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.

14 Comments

  1. That is such an awesome story! The same thing happened to me so it was like i was reading my own story.I used to feel really bad about my body and that reflected in the bedroom.I turned 38 this year and woke up and started to work out and eat different and threw away all of my t-shirts and sweat pants.I have lost weight and toned up and I still have the things that I don’t like about my self but I have learned to love them anyway.My scars on my stomach are from my 2 girls that I love .My husband makes me feel so good that when we are in the bedroom and making love he will take his hand and run his fingers over my scars and tell me how beautiful I am.Now that i look at my body different and feel comfortable in my skin I now like to have sex with the lights on and let my husband see me and that has made a huge difference in our marriage.I would tell anyone to love their self first and then everything in their marriage will fall into place.A husband wants to see you confident in clothes and out of them!

  2. I have been having a difficult time letting this my body image issues go. I am not overweight, quite slim, but I am self-conscious about my stomach in particular. I work out regularly and take care with my diet. It has never been completely flat and probably never will. I find myself too preoccupied with it and it does interfere with my sex life as well as other areas of my life. I feel like crying reading your posts. I want to feel free in that way as well. My husband never tells me he likes my stomach. I don’t like it either. How do I let it go?

  3. I can really relate to your struggle. It has only been in recent years that I have learned to embrace who I am. I have found that the more I seek God to show me my true identity in Him, that I have be released from thoughts about myself that interfere with me walking in freedom. I am who I am and I am learning to embrace that. While it is ideal if a husband can reflect God’s heart to his wife, we can not be dependent on that. We need to find our identity by looking into His eyes for ourselves.
    Oh, it’s a hard battle for us sometimes. Good thing we can walk it and know that we aren’t alone in the struggle.

  4. I realize this original post is almost a year old but I couldn’t find a better one to put it under. I have always been self ous about my small breast size. When I walk into a room of people my brain would automatically know where I fitted in as far as who had the largest breast to the smallest. That part has gotten better, but it is unfortunate that my husband is a “breast man”. I don’ t have much so not a whole lot I can do with them. Do I “push them up” to make them look bigger, better but only to see what there really is during sex. Goodness knows I would probably have surgery if we had tons of money laying around, but that is not the case. I have felt this way way before ever meeting my husband. I didn’t realize in the beginning of our marriage that he felt this way. Of course he says I am beautiful and perfect, blah blah, blah. Do I play up what I have while clothed? I know I need to ask him but wanted some fellow ladies opinions that are maybe in the same boat or have some good ideas. Thanks!

  5. we all have imperfections or dislike our bodies in some way. i think the key here is confidence. accept your cup size, as this will allow you to focus on what you are most comfortable with about yourself. if your husband is a breast man, of course you want to please him with yours. questions…what do you enjoy when it comes to your breasts? what feels good to you? does he do this often enough for you? does he know that you love it when he does it? have you told him in words or do you moan and groan when he does it? maybe a discussion is in order after the next time it happens. tell him how hot you were while he did that to you, express in detail your feelings at the time it happened. then tell him you’d like him to do it more often, he will feel so good hearing you talk about his ability to please. here’s a tip, whatever it is he does to your breasts, take it a step further. ask him not to stop…until you say stop. tell him you like it so much you want to see how much you can take and for how long while he gradually increases the intensity level. lie there, looking at his eyes, then at what he is doing, then back at his eyes, let him see in your eyes what you are feeling, let him hear it in your voice. confidence is the key. you just built his self esteem and when you see how much he enjoys your breasts, your cup will runneth over, size does not matter, pleasure does.

  6. I know you might roll your eyes at me for saying this, but I think that you’re so lucky to have smaller breasts. I have struggled for years with very large breasts. The weight of them hurts my back and gives me very bad posture, and because of having kids they have gotten bigger than they used to be, much bigger. So now I have very big, heavy, stretch marked, saggy boobs. I have to wear a bra even when I sleep just to prevent more sagging and stretch marks. I would love to be able to have them reduced and lifted, as I am still in my 20’s and they will only get worse, but we cannot afford it at all. My hubby still loves them, so that really helps, and I’ve really had to teach myself to look at my boobs as something that could receive pleasure instead of just pretty things to look at, (cuz they’re not so pretty)
    I understand how difficult it is to not be comfortable with part of your body, but your hubby seems to love them, and honestly, I would give anything to have perky little 17-year-old’s boobs, to be able to walk around the house with no bra on and show off perky boobs under my shirt to my hubby, now that would be sexy!! In my eyes you are very blessed to have what you have. I mean no offense to you in any way, I just wanted to give you the perspective of someone with big boobs, and that sometimes the grass on the other side of the fence isn’t as green as you might think! 🙂 I think you’re very lucky and that you have a freedom that I will never be able to experience.

  7. And those of us that are very well-endowed have a really hard time buying clothes that fit properly and nicely, not to mention modestly! If it fits in the bust, the waist is HUGE! And most clothes for large-breasted women emphasize the bust and the cleavage. Fine for home, and dressing for your guy, but not for anything else. Oh yeah–and most clothes assume that your breasts end exactly 8 inches down from your shoulders (or some other measurement). NOT SO if you have a large cup size. This makes cute maternity clothes or anything empire-waisted look ridiculous. Those design lines were not intended to run at nipple height! (My D cups have turned into H cups post-babies.) And the cost of nursing bras and other bras, which unless you live in a large city MUST be procured on the internet, is awful! So is cute lingerie. 😦

  8. Erin thanks for giving me a different perspective on how to use what I do have to make me and my husband happy. When I was breastfeeding I thought they were the perfect size and shape for my body size and was hoping God would agree. Well, the just got smaller, saggy and deflated with stretch marks to boot. 😦
    It is hard to feel good about them. Hate swim suit season. And have friends who tell me they would rather not have them and is hard to be modest and some have back pain etc. In the past there has been an issue with porn here and there and that makes it worse. I can’t be those images

  9. I understand about the porn. Even when I know that he hates the stuff he has seen, hates that it intrudes on his thoughts… I can’t be those airbrushed teenagers, either. It is so easy to be discontent. (With my body, with his thought life, etc….)

    BTW–do ask him what he thinks about pushing up under clothes, if you don’t feel comfortable just surprising him! Cleavage and/or breasts brimming out of the tops of a bra is/are fun. Even if you are well-endowed, post-babies you are not necessarily going to be pushed up and cleavage-y after your bra comes off either! Enjoy the well-shaped lingerie (beyond bras) too. If he doesn’t on his own, ask him to touch you clothed, too! Don’t wait till all the clothes come off…

  10. Tiger Girl thanks I think I will try to surprise him and see what happens! 😉

  11. Good advice from Tiger girl. You go girl. You may also consider asking the Holy Spirit to not only “make him fully satisfied with your breasts”, but to also wipe out the mental images of the porn he’s seen. If He can “remind us of things…” I think He can also delete what we need to forget, don’t you think?

  12. I hear you and understand about the porn issue. Sadly, even with a huge chest, I still can’t be those images. Not many of us can. Those images are implanted and most of the time they have makeup on their boobs. But even without all that airbrushing, etc, here we are with our stretched out breasts, funny looking tummies from having babies, (at least mine looks funny 🙂 ), and I think that is pretty beautiful in itself. It says to your husband, “I am the woman you’re in love with, the one who carried and gave birth to your children, and the woman who wants to grow old with you, and I’m still darn sexy!” We all will go through stages of change in our lives, but I think that there’s beauty in the changes, in the different seasons of our life. We should embrace that! We may not have a teenager’s breasts anymore, but our level of sexual maturity will only grow and grow. I think that’s pretty awesome.

  13. I have been married for nearly 17 years. For most of my marriage, I’ve had lots of body image issues which really made me struggle mentally with the idea of my hubby giving me oral sex, and also inhibited me in other ways too (eg me getting on top!) But over the years I have learned to ignore those crazy thoughts which work against me in the bedroom. I have learned that when I’m sexually free with my husband, he loves it more too, so I intentionally push away the negative body thoughts when we’re making love. As I became more adept at ignoring the negative thoughts, it freed me up to enjoy orgasms and also to be more sexually agressive in the bedroom!

    Cinnamon sticks, your story is a great inspiration to keep working at the things I can change. My hubby turns 40 next month, and I’m planning to get something sexy to wear for him- the first sexy item I’ll have owned for a long time. I’ve decided I’m not going to wait anymore for “one day when I’m slim”- we’ve been waiting long enough for a great sex life! And the past month or so, we have been enjoying the best sex ever, even though I’ve got plenty more to do in the weight loss department! So here’s to losing our hang-ups and enjoying great sex!!

  14. definately something i’m struggling with….accepting and loving myself for who i am….but my fh is so inexpressably encouraging…. 🙂


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