QA&: I Want To Have Sex But I’m Uncomfortable With My Body

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QUESTION: I want to lose my virginity, and I'm in love with this boy, but I'm uncomfortable with my body. My legs are okay, and my sexual parts are okay, but my belly and breasts aren't so okay. Plus, I'm quite hairy. What can I do to make myself feel better?

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Naked-Woman-Mirror

Photo: Monroe's Dragonfly (flickr.com)

Women’s breasts are usually not symmetrical. And many women’s breasts are sort of triangular or pyramid shaped, especially when they are younger and their breasts are more perky and starting to grow outward.

Loving Yourself and Others

There are many ways that people can express their feelings of love, affection or intimacy – and some of them, such as talking or sharing a meal together, that don’t have much to do with the body. There are also many pleasurable ways of being intimate in ways that involve people’s bodies in more central ways, such as holding hands, kissing, hugging, or having some type of sex.

Some people feel very accepting of and maybe connected to their bodies. Other times, people have complicated relationships with their bodies, feeling bad about some or all of their body parts.

If you find that your feelings about your body are keeping you from feeling good about yourself or from being intimate with someone you love, it’s wise to consider how you can improve your feelings about your body.

Literature

You may find that reading a body-positive book such as Body Drama by Nancy Redd helps you to learn about your body and your sexuality, while at the same time helping you to feel better about your body. Body Drama features many diverse pictures of women and their various body parts.

Flipping through its pages, you’ll find all sorts of different skin colors, breast shapes and sizes, bellies, thighs, hands, feet and faces. You’ll notice, perhaps, how real women’s bodies are a lot different than the retouched images we often see in magazines. In real life, women’s breasts are usually not symmetrical. One breast is typically larger than the other one. And many women’s breasts are sort of triangular or pyramid shaped, especially when they are younger and their breasts are more perky and starting to grow outward.

The movie Real Women Have Curves is another movie that women of all ages sometimes credit with helping them to feel better about what nature gave them.

To Shave Or Not To Shave

As for body hair, we all have it! Although some women and men prefer to trim or shave some of their body hair, other people live it on. It can feel good to be touched in places that have hair on them as the hairs can add a layer of sensitivity.

Plus, leaving hair natural means you don’t have to deal with razor burn or shaving. If you do want to remove your hair, talk to your doctor about methods of hair removal that are least likely to cause irritation or negative side effects.

The Woman in the Mirror

Looking at yourself in the mirror, focusing on all the wonderful things that your body can do and is capable of (including experiencing pleasure) can help. So can sharing your insecurities with your boyfriend, who probably has some insecurities of his own (we all do!), and who might welcome the chance to reassure you of your beauty. Learning to love one’s body is a process and it can take time.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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