon ship. I liken myself to an onion because he had to struggle through many layers to get to the woman I am today–I’m free! Sex is great and I have experienced a sexual awakening that baffles me. My DH and I are exploring new ideas, new feelings and renewed energy. We are making up for lost time. I have learned, we can truly go to God for anything and He will answer prayer.

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