Help! I Feel Nervous About Him Seeing My Body

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    We all have insecurities. These can be about many things, but for women especially, feeling insecure about the appeal of your body is a big one. So when you are engaging in the more intimate aspects of your relationship, whether it is new or you have been together for years, the feeling of being "nervous about him seeing my body” is very common.

    Physical intimacy can be one of the most rewarding aspects of a relationship. For that to be the case however, requires trust. Not just in your partner, but in yourself as well. Stifling self-consciousness and feelings like being "nervous about him seeing my body" can keep you from really enjoying the connection that intimacy brings.

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    Why Do Women Feel Nervous About Showing Their Body?

    No huge surprise here, a big problem is that the media has glorified a version of feminine beauty that is hard for nearly anyone to live up to. Not only is it unrealistic, but also often unhealthy. There is a misconception that beauty and sexual appeal are only found in specific attributes like a small waist, full (but-not-too-full) hips, and large breasts. Media driven stereotypes and even porn can have side effects for both men and women.

    And as women we are more likely to allow this version of beauty to weigh upon us than our men are to impose it upon us. We compare ourselves to what we see on TV or magazines and to others around us allowing our own insecurities to make us nervous about our natural bodies.

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    This is not just a new relationship problem either. Women who have been in long term relationships can experience feeling nervous about their bodies as well. Any woman who has had a baby can tell you that the changes to a body after pregnancy are not pretty. Many women worry about their husband’s being attracted to them after a baby and feel terribly self-conscious. Age can also bring about many changes. These can leave a woman suddenly thinking, "I'm nervous about him seeing my body" even after being together for years. The self-doubt and insecurity can be crippling to a happy sex life. The truth is that many people, both women and men will go through periods where they feel more or less comfortable with their physique than at other times. Either way it is unhealthy to let your sex life fall apart because of body-image.

    What Is the Reality When He Sees Your Body?

    The reality is that intimacy is not about physical perfection. And, your imperfections are not likely to change your partner’s desire or opinion of you. Being sexually intimate, as visual as it can be, is more about the moment and the feelings being shared than it is about a tight tush or perky breasts

    A partner who loves or cares for you does so, not just for your appearance, but for who you are. All curves welcome. And, as it happens, most men seem to like curves. The unique characteristics of a woman’s body tend to be appreciated in all forms. If you are keeping yourself healthy and making an effort to maintain your appearance (stained t-shirts, sweat pants and a dozen doughnuts for breakfast can be a deal breaker), your partner likely appreciates your body and intimacy with you without judgment.

    Dr. Kurt has worked with many couples having trouble with intimacy. Self-consciousness and body concerns are not uncommon contributors to these problems. According to Dr. Kurt,

    A common complaint I hear from men is that they want sex more often, not that they don't find their partner attractive. Most men have a higher six drive than their partners. Men also use sex as a way to cope with stress and negative emotions (although they don't realize this). So they're much more focused on just being able to have sex regularly. Attractiveness of their partner does come up, but often it's in the form of wanting their partner to put in more effort in how she cares for herself, dresses, etc., more so than physical attributes they wish were different.”

    It is also reality that that confidence is generally considered sexier than those physical attributes. So if you are feeling uncomfortable about your body, look at things from a different angle and try feeling more confident in your sexuality. In other words, if you make a point to be an active and involved partner and make the experience a mutually enjoyable one, whatever issue you have with your figure will likely not even be noticed by your partner.

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    What Can You Do If You Feel Nervous About Him Seeing Your Body?

    First, stop over thinking things. As mentioned, most men like a woman’s body. Period. If you are concerned that his only interest in you is for sex or your body then perhaps waiting a bit longer before taking that step is a good idea. You should never be in an intimate situation that makes you uncomfortable.

    Next, as cliché as it sounds, embrace who you are. You are almost certainly not perfect. None of us are. And you have flaws. The open secret is that we all have flaws, many in fact, and we all feel self-conscious about something. This includes your partner. If you are comfortable with your relationship and trust your partner, new or established, put your anxiousness about your body aside for the moment and enjoy the person you are with. Your ability to do that will create additional closeness and security in your relationship, making your partner feel comfortable and you as well.

    If you are determined that something about you needs to change, like returning to a healthy BMI or toning certain areas, it is okay to have that plan in mind. It does not, however, have to put a pause on your intimate life.

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    If your anxiety levels are hard to overcome, do not discount the possibility of discussing things with your partner. Strong communication skills are often underused in a relationship and can prove invaluable. It is quite possible that your partner has no idea that "I’m nervous about him seeing my body" has even been a thought of yours. This can be especially true in longer term relationships where these same bodies have been seen many times before. Both men and women can avoid a lot of relationship mistakes by being honest with each other about their concerns and insecurities.

    Body-image is an issue for many women and men. Feeling anxious about being vulnerable and exposed (literally) is quite common. Try to remember that if you are so comfortable with someone that being intimate is a natural step, the contours of your body will likely be appreciated rather than critiqued, every less than perfect inch. And that if you are feeling "nervous about him seeing my body" it is quite possible he is feeling something similar.

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