By: Amanda Anderson
Q. My weight fluctuates. There are moments when I feel like I am the perfect size, and then six months later, I feel like the fattest woman on Earth. Everywhere I go, I see images of women with perfect figures, and I believe it has taken a toll on my self-esteem. I might have my days when I feel like a gorgeous woman, but I have more days when I wonder if I could stand to lose a few more pounds. I’m in a committed relationship with a man who really cares for me. I want to get intimate, but I’m afraid that my body will turn him off. He doesn’t seem like the type to put me down over my physical appearance, but I just can’t say that I like the way my body looks. I’m afraid to let him or any man see me naked. I know it may be strange, but it is something I am really not comfortable with. What can I do to feel better about myself and my body, so I can open myself up to intimacy with my partner?
A. Your situation is not unique, and I want to remind you that there are millions of women out here who hate their own bodies. The media and the unhealthy obsession with perfection in our culture has caused us to chase physiques that aren’t naturally realistic to our body types. Some women are naturally thin, and some have to work a lot harder to shed the pounds. But that doesn’t mean that either will be guaranteed to love their bodies. There are skinny women who hate their bodies, and bigger women obsessed with becoming a size zero.
While size matters little to your problem, the biggest complexity of your situation is your lack of self-esteem. You will never be the perfect size because even if you become a size 2, someone will say you’re too skinny; and if you’re working with a little more, someone will say you’re too chunky.
In short, you can’t please everyone. And honestly, you don’t have to. They really don’t matter because you only have to face yourself when you look into a mirror.
Learn to love yourself and love your body because it’s part of you. Isn’t every part of you worth loving? If you have a great man, he’ll love you regardless of the stretch marks, extra pounds, or lack there of.
Most importantly, self-esteem is the only way you’ll ever manage to love yourself. When you believe your body is worth loving, others will start to believe it too. You’re fabulous girl, no need to think otherwise.
Open yourself up to some good lovin’.
Q. I have been in so many bad relationships, and I am finally in a relationship in which I am really happy. My man treats me like a queen, and he loves me in a way that I have never been loved. We decided to get intimate a month ago, and it wasn’t anything like I expected. I thought the sex would be amazing because we love each other so much, but it has been completely awful. It’s boring and I dread having sex with him. We have an open relationship, and by open, I mean we try to stay honest with one another. But I just can’t bring myself to tell him that he is awful in bed because I think it would really hurt his feelings. The sex is so horrible, and I don’t know how much more I can take. If I don’t say something, I think it could cause a strain in our relationship. I don’t want our relationship to suffer over bad sex. How do I tell my partner that he is awful in bed without hurting him or risking our relationship?
A. Bad sex is tough for any couple to overcome…if they decide not to talk about it. Sex is a skill that can be learned by those humble enough to admit they have room to improvement, and taught by those who have enough patience to understand that sex is not the end all be all of relationships. Yes, I’ll go against the grain as a woman and say I won’t leave a good man because of bad sex. Why? Because a good man is willing to please his partner as long as she is honest about what she needs.
You said you have a good man, so why won’t you just tell him how you feel?
Before you whip out the honesty card, remember that men are pressured to be superb in the bedroom. Anything less than that, and he’s treading the thin line of lost manhood. So approach it like you love him, and let him know that you need more to be happy. Most importantly, be able to tell him what it is that you need. By telling him, he can begin to understand what changes he needs to make.
There’s a way to talk to a man about his wack sex game, but be warned that invoked humiliation is the quickest way to lose a good man. Don’t patronize him, just lovingly tell him what pleases you and what doesn’t. Remember that you do love him, so respect him and his ego.
Now, show him. Take his hand gently, and remind him that this will take teamwork. Have patience as well, because he won’t maneuver it all in one night. If you both are committed to having a better sex life together, it will happen if you both are willing to work together.
Remember, sex is not something we are born perfect at. We learn as we mature in our sexual lives, and good men are too rare to pass up over bad sex. If you’re the bad mamma jamma you say you are, handle your business and whip him into shape.
I know you have it in you, so hold on to that one man that managed to make you happy.
It’s hard to replace true happiness, but super easy to improve in sex.
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