We’re exposed to more media than ever before in human history; and the message is clear: either you look like the heavenly babe on TV or no one will want to fuck you. Here is born diet culture, which emphasizes our shape and size over our health. But bringing this battle between ourselves and our bodies into the bedroom only makes for bad sex. Why? Because it’s about judgement. It’s us judging ourselves instead of feeling sexy just as we are.
Diet Culture Equals Bad Sex
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Media Drives Our Notion of "Hot"
Constant exposure to bodies which differ drastically from our own can cause feelings of inadequacy. This emphasis on size makes many of us feel quite unsexy—and may make us not want to have sex at all. These media-driven anxieties have made us so self-obsessed and insecure that we’re not allowing ourselves to let loose and enjoy a good fuck with a sexy partner. Instead of being carried away by the moment, wrapped up in the hot naked body before us, we’re trying to suck in our guts and prop our boobs during the act, afraid our partner will liken us to the tribe of flapping tits on National Geographic.
Over-analyzed, insecure sex is terrible—and a far cry from the uninhibited, primordial way of the caveman. And although carefree, casual sex has shit the bed in the new-normal age of isolation, Tinder is still flush with people looking for it. The countless profiles indicating a preference for “curves” prove that sex appeal is not about being thin. Yet, it’s clear body image very much affects how often we have sex and how much we enjoy it.
Who is having great sex though? Is it just underwear models? No, of course not. It’s people who have grown to love and accept themselves, flaws and all. And those who accept their partners similarly.
Media Drives Body Insecurity in Thin Bodies Too
In my private practice, I specialize in treating sexual health and see patients every day who are in search of great sex. Recently, a young, athletic, conventionally attractive woman in her late 20s told me she was waiting to start dating until she lost 10 pounds. She said, “I can’t date like this.” She deemed herself unattractive in her present state and couldn’t believe that a suitable partner could find her desirable. She had no idea that a partner probably wouldn’t even notice if she lost 10 pounds. What they would notice, though, is whether there was a connection or not—because that is what most of us are looking for.
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What Our Partner Really Wants
What we think a partner wants is often very far from what they really want. I know lots of people—like myself—who are thick, full-figured or fat and have hot, delightful, carnal sex, free from the inhibitions of self-consciousness. We understand great sex is more about attitude and the chemistry that exists between us and another human being.
At a glance, our society’s narrow, binary rubric says allure is either money and a big dick or being small and somehow storing fat only in our tits and asses. We all worry we aren’t smart enough, interesting enough or good-looking enough to attract a mate; but we forget most of us just want to find a partner we connect with. And a kind partner won’t see us so harshly.
Read: 6 Ways to Feel Better About Your Body in Bed
I talk to people all day about sex in my practice. I have learned that people’s notion of what is hot is infinite. Skinny is hot. Fat is hot. Tall is hot. Short is hot. Big tits and small are hot. Feeling attractive is simply an awakening to what was there all along. And, in bed, it’s being with someone who appreciates our unique brand of sexy. Besides, most of us will date well outside of our physical preferences. We might think tall is hot but easily have wonderfully satisfying sex with someone who is short. For many of us, what we think are barriers to having great sex exist only in our minds. The problem is that we all remember that one partner who made us feel terrible about our bodies in some way—and we then worry that everyone views us the same.
Size and Sexual Health
Being thin does not necessarily mean being sexually fit. In fact, drastic dieting can create hormonal imbalances, which may reduce libido and make it difficult to achieve climax. Sexual health is about treating our bodies kindly—not beating them into submission. For the best sex and the most pleasure, we want balanced sex hormones and strong nerve conduction to and from our genitals.
Dieting Versus Caring for Our Bodies
Just because we refuse to buy into diet culture, though, doesn’t mean that we can’t pamper our sex organs with the foods we eat. For example, yams and squash are high in potassium—which most of us don’t get enough of. Potassium luxuriates blood vessels, making them more elastic and improving blood flow to the genitals. Better blood flow means better sex—and not just for those with penises.
Moreover, having effortless, intense orgasms is linked to how quickly and strongly our nerves fire to and from our genitals. Mushrooms have been shown in research to improve nerve health, promote nerve growth and reverse oxidative damage in the brain. This means there is a better connection between our genitals and brains and we feel more pleasure when our partner touches us. Antioxidants, in general, improve this connection—and mushrooms are loaded with them.
Read: 5 Foods for Better Taste Below the Waist
For many of us, like myself, it’s taken a whole lot of time to really open our eyes to the fact that we’re sexy, despite all of our human flaws. And obsessing over a narrow image of perfection only makes for bad sex. It’s turning what could be a hot night of intense passion— a merging of sexual essence—into a stress fest. So, let loose. Feel your sexy. The media isn’t changing; but we can still choose to acknowledge our beauty, love ourselves, and step into hot sex.
Christine DeLozier, L.Ac., is an acupuncturist and herbalist in private practice specializing in sexual health, treating males, females, and all orientations and identities. Her book, Diet for Great Sex, is a cheeky, scientific look at eating for blood flow, hormonal balance, and strong nerve conduction to and from our genitals.