My Insecurities About My Body Are Ruining My Sex Life

Lately, I’m not so happy with myself or my body, and that unhappiness is seriously affecting other facets of my life, particularly my sex life. I know I need to figure out what’s causing these insecurities so I can deal with them and get back to enjoying intimacy but right now, it feels downright impossible.

  1. It’s hard to believe that my partner thinks I’m beautiful. I know she does — she says she does. Most days, if I’m honest with myself, I see it in her eyes. However, on those days that I look in the mirror and have no confidence in the woman looking back at me, I can’t quite believe that someone as gorgeous as my wife could ever think I’m beautiful.
  2. It’s even harder to believe that she thinks I’m sexy. See, I can just about buy that my S.O. finds me beautiful because I know how girls are about beauty – we see it where others don’t. Sexiness is something else altogether, though. Most of the time, I tell myself there’s no way she finds me desirable. I’m the least sexy creature on this planet. It’s my issue, not hers, but it’s so hard to be sexy when you don’t feel sexy.
  3. Occasionally, my vagina embarrasses me. We’re bonded, right? There are no boundaries between us at this stage of the game. I have asymmetrical labia. I hate it. When I was very small, I convinced myself that I was growing a tail out of my vagina. Not one of my sexual partners has ever noticed it on their own, including my wife, but I still get embarrassed and insecure about it. My poor, lopsided cookie.
  4. Having sex with the lights on isn’t exactly my favorite. It’s not that I want it pitch black or anything. I just wish I could rearrange the bedroom and install the most flattering lighting, all while ensuring that I’m only showing off my best angle at all times. In all seriousness, however, I’m constantly afraid of flashing a stretch mark, a patch of cellulite, an ingrown hair, or a jiggling body part.
  5. I’ve had sex while wearing a sports bra. Maybe I should correct that to say that I have sex while wearing a sports bra. Present tense. It’s stupid, I hate it, and my wife always cajoles me until I take it off, anyway. It’s just that I prefer to do so under the safety of the covers, that’s all. It’s not exactly arousing.
  6. I rarely come to bed naked. My wife walks around naked all the time, a personal preference for which I am forever grateful. She’s got a body like an Earth goddess, though, not like a hobbit. I could watch her parade around without a stitch on all day long without ever getting tired of it, but I don’t have that kind of confidence or self-assurance. She thinks she doesn’t either, but from my side of things, that girl is a lion.
  7. There are days when I don’t even want to look at myself naked. Here’s what it all boils down to, right here. Some days, I don’t want to see my own nude body. How can I ever expect anyone else to look at it? How can I think somebody else will want to look at it? I’m aware, of course, that this thought process creates a vicious cycle and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I just can’t make it stop.
  8. It’s hard to make myself try new places. I don’t even mean risque places. I mean places that are almost mundane, like the shower. I’m all out there in the shower. Everything’s just right there. Ditto the bathtub and the beach. Ditto all the other places where I’ve shied away from exploration, adventure, and spontaneity. Crap.
  9. I’m always worried about taking up too much space. There’s so much of me. I don’t want to embarrass myself. I don’t want to do anything that draws attention to my weight, which means lying there, basically, and that’s no fun for anyone.
  10. I have no real connection to my body. I need to get it — it’s essential — but lately, it feels like my real body is buried beneath layers and layers of pounds and defense mechanisms. I can’t connect to it until I dig it out and reclaim it.
  11. When my lover touches a problem area, I lose all sense of pleasure. It’s not her fault because I never tell her, but I come right back into my own headspace when she touches a spot that I hate. I worry about what she thinks of it, if she’s grossed out, or if she even notices. Asking is probably a much easier solution.
  12. I legitimately worry that my fingers are too short. It’s just that they’re very short fingers. Logically, I know it’s not a worry – it’s not the size of the boat, after all, but the motion in the ocean – but I can’t help it. My partner’s not complaining, though, so I can probably hang up this particular insecurity.
west virginia native, new hampshire transplant, parisian in the depths of my unimpressed soul. owner of an impressive resting bitch face. writer and reader. fluent in sarcasm and snark. lover of lower case and the oxford comma.