I feel so fat and ugly in bed
Question: I've always had weight problems - you could call me a 'big girl' - I have a terror of being seen naked. I fear a guy will run a mile if he sees my body. So I've always have the lights out when having sex and there aren't even the 'sensual candles' recommended by experts. I've met a new man who genuinely cares about me and would love to get over my fears. Please help - I don't want to destroy another relationship because of my insecurities. Btw, I'm okay with men outside the bedroom!
Dear 'Terrified of being naked',
Let me assure you, it's not only weight that gives women a terror of being naked. I know plenty of slim women who have body issues that revolve around shape (rather than weight) and other things like muscle tone and(that's me - just call me 'cellulite thighs'). So, sadly, you're in 'good' company - many will identify with your vampire-like dread of the light during sex.
Interesting you mention 'sensual candles' that we experts recommend. Yup, soft lighting can help with many women's insecurities but yours go deeper than that. You've bought the myth hook, line and sinker that men want women of a certain size. Plus, that ladies on the larger-size aren't worthy of love.
These myths are in your head and the only time your weight should concern you is if it's making you unhealthy.
So, how to break a lifetime's belief that 'love' will run a mile if the lights are on for sex? Old habits die hard and you need to fight these feelings. Begin with 'thought stopping' - each time you have any negative thought about your body (and this doesn't have to be related to the bedroom) stop that thought immediately. It's up to you to re-train your mind. Substitute it with a kinder 'voice' and tell yourself you're worthy of love and of this nice new man.
You have to fight this like a boxer who's dodging punches because essentially that's what a negative inner voice is like. It keeps punching you, always coming back at you. You have to fight back, so use your imagination and visualise it as a real fight.
Next, try on some sexy lingerie, walk around in it, feel good in it, and allow yourself to feel sexy! Dressing for sex isn't something spontaneous. By planning it you can make sure you wear what you feel confident in.
Final tip: start to introduce some of that sensual lighting we experts recommend! Get a dimmer switch or some delicious smelling candles.
Happy 2010 to the new you! Love, Dr Pam x