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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

The O-Face: Better body image improves sex

Michaelkarp.jpg
Michael Karp.

When I look in the mirror I see a big nose, curly hair,
vampire teeth and small wrists.

But I also see a nose that’s great for holding sunglasses, hair that my girlfriend loves to run her fingers through, teeth that were made sexy by “Twilight” and wrists that are perfect for reaching inside small spaces.

Body image is how we view and judge our bodies, and how we think others view our bodies.

I have made major strides over the past couple years to overcome many of the insecurities that made a mark on my childhood and teenage years.

I used to be deeply insecure about my nose, the moles and hair on my neck, pimples, bushy eyebrows, how I looked in the clothes I wore and whether the women around me thought I was cute or good-looking.

Feelings of unworthiness made me afraid to talk to women I found attractive and hesitant to believe women actually liked me.

I was seriously afraid of rejection and even more worried about being rejected for something I was insecure about. It would only confirm how I felt about myself.

A person’s body image is often quite distorted from reality.

That’s why men don’t like it when women say they are or ask if they’re fat. It signals that they are uncomfortable in their own skin. Men want women to feel comfortable because that’s a part of what makes them attractive

Negative body image arises from trying to measure up to society’s standard of beauty, masculinity or physical attractiveness. This negativity can also come from childhood teasing and bullying, upbringing and constant comparisons to others.

Poor body image can affect sex and dating lives by changing things in the bedroom.

Feelings of unworthiness and insecurity lead to less confidence, which makes a person less likely to assert themselves. It could also result in missed opportunities for connections.

Having sex with the lights off and avoiding certain positions are common results of insecurity.

Negative thoughts about one’s body while having sex make it harder to be in the moment and fully enjoy the experience. A cloudy mind hinders the ability to climax.

I got over many of my insecurities by accepting that I can only change my body so much. I can’t change some parts of my body at all, so there’s no point in stressing over them.

I’m not getting a nose job, I can’t get new hair, braces are too expensive and my wrists won’t be getting bigger anytime soon.

I can work out, eat healthy and improve other parts of my body. I can try new haircuts and styles to find the one that looks best.

I can say that my teeth are great for biting during sex and I can build my forearms up at the gym to make my wrists look bigger.

Feelings ultimately affect body image and feelings are always up for debate and interpretation.

So why not be positive?

Don’t let negative body perceptions stop empowerment, in or out of the bedroom.

Michael Karp can be reached at [email protected] or @_MichaelKarp on Twitter.

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