Okay, so I am a little worried about the spammers and gross people who will probably come to my blog and leave gross comments after this post. Be warned, you will be moderated.
As Valentine’s Day was approaching this year, the talk of sex seemed to be circling among my women friends a lot. What always surprises me is that for each woman among my friends who actually enjoys sex, there are 4 or 5 who dread it. Phrases like “I just feel too fat” or “I never feel sexy” crop up all the time. I sit in shock when friends tell me they haven’t let their husbands see them naked in years, to which I think to myself, “REALLY??” My best friend even told me when I announced I was pregnant that I was lucky, and now I could use the pregnancy as an excuse to not have sex for the next nine months. When I ask these women why they don’t want to have sex, here are the most common answers that come up:
“I just don’t enjoy it.”
“My husband bothers me all the time, and I just can’t please him enough.”
“I just want some sleep.”
“I don’t feel pretty enough.”
My personal favorite was when a friend of mine told me she HAD to have music playing or else she could hear her fat flapping against his stomach.
While the last one did give me a giggle, for the most part comments like these break my heart, especially as they come from women in their late 20’s and early 30’s. I can’t help but wonder if it’s that bad already, what is it going to be like when they hit 40? 50? 80? Is their self esteem going to keep going down as they age, only to finally hit rock bottom at some point?
I know my body is definitely not what it used to be. After having two children, areas that were perky and tight are now flat or flabby. Stretch marks and surgery have turned my once smooth stomach into what I call my “bowl of cottage cheese.” At 3 months pregnant, my body is also starting to do some weird sh!t, like having blackheads pop up on my legs for some strange reason. There are definitely days when I don’t have a lot of self esteem. But for the most part, I actually feel pretty comfortable in my body. I have learned to accept that I am not 20 years old any more and do not have the expectation to look like I am. I also understand that the more children I have, the more goofy I am going to look, as my boobs start sagging down to my waistline and I am required to wear skirts to the pool to prevent getting getting sunburned on the parts of my legs that aren’t dimples of cellulite. It’s a fact of life.
I wanted to share some things that have worked for me in keeping my self esteem about my body from going downhill. I am no marriage expert or counselor. I don’t have all the answers to problems in a relationship. I just know what has worked for me, and I find that the women who are confident and enjoy sex actually do a lot of the same thing. Just think of these things as ideas to help make you feel more “sexy,” not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day of the year. Mom and Dad, if you are reading this, this is definitely the part where you want to close this window and go make a sandwich. So without further ado, here you go:
1) Get comfortable with being naked. And not just during sex, any “safe” time. Don’t turn the lights off when you shower. If the kids aren’t home, clean or cook naked (just nothing that spatters!). Even sleep naked! Flannel pajamas are not for sleeping on a regular night – they are for camping trips or when your heater goes out. If you get cold, go get another blanket. Here’s the deal – the more you get to know your body for what it is and appreciate it, the more your confidence is going to go up. And if your confidence goes up, so will your sex appeal. Guess what? MEN ARE VISUAL. They need to see their wives naked! Climbing into bed with the lights off, removing your clothes, and waiting for your husband to notice you aren’t wearing anything is NOT sexy. If you don’t let your husband see you like this, both during sex and outside of it, chances are he might go looking somewhere else for that visual gratification. That doesn’t make it right or your fault, but it does happen an awful lot. When your husband starts daydreaming in the middle of the day, you want an image of YOU in his mind, not some supermodel porn star from a website. Everybody wins here if you take the chance and get to know and appreciate yourself!
2) Buy a new bra. And some pretty panties. For the most part I really hate the consumerism world telling you that you need *this* product to make you look *slimmer*, *younger* and *prettier*. But, when you go to an actual store where you get measured and actually walk out with a QUALITY bra that FITS correctly, your self esteem will go up. Every woman can have a fantastic bust with the right bra to hold it up. Your posture goes up, your clothes fit better, and you often look like you lost 10 pounds. Don’t go to Walmart. As much as I hate them, go to Victoria’s Secret. Or Macy’s. Or Lane Bryant. There are LOTS of choices out there, and it’s a great investment. Also, challenge yourself to wear pretty panties on a more regular basis, even if “more regular” is only on laundry day because you are out of the nude-color-up-to-your-boobs-panties. There tends to be an extra kick in your step if you have a little secret like this in your day.
3) If you are surrounded by things that make your self esteem go down, GET RID OF THEM. Like I said, I hate Victoria’s Secret. Why? Because I used to work there. We would receive a lot of the products for free or at a really steep discount in order to try them out and give good testimonies to our customers. The problem? They had something we *needed* to fix everything *wrong* with us! If I followed everything the company wanted me to do, it would take me 2 hours to get ready every single day. Throw this on top of the fact that I was 8 months pregnant with my first child and nothing there *quite* fit right, and my self esteem went down, down, down. All day long I would look at perfect models and wish their items fit me like they fit those women. I was lucky to get out of that job when I did. If you watch America’s Top Model all the time and feel fat later, STOP WATCHING IT. If you read magazines or books full of “sexiness” that make you feel like crap about yourself, stop reading them! The same goes for movies. Pornography does not EVER help a relationship, it only shows “sex lives” that are far from real and makes people discontent with what they have. Get rid of that stuff! Instead surround yourself with positive people and media that remind you that you are beautiful.
4) Friends don’t let friends talk fat. If your friends start the stomach-roll-wiggling contest, make it stop. At least don’t participate. Real friends care about you for who you are and let you care about them for who they are. These little circle conversations may seem funny and like they are “venting,” but really all they are doing is reinforcing self esteem issues all the way around. Put the fat talk on hold.
5) Think about sex during the day! Allow yourself to enjoy yourself during sex! Have fun! You know that sweet spot that drives you wild? Tell your husband about it! Want to make it more exciting without spending a lot of money? There are lots of things in your pantry that are already there, or really cheap. Saran wrap, chocolate syrup, strawberries, whipped cream, etc. etc. What you do with any of those things is up to you. Making surprise plans for your hubby can be a major turn on not only for him, but for you too! Trust me, the more you enjoy yourself, the more he will too.
6) Allow your husband to love you for who you are. This is probably the most important of all of these tips. When he compliments you, don’t come back with a “but” or a “yeah, right.” Simply say “thank you.” For a lot of men saying what’s on their mind is difficult, even in this area. If you keep degrading all of his compliments, chances are he will stop giving them. Let him touch you, play with you, and hold you. I honestly think a lot of marriages could be saved if each partner allowed themselves to be loved.
I hope maybe these will help someone out there. It breaks my heart how many women struggle with their bodies and let it bleed into their marriages and sex lives. Don’t let society dictate what you are supposed to be, instead embrace who you are and who God made you to be. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!