On Sex: Love Your Sex and Your Body Will Follow
Updated: Jun 26, 2019
The Cave you Fear to Enter Holds the Treasure You Seek
- Joseph Campbell
I’ll cut to the chase:: when you’re struggling with liking your body, struggling with liking yourself and not feeling remotely sexy, the last thing that’s on the table is sex. And yet, it's the thing that's missing from most women's lives:: a deep, rich, intimate, satisfying sexuality.
The truth is, no amount of dieting or weight loss plans are going to get you the sexiness, the body, the satifaction and the confidence you truly want. But, your sexuality will.
Let me start from the beginning. For years, I starved for sex but was certain that I couldn’t have it because I believed that my appeal and men’s attratction to me was solely based on how much I weighed and what my body looked like. And because I didn’t look the way culture tells us we are supposed to look I never, ever, ever approached men, or tried to look sexy or even considered that maybe I could have a fun and satisfying sex life. I mean SURE, I dreamt of that kind of experience. One where I had a partner I was crazy about, a body I liked and the kind of sex that left me satisfied, connected and more in love with my partner. But how was I going to get there? It seemed impossible and I had no doubt the thing that stood in the way of having it was my body.
The kinda-sad truth is that there is no useful or helpful guide out there about how to have great sex as a woman. Regardless of how your body looks or how you feel about it. But there ARE a ton of tips about how to have flatter abs, how to dress to look 10 pounds thinner or what to eat to drop 5 pounds this week. So for me, the only solution I figured would work was losing weight. That would finally bring me the confidence and assuredness I needed to be open and flirtatious with men in the way I longed to be. For years, I worked and I worked and I worked at losing weight, only to lose 10-15 pounds and gain them all back.
I’m sure you’ve been there and if so, you know the miserable feeling this creates in your life.
Because here’s the thing:: we are all innately, sexually, driven creatures. It’s hard wired in our biology. A woman’s body is wired specifically for pleasure (ahem…..hello clitoris!) and the power that resides in a woman's sexuality quite literally gives birth to small baby humans. Despite all we’ve been taught, all the ways we've been shamed or called names or made to feel about our bodies, your deepest satisfaction and power lives here.
I know that a woman’s realtionship to her sexuality in our culture is deeply contorted. That's an article all to itself. You can’t show your sexual desire or you’ll be deemed easy or a slut. To be a respectable woman, you have to fulfill the expectations of being kind, friendly, nice and appropriate. And wanting to have sex is not such an appropriate kind of thing, certainly not one we are open about. Even if you can bypass all the conditioning about women and sex, if you have body shame, than sex is definitely not something that’s on the table.
And yet. Sex is fundamental. It is the greatest source of connection and pleasure our bodies have. It is the deepest way we create intimacy withf another human being. It is the fullest and more satisfying way to be connected to our own bodies. But we ignore this part of ourselves if we hate our body.
When we deny ourselves this basic foundational pleasure, we seek it in other ways.
The funny thing about this is a catch-22. I can’t tell you how many women I talk to (and I used to be one) who are undernourished sexually. They don’t even consider eating from that food group. It is absolutely off limits. And as such, they are malnourished and starving for intimacy and connection. So what do they do? They eat to fill that empty feeling of lonliness. And that’s where the catch comes in: we want something, believe its not possible for us, eat to fill the ache of not having it which then reinforces we can’t have it because of how we feel about our body.
But what I know for sure is that it is never actually about the body. We’ve all read stories about women who have lost weight only to find that all the insecurities and uncertainties they carried around were still with them, just in a smaller body. The happiness they thought that thinness would bring, didn’t show up.
When I finally couldn’t take the disconnection and lack of pleasure my disordered eating and body loathing had created in my life, I took the plunge and started working on my sexuality. I started to approach it as sacred and important and reframed it as the life giving, pleasure creating, soul satsifying gift it was.
I dipped my toe into feeling sexy. I wore a little lipstick (the scariest thing for me!) I bought shorter skirts. Encouraged by my friends, I started to flirt with men I found attrative. It wasn't about the superficial side of things. This was about me shifting my beliefs and how I showed up in the world. Eventually, I met a guy who accepted and loved me for who I was exactly as I was. Nothing about my body changed, really. Maybe I lost a few pounds, but that wasn’t because I was actively trying. Dieting is the antithesis of living in a sensual, sexual body. I simply started to like myself more. I took some risks, went after what I wanted and started trying the things I was sure I couldn’t do in a body like this. As a result, I started to use food less as a band-aid or a salve for all my emotions, fears and feelings of lack and more for the nourishment and pleasure it is meant to be.
But all of this happened for me because I did the thing I was certain couldn’t be done. I let myself feel sexy regardless of the size of my body. And it worked. As Joseph Campbell says “the cave you fear to entire holds the treasure you seek.” It may seem scary, but it is well worth it. All the freedom, confidence and joy you’ve been hoping will arive through weight loss? Lucky for you, you can stop the dieting and pick up the sexy.
Embracing my sexuality was far easier than counting calories, points, banning carbs or exercising like a crazy woman.
Give yourself a little permission to feel sexy. Pick one thing. A sexy top, new make-up, flirting with the cashier. You don’t have more to lose doing that than you do sitting home alone another night wishing you felt better about yourself and had the partner, the sex life and the happiness you wish for. Have it now. Believe me when I say, it really is possible.