Editor’s Note: This is part 6 in a 10-part series on Sex and Intimacy. Click here to read from the beginning.
Raise your hand if you like to do it with the lights on.
Yeah, me either.
Oh sure, I have and do, but it is not my preference. You see, I suffer from a lack of physical self-confidence. You can blame the media, gender stereotypes, or the extra pounds my 30s have brought me, but it doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that it negatively impacts intimacy with my husband.
No matter how close we are, when I hold back physically due to my own body issues – issues with a body he clearly loves and desires – I’m putting stress on the relationship.
In trying to figure out how to finally overcome this – I’m almost 40, dammit! – I’ve come to think of it as an issue of narcissism. Being overly concerned with other people’s perceptions of me – especially my lover – seems a little self-involved.
So I’ve been experimenting lately with trying to see myself through his eyes, which are loving and kind. And in that light, I’m starting to let go of my physical concerns just a tiny bit. After all, if we’re backpacking around the world together we’re going to see each other in some unflattering conditions. Isn’t sharing that adventure with him more important than him seeing my jigglier bits?
Do you have the same physical self-confidence issues? How have you overcome them, or have you? Why do we hide our bodies when our lovers are so fascinated by them?
Betsy Talbot writes about carving the lifestyle you want out of the life you already have. When she’s not writing, she’s paring down, saving up, and getting ready for a year of travel with her husband.