Hi dad, you may want to hit the back button and not read this one--just know I love you..but I know I need to share this truth with the women of the world :)
Being intimate with your partner is something that all women hope to be filled with passion, desire, and a sense of comfortableness. Not shame, fear and anxiety.
However, having worked with hundreds of women all of the world, knowing very well the discomfort they feel in their own bodies--I know that with a negative body image, comes utter fear and discomfort at the thought of being intimate with your partner.
Shirt on sex, or reaching for your shirt 2 seconds after your done isn't fun. It's not fun to not fully enjoy the pleasure and bliss that can be experienced from being desired and feeling that connection with someone.
Hating My Body During Sex
I entered a relationship this past year at my lowest weight ever, 120. The first time this man *Batman* saw my body, I was terrified. What would he think of what motherhood had left on my body? No matter how much the scale told me I weighed, I felt ugly. I have stretch marks and my breasts, well they look different after two years of nursing. I thought I didn't look like a "normal" 23 year old woman.
So when I decided it was time to be intimate with him, I would leave my shirt on and always request the lights were off. I could never fully enjoy what was happening because I was so concerned that he would catch a glimpse of my body and freak out.
In the span of this relationship, I gained 40lbs. That's a lot. Not all of it was in a healthy way either, and I gained it really quickly. Which only further intensified the discomfort in my body.
The thing is, Batman adored my body. He kept wanting to be intimate with me. In my small and twisted mind, I thought to myself how it probably only wanted me out of pity. *Face palm*
The Turning Point
One day I woke up and literally said to myself F**k This Shit..FOR REAL. I knew the kind of sex life I wanted to have. And it wasn't this shirt on, quick to get dressed, lights off bullshit. I desired a a passionate and intimate connection in where I felt confident and could let my body be explored with ease.
I realized that this change wasn't going to come from being 40lbs lighter. Because I felt this same discomfort at 120 lbs. What had to change was me. My mind and the way I think, treat and feel about my body.
At 160lbs (which may not seem like a lot to you, this I know, but to me, it was--it was unfamiliar on my body.), I was desired and wanted. Even after I ended that relationship, I was desired and wanted. I didn't act on those things. But for the first time in my life I realized that the appearance of my body didn't affect how much someone wanted me. Because no matter how much someone else loved my body, loved the way it felt or looked--that would never be enough unless I felt the same way about my own body.
The Mission To Truly Feel Sexy AF From The Inside Out
Realizing the fact that if I truly wanted to enjoy being intimate with others, meant that I needed to give that same love and desire I was seeking, into my own damn body (duh Rachel)--sent me on a fierce mission.
Let me set you straight really quick, I didn't seek out this change to simply "be sexy for men". What really happened is that I learned I wanted to connect to my femininity more. I didn't even like touching my own body, and as a woman who believes in rocking a confident life--that didn't sit well with me.
This mission was to connect to my femininity and divine power as a woman, for me, and only me. Through that, I knew that there would be many benefits. Yes I could finally enjoy sex, but what else came with that blew my mind. I became more confident in every day life. I was able to finally be at peace with my body no matter what it looked like. 40 extra lbs wasn't going to stop being from being intimate, at this point, weight wasn't the issue, it was never the issue.
Here's How I Did It:
- I created time to figure myself out. Each morning I began my day with putting my make-up on and listening to a podcast that taught me or inspired me about being a woman in her power. This became my morning ritual of specific time each day for ME and me alone. Crucial in this journey was the need to truly have that time to think for myself and really tap into learning more about body confidence, femininity and being a powerful woman.
- Dance: I've danced for the past 4 years. And by dance I mean jump around like a crazy person in my living room. I have no dance experience and I'm seriously saying this is not graceful, just free movement. However, as I dug deeper into exploring my body, I changed the music I was playing. I began to play sensual music like Riahana's Skin, things by Niykee Heaton etc. I would play it and just let it out. I really focused on running my hands over my body, experiencing what it was like to feel my skin and my body move. In my pole dancing class I realized how uncomfortable I was with simply touching my own body, so I use dance now to move lovingly and however the music is pulling me.
- I stopped thinking about other womens bodies. Even my friends. The constant thought of how "perfect" their bodies were left me ZERO room to appreciate anything my own body had to offer. When I said 'ENOUGH', and truly meant it--I stopped thinking about them. And then began to explore my own body and accept it for what it is.I never felt like I was enough because I constantly compared my body to the women I saw online or friends, when I actively began to stop that though--I finally created the room I needed in my mind and heart to appreciate what was. That alone made me feel like I could breathe. I was choosing to put these women on a pedestal and then continue to tell myself how I wasn't enough.
- I danced with fear and resistance. Choosing to be intimate after I ended my relationship was huge for me because it wasn't just about the excitement of being with this person now, it was about me experiencing freedom in my own body for the first time. Even if I was still "heavier" than I was before. This time, through the practice above, I was going into the experience while still a little nervous, ready to dance with that fear. When we try to ignore the fear we create resistance within our body towards whatever is happening. But if we can see what we are scared of, and acknowledge those feelings, letting them flow through your body, and continue on--that is huge. That is the golden spot. Because my stretch marks aren't going anywhere. So before I'm intimate with someone I can freak the fuck out, or I can acknowledge that this is my body and it's not changing (at least that part of me isn't) and I can fight it, and lose. Or I can dance with those feelings, and not let them win during a beautiful and passionate moment in my life.
Resources That Helped me
- Elizabeth Dialto: The most influential person in this experience for me. She talks about love, sex, body image, stepping into your power, being courageous and so much more. She's a bad ass woman. She has a podcast, Youtube channel (visual podcast) and book! Currently reading the book and I love it!
- Susana Frioni: She has a podcast as well called, Love, Sex and Desire. Each episode she shares is GOLD and helps me learn something new about my body or empowers me in a way I didn't think was possible.
- The book Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski. This is an awesome book and teaches you about your body, literally she walks you through the anatomy of your vagina. She dives deep into how we each have our own unique sexuality and that there is no right or wrong way to own that. She teaches you that it's not about what you do in bed, but how YOU feel about it in your own body. This book is a must read for all women.
- Meditation: I would meditate to get out of my own head. Even 1-5 min was enough to get out of my own judgement and into a place of love with my body. I would use this: CLICK HERE
- Positive affirmations: I posted sticky notes all over my house with things like: I am powerful and kind, I love the way my body feels, I am love, I am confident, I am at peace with my sexuality. I'd put them in my bathroom, on my door frames etc. Anytime I would find myself in a place of judgement or hate, I would either out loud or in my head speak them over and over to myself. Maybe at first you won't feel that conviction in your voice, that's okay. You need to find an affirmation that means something to you, and continue to speak it and change the story in your head.
I hope that you can get down with diving deep into YOUR power. I would be happy to answer any comments you have below.
This journey is just that, a journey, some things make work for you and others may not. This may take time--you'll get there, you simply must be open to it.