If you can’t stop worrying about your body during sex, you’re not alone – most women I’ve spoken to on coaching calls are consumed with thoughts of “What does my body look like in this position? Does my face look awful when I come? Do I smell and taste bad down there?”
It might be affecting you so badly that it causes you to not want to have sex at all, or it might be juust annoying enough that it pops into your head while you’re in bed, causing you to not try positions you’d otherwise love, because you wouldn’t be able to relax enough.
Most conventional sex advice would tell you to heal your body image issues, focus more on the present moment, and be more mindful.
Which is all well and good… but it’s kind of boring advice, and it also doesn’t really work.
If you’re concerned about what your belly looks like, for example, telling yourself just to not focus on it anymore and try to love your body won’t do much at all (besides probably making you even more upset that you can’t follow the advice, creating a never-ending cycle of self-attack).
There’s a way you can almost-immediately decide you adore everything about your body and drop those thoughts completely, though.
And it’s this:
You must decide you love your grossness.
This does not mean you stand in the mirror and pretend you love the parts of you that you hate.
It means you decide that the feeling of grossness itself is what gives you power and brings you even more pleasure.
This might feel counterproductive, but consider for a moment that telling yourself “they aren’t looking at my belly” or “my body is beautiful” hasn’t worked much – or you probably wouldn’t be reading this piece.
It hasn’t worked, because you don’t believe it.
We have been inundated since birth with the information that our bodies need to be magazine-perfect to be the most attractive. We are taught a shallow, one-sided definition of beauty, and that’s what we’ve absorbed.
This matters, because it means that there is probably a piece of you that has deeply registered that being attractive brings you love and safety in our society, and if you’re not being perceived as attractive, that feels dangerous and life-threatening.
It might seem dramatic, but it truly does register as life-or-death to your primal brain – that’s why you can’t just turn it off by pushing those thoughts away.
If your narrative of “beautiful” is still made up of those magazine images, it will be difficult to convince your mind that your body is also beautiful. It can be done, of course – you can spend decades in therapy trying to teach yourself that every part of yourself is beautiful, and picking apart where your beliefs came from, and who taught them to you…
… or you can just decide that you adore the ways in which you are gross, and that you adore feeling gross.
“Gross” means any part of you your conscious mind deems disgusting and unattractive. It doesn’t matter if you absorbed that skinny is gross or fat is gross or dark hair is gross or long or short legs. Whatever it is to you, the ways you see your body as unacceptable and not perfect enough – those are all things we’re terming grossness. Add to this things like: the way your body breaks out in rashes or acne, the way you bleed every month, your digestive problems, the way your pussy smells – basically, anything you feel a bit of a reaction or “charge” around.
If you feel a bit repulsed by it, that’s what you’re going to decide to love: that feeling of repulsion.
If you feel repulsed by something, there’s a high chance some part of you likes it. If you hate your thighs, you might not love the way your thighs look themselves, but if you search, there’s probably a part of you that loves feeling like your thighs are disgusting.
That’s what you’re looking for: what elicits the feeling of disgust? What elicits the feeling of wanting to pull away and hide? Can you feel all of those feelings so deeply in your body, and decide you love feeling them?
In doing this, you just might have the taboo, weird, and delightful realization that your grossness is actually what makes you most powerful, most lovable, and most attractive.
You won’t learn to love these pieces because you just need to accept your flaws and you’re beautiful just as you are – you’ll learn to love them because these parts of you hold immense power.
All of nature includes both dark and light. You are not different. You do not get to be all superficial light and only tiny bits of acceptable darkness. Likewise, our bodies aren’t only attractive and nice to touch during sex. They also wither away and die, they create things like pus and miscarriage and blood and vomit, and they can make noises that sound like hell.
If you were only the perfect amounts of attractiveness always, you’d actually not be very much fun to have sex with. You’d only ever embody certain parts of yourself, and you’d cut off other parts. This might be attractive to someone else who is also only comfortable with certain aspects of themselves, but it won’t be interesting to someone who is a fully embodied human (which, hopefully, is the type of human you’d like to be interacting sexually with, anyway).
When you cut off your experience of your disgust, you cut off the extent to which you can experience joy. If you can’t feel your emotions in every part of your body, you can’t express yourself fully. You can’t go into your body deeply. Your pleasure will forever be limited.
I used to hate being on top during sex, especially if the lights were on. I didn’t want to be seen; I felt too self-conscious. I didn’t think I was good at it, I didn’t want my partner staring at body from that angle, and I felt way too exposed.
Now, I can be on top of my partner in broad daylight while I touch myself at the same time, hair all over the place, pimples on my chest, body completely seen, arch my back and growl and break into full-on sobbing while he watches.
Your grossness is your wildness, really. It’s your animal-ness. It’s your messiness.
If you decide that you believe that the best part of your sexual energy – what makes you most magnetic to others – comes from the parts you believe are gross, then suddenly, everything about you is erotic.
There is something magnetic about seeing someone embodying the most primal aspects of themselves. When someone can shriek, growl, and move in such a way that it’s all about their pleasure, that’s attractive.
It draws us in, because that’s what we want, deep down. We want that amount of pleasure.
We want to feel that free.
When you’re told something about yourself is unacceptable, you learn to shut it away. You learn to make it wrong. You push it down. But it doesn’t go away, it gets stronger. And it will show up in your sex life. You’ll be overly focused on your body, or what else you have to do that day, or you won’t be able to get wet or orgasm. Our sex lives mirror the rest of our lives, and if you don’t feel comfortable with yourself, you’ll be limited in how much you can feel sexually.
Would you rather be with a man who cries when he feels trauma he’s experienced, or a man who shuts it away and never talks about it? It’s similar – men have been taught their tears are repulsive.
Worthwhile people will not love you less when getting to see you in your full expression. They will love you more.
Deciding to embrace your grossness will be much more effective than trying to decide that the parts of you you hate are beautiful.
From doing this, you may find that over time your definition of beauty begins to expand. Beauty will suddenly include messiness, wildness, blood everywhere, death, cellulite, and wrinkles. But that part comes second.
Today I feel simultaneously like everything about my body is beautiful… and many things about my body are gross. And I feel aroused by both of those things.
This realization will help you with other aspects of staying in your body during sex. You’ll be able to focus more on the physical sensations in your body and the pleasure you feel. You’ll be able to breathe more deeply into your body. You’ll be able to ask more for what you want in bed. You might even want to self-pleasure more, to explore your own body.
All of these things will, in turn, strengthen your ability to be embodied during sex.
But it starts by fully accepting everything you are, feelings of repulsion and all.
Sourcing power from your deepest triggers will make you feel completely alive, free to be your entire, wildest self, and will take you to depths of pleasure you could never have even imagined existed.
You deserve it – and it’s already inside you.
You just have to choose to open to it.
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