I Used To Try To Have Sex With Guys Without Letting Them See Me Naked

I lost my virginity at 19 and while no one expects their first time to be spectacular, most of the sex I had in the years following wasn’t any better. I later realized this came down to my lack of body confidence—I hated the way I looked so much that I literally tried to avoid letting the guys I was sleeping with see me naked.

  1. My insecurity about my weight was overpowering. I couldn’t understand why anyone would find my naked body appealing; I was fat. I’d been bullied enough at school to know that nobody likes fat people, and they certainly don’t want to have sex with them. I did manage to get guys, I just presumed they were desperate. I could never comprehend having sex anywhere other than a bed, specifically a bed with covers. There had to be a sheet, a blanket, a duvet—anything to cover my hideous naked body.
  2. Never having any body-positive female role models growing up didn’t help. I grew up seeing every woman around me on a diet. None of them liked their bodies and I got the impression that women just had sex with men to please them. To keep them. It was the least they could do for a guy who deigned to be with such imperfect women. As a teenager, I would wear baggy t-shirts and sit with my arms folded across my stomach, the part I hated to most. I just kept telling myself that one day I’d find the right magical diet and I’d be thin and happy forever.
  3. I wanted guys to want to have sex with me but I didn’t enjoy the sex. I wanted them to want me; I wanted to feel desired, worthy and sexy. I tried to kid myself that I enjoyed the sex, which was usually a messy fumble under the covers, because at least I was having some. The guy would hump away on top of me for a few minutes until he came and then it was done. Every time, I breathed a sigh of relief and wondered why I even bothered.
  4. I never had an orgasm but I never expected to. It wasn’t about me. Sex wasn’t for my pleasure, it was for the guy. Making a girl orgasm seemed like it was an unimaginable task for most guys. The best I could hope for was a few minutes of uncomfortable fingering before he gave up. Most of the guys I pulled never cared enough to give me pleasure. I didn’t have the confidence to ask them to pleasure me, but who actually wants to have to ask?
  5. I could never relax enough to enjoy sex. I was so tense that sometimes it even hurt. Any pleasure I could’ve had never even crossed my mind; I was too busy wondering if he’d noticed my flabby stomach yet, worrying that he’d change position and the duvet would slip and then all my flab would be on show and he’d be so repulsed that he’d run away.
  6. The truth is, they probably didn’t notice or even care about my physical imperfections. Not to make a horrible generalization about men, but when there are boobs on show, generally they command guys’ attention. I mean, if I was with a girl, I’d be more interested in her boobs than critiquing how much body fat she has. Boobs are awesome.
  7. I eventually realized I’d have to try to make peace with my body before I’d ever enjoy sex with anyone. When I was 25, I went traveling to Australia. As a teenager, I’d always wear a baggy t-shirt over my swimsuit, but I wanted a proper tan so I knew I had to get over that. I was on beaches most days so I wore that swimsuit without any kind of cover-up even though I felt uncomfortable and eventually, I started to get used to it.
  8. I realized the importance (and fun) of masturbation. I always thought my vagina was gross. Whenever I slept with guys, I was so worried they’d find it too smelly, too hairy, or too flappy. All my male friends seemed to be masturbating loads, so I started exploring myself and I realized that my vagina wasn’t so gross after all. In fact, it was pretty frickin’ awesome. I felt like a superhero that had just discovered their special power.
  9. I read and learned more about body positivity. The growth of social media meant I could fill my online world with positive influences. I’d never seen pictures of plus size women in bikinis before! It was amazing. I knew that learning to love my body wasn’t going to happen quickly, but if I kept pushing myself and kept reading and learning, I might get there one day. Then maybe I could finally enjoy sex too.
  10. It worked, but it’s still a journey. I still have negative thoughts about my body; the body positive journey can be a long one but I’m happy to be on the right path. I learned that what I’d been told was “normal” my whole life maybe wasn’t so normal after all, and that’s a good thing. Normal is boring. Now, sex is no longer a bit of humping and an ejaculation, it’s about my pleasure too—and if the guy doesn’t like it, he can GTFO.
Mel Ciavucco is a freelance writer from the UK. She is a blogger, fiction writer, screenwriter, content writer and editor.

Mel is passionate about writing stories that challenge social norms, showcase diverse characters and contain realistic portrayals of mental health. She believes that sharing our stories and stepping out of our comfort zones makes us all better human beings.

Mel is the founder of Write Kerfuffle: Writing and Editing Services: www.writekerfuffle.com
She writes about gender equality on her personal blog: www.melciavucco.weebly.com/feministramblings