How body positivity impacted my sex life
Claudia talks about how body positivity helped her focus more on what she wanted in her sexual relationships
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The concept of body positivity can be rather complicated. Does it mean you have to love every part of yourself entirely, regardless of what you feel are noticeable flaws when you look in the mirror? Not entirely. Being positive about your body can focus more on the idea of seeing yourself as just as worthy and beautiful regardless of your size, shape, and how you choose to present yourself to the world.
Thinking about having sex for the first time
I write about body positivity as it is something that I have personally struggled with throughout my 23 years of living. When I connect this with my sexual experiences, it is something that I now look back on as a journey that took a lot of work, self-care and patience with myself. I was never someone who felt the need to rush into having sex for the first time, always believing it was best to wait until I felt ready for it. Yet despite this choice, I made myself aware of the different ways in which one can be safe and enjoy sex in a healthy way.
Changing my mindset
I always felt I had to be entirely happy in myself for me to have enjoyable sexual experiences and for me this is somewhat true, but I also realised that it is more about accepting myself for who I am. I despises being completely naked because my stomach is on show but over time, I realised that I see myself in a more negative light than many other people do. If the person to whom I consented to having sex with wasn’t attracted to my stomach, then they would not actively look to have sex with me in the first place and this mindset changed a lot of my outlook as time went on.
Just because my own self-worth wasn’t as strong as someone else, did not mean I didn’t deserve happy and healthy sexual experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I couldn’t even consider having sex because the idea of being naked haunted me more than it should, but when I compare my experiences from when I was 19 (the year I first had sex) to now at 23 having had many more sexual experiences, both good and bad, I see that I am more empowered to make informed decisions about my sexual experience.
Figuring out what I enjoy
I’m not going to lie and say every sexual experience I’ve had has been entirely enjoyable and positive, but I like to look at these experiences as a way to learn what I personally enjoy and to stick to my gut feelings always. I used to think I would be best having sex with anyone who showed interest in me because I had no self-worth and thought I should take the opportunity when it became available. Yet now I realised this had nothing to do with making the decision to have sex with someone. It all came back to my own self-image and how I viewed myself. I began to tell myself that even though I may not entirely love how I look, that it doesn’t mean I do not deserve any less and I reminded myself of this repeatedly as time went on.
As I got older, I began to focus more on what I actually wanted and not what I thought I deserved. I have honestly become a better person for it and the sexual experiences I have had in the last while have been entirely more positive than before because of this. You are worth a lot more than you think you are and it's time you started to tell yourself that you should never settle for less. This will have such an empowering impact on your choices regarding sex, I promise you that.