I recently read an article about a storefront in New York that is stirring up a bit of controversy. It was sent to me by my sex therapy certification organization, the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists.
The article shows how the trendy clothing retailer, American Apparel, recently placed mannequins with pubic hair in their storefront window. American Apparel states its purpose was to convey “realness and rawness of sexuality.”
Brier Jirka is a sex therapist with the Methodist Physicians Clinic Women's Center. She blogs every other Tuesday. Read more from Brier.
It got me thinking about how sexuality and body image is a huge issue in our society when it comes to our preferences and thoughts.
Not long ago, Glamour magazine asked women to write down every negative anxious thought they had about their bodies over the course of one full day. The results were shocking, with 97 percent admitting to having at least one “I hate my body” moment.
I have many patients come to my office stating they hate the way they look, which does not allow them to feel good when they are sexually intimate.
Here are some things I suggest you think about or do to help you feel more sexually empowered about your body.
1. Rewire your thoughts. Write out things that make you feel good about yourself and these will domino into your sexual thoughts
2. Mirror exercise. Look in a mirror naked or as naked as possible and find something you like about your body. Focus on that part during sexual play.
3. Take care of yourself. Think about your daily habits, eating, sleeping and exercise. Make one change for the better and see what happens.
4. Play up a part you like. Pick the part of your body you like most and enhance it. If it's your breasts, wear a low cut top. If it's your butt, wear tight pants. If it's your face, pull your hair back. If it's your feet, have intercourse in a position that shows them off. (Be creative.)
5. Stop comparing. Easier said than done, but this is the killer of positive thinking. Think about this: If you had no one to compare yourself to, would you feel this way? History shows that we have changed our perceptions with societal norms. So STOP, and love your body for what it is.
Think about these things the next time you catch yourself fixating on your body. Sexual pleasure is increased when we feel empowered about our sexual selves as a whole, not just our bodies.
So enjoy what you have and share the love… responsibly, of course!