You already know that maintaining a healthy weight boosts your immune system, keeps cute pants fitting and ups your metabolism, but can it make for better sex?
You’ve probably heard that exercising can increase sex drive…and it can. Exercising increases blood flow, often directed towards the pelvic area, but this doesn’t last for too long. A big part of the buzz about fat burn leading to a hotter time in bed has more to do with men than women. In overweight men, blood often has trouble effectively flowing to the penis, leading to erectile dysfunction.
But for many women, however, weight loss leading to better sex has more to do with your mind than your metabolism. Diplomate of Clinical Sexology and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist Michelle L. Delevante says women’s body image proves significant in determining the way a woman acts and feels in the bedroom.
“In order to truly enjoy pleasure and fully immerse yourself in an intimate encounter, you need to feel comfortable with being vulnerable and losing your inhibitions,” Delevante explains. “If your focus is on covering up your ‘flawed’ body, not being seen naked, hoping he or she won’t touch you ‘there,’ then the result can be detached woman uncertain of herself and sexually unassertive. The pure pleasure of being sexual can be diminished and limited.”
For many women, letting go in bed and ignoring societal images of the “perfect body” for adult women isn’t so simple. While you may not have Tyra Banks’ perfect legs or Anna Kournikova’s athletic, chiseled waistline, you can be comfortable in your body and enjoy sex completely, and a lot has to do with the way you think. Delevante provided some solutions that will help you to let go and surrender yourself to pleasure.
1. Enjoy and celebrate your personal sexuality.
Whether it’s your mother-in-law, ex-boyfriend or the Vogue magazine in the checkout line at Walgreens, women are constantly bombarded with images of women in size double-zero jeans and side comments such as “you’re looking rather curvy lately,” or “are you sure you want that second slice of cheesecake?” It can be difficult to feel good about yourself— and even harder when you’re completely naked and surrendering yourself to the judgment of someone else. But here’s the thing that many women forget: you’re having sex because that man loves your body, and he likes it just the way it is.
“Women should cease identifying what they don’t like or wish to change about their bodies and instead stand proud in the mirror and identify things we love about our bodies,” Delevante suggests. Whether it’s your voluptuous chest, smooth skin or brilliant smile, figure out what you love most about yourself, and flaunt it— in and out of bed. Believe it or not, you are a sexual goddess, and that man is lucky to be lying next to you!
2. Immerse yourself at the moment.
Now that you feel beautiful and appreciated, remember that sex is less about what you look like than what you do and the way that you make love.
“We must focus on the beautiful gift we have and tune into the amazing sensations we feel when being touched, caressed and held,” Delevante explains. Enjoy the way that he strokes your hair, massages your body and hold you tight: close your eyes and just think about the way that it feels.
“Letting go of expectations, moving your body freely, and letting breathing flow naturally while having sex can improve the amount of pleasure during lovemaking,” says Delavante. “Allowing your partner to explore your body and get lost in the moment can assist in countering those intrusive, negative thoughts.” Delevante’s suggestion? Explore your body, get to know it, become acquainted with it and love it!
3. When it comes to weight, your own happiness is key.
Without a positive self-image, weight loss doesn’t do all that much. It is important to be healthy, and eating right and exercising regularly serves your body in plenty of ways. But don’t make achieving the perfect, “sexual” body your goal.
“I have treated several women that have lost weight or had gastric bypass surgery in hopes that they’d feel better about their bodies,” said Delevante. “Unfortunately, they were displeased with the results as they maintained their poor body image and continued to suffer from low self-esteem.”
The bottom line? Being healthy is, obviously, very important. But when it comes to sexual satisfaction, pleasure relies more on your mind and the way you choose to view yourself and the act of sex. And if you aren’t happy with your body during sex, ask your partner how it makes him feel during sex: chances are, you are more than perfect just the way you are.