I often ask women to rank the most negative influences on their sexual relationship. Over half of the time, “negative body image” heads the list. We’re so trained to stand outside ourselves, judging our bodies–but to enjoy sex we need to enjoy how our bodies feel, not how they look. So how do you make that shift?
One way is to pay attention to what you’re seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting. Appreciate how your body can stretch, and bend, and lift, how your feet and legs carry you. Many women say that yoga is a great part of “24-hour foreplay” because it helps them feel their bodies from the inside instead of standing outside, judging.
Paying loving attention to your own body may seem selfish, or self-centered, or even slightly weird. But remember the wonderful, intimate loop of sexuality: My experience of sensual pleasure is exciting to my partner, and hers is to me. Being in touch with my body helps me touch hers lovingly.
What has helped you appreciate your own body more? Let me know by commenting so we can start a conversation. And try to thank your body for three things today!
About Dr. Glenda Corwin: Glenda Corwin, Ph.D is a clinical psychologist who specializes in lesbian sexual issues. She is the author of Sexual Intimacy for Women: A Guide for Same Sex Couples (Seal Press, 2010). Dr. Corwin writes for the Huffington Post: Gay Voices, for the e-magazine Epochalips, as well as her own blog on www.DrGlendaCorwin.com. She presents frequently at professional conferences, and is a regular guest on Barb Elgin’s LesbianLoveTalk radio program.