6 Min Read
- Why Do Women Feel Nervous About Showing Their Body?
- What Is The Reality When He Sees Your Body?
- What Can You Do If You Feel Nervous About Him Seeing Your Body?
- What To Take Away
We all have insecurities.
These can be about many things, but for women especially, feeling insecure about their bodies is a big one. Blame magazines, TV, Photoshop, airbrushing, or even porn, but from the time girls develop body awareness most will experience insecurity about their bodies.
This means that as women enter relationships and have intimate sexual experiences many find themselves feeling nervous about their partners seeing their bodies. This isn’t confined to new relationships either.
Changes in a woman’s body over time can mean that even if they’ve been with their partner for years, feeling "nervous about him seeing my body” is still very common.
Physical intimacy should be one of the most rewarding aspects of a romantic relationship. For that to be the case, however, trust is required. 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.
Why Do Women Feel Nervous About Showing Their Body?
No huge surprise here, over the years 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 many of these idealized images are also literally unreal. Software, apps, and even AI have given us the ability to create fantasy depictions of women that leave those of who just have a mirror and hope feeling inadequate and sad. Consequently, what’s seen as sexy and beautiful is often unattainable by healthy means.
The 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 leave many women feeling insecure about the way their partners will look at them.
- Does he like my body?
- Can he see my cellulite?
- Will he find me desirable?
All common thoughts of women who are nervous about their partner seeing their bodies.
These feelings can be amplified if a woman has a partner who watches porn. Not only are the women on the screen chosen for specific physical merits, but they’re also paid to do things that don’t always happen in a normal sexual relationship.
So, not only is a woman worried about her appearance in general, but she’s also worried about how she measures up against the woman on screen and what her body can do.
- My breasts don’t look like that.
- My stomach isn’t that flat.
- My behind isn’t shaped like that.
- If I try that I’ll look ridiculous.
The truth is that as women we are more likely to allow these versions 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.
As mentioned above, this is not just a new relationship problem. In fact, as a woman ages within her relationship she often becomes more self-conscious about her aging body and how she compares to younger women, especially if her partner watches porn.
A Note About Mom Bods And Aging
Any woman who has had a baby can tell you that the changes to a body after pregnancy are not pretty. Miracle or not, that bundle of joy alters things. One woman I know described herself as feeling that she looked like a Dr. Seuss character.
Think she was nervous about her husband seeing her body post-baby? Well, for a while she was too tired to care, but eventually, yep!
Many women worry about whether their husband will be attracted to them after they’ve had a baby and feel terribly self-conscious, but just aging can also bring about many changes that leave a woman feeling self-conscious. After all, what once pointed up will eventually point down.
This self-doubt and insecurity can be crippling to healthy physical intimacy.
What Is The Reality When He Sees Your Body?
The reality is that sexual 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’re keeping yourself healthy and making an effort to maintain your appearance (stained t-shirts, sweatpants, and a dozen doughnuts for breakfast can be a deal breaker), your partner likely appreciates your body and sexual escapades with you without judgment.
Dr. Kurt has worked with many couples having trouble with physical intimacy. Self-consciousness and body concerns are not uncommon contributors to these problems.
According to Dr. Kurt,
The most 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 sex 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 more effort into how she cares for herself, dresses, etc., more so than physical attributes they wish were different.”
What many women also fail to realize is that confidence is generally considered sexier than physical attributes. A man who cares for you will rarely turn down the invitation if you initiate.
If you’re 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.
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’re concerned that his only interest in you is for sex or your body then perhaps waiting a bit longer before jumping into a physical relationship is a good idea. You should never be in an intimate situation that makes you uncomfortable.
Second, as cliché as it sounds, embrace who you are.
You’re almost certainly not perfect. None of us are. And you have flaws. We all do, and we all feel self-conscious about something.
This includes your partner.
If you’re comfortable with your relationship and trust your partner, new or established, put your anxiousness about your body aside for the moment so you can focus on and enjoy the person you’re 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’re determined that something about you needs to change, like returning to a healthy BMI or toning certain areas, it’s okay to have that plan in mind. It doesn’t, however, have to put a pause on your intimate life.
If your anxiety levels are hard to overcome, don’t discount the possibility of discussing things with your partner. Strong communication skills are often underused in relationships and can prove invaluable.
It's quite possible that your partner has no idea that you’re feeling insecure about your body. This can be especially true in longer-term relationships where bodies have been seen by each other many times before.
What To Take Away
Both women and men can avoid a lot of relationship mistakes by being honest with each other about their concerns and insecurities.
If you’ve been feeling insecure and nervous about your partner seeing your body, flaws and all, remember the following things:
- Body-image is an issue for many women and men. Although we’ve been addressing a woman’s insecurity with her body, this isn’t a woman-only problem. There are plenty of men with dad bods that have similar insecurities.
- Feeling anxious about being vulnerable and exposed (literally) is quite common. Try to remember that if you’re 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 if your internal dialogue sounds something like, "I’m nervous about him seeing my body," it’s quite possible he is feeling something similar.
Everyone goes through periods where they feel uncomfortable with their physique, but it’s unhealthy to let your sex life fall apart because of body-image fears.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published December 06, 2017, and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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