Don't Let Self-Consciousness about Your Body Stand in The Way of Sexual Pleasure

I’ve always been fixated on little things. Lately I’m obsessed with my chin hairs. Despite a nearly decade- long history of electrolysis, waxing, and now plucking with tweezers, I remain plagued by spiky, white, nearly invisible chin hairs. They require vigilant monitoring as they spring up day and night. Lately when my partner and I are reclining near each other, watching TV, whenever a romantic scene comes on the screen showing a couple about to kiss or already making out, just as he sexily cups her face in his hands, all I can think of is, “Can he feel her chin hairs?” Talk about a romance/libido killer. But that’s the way my mind works.

There’s not a woman alive who hasn’t bemoaned the presumed failings of her naked body, but that sense of shame, failure, and self-loathing only increases as we age. Every pucker, every dimple, every sag, not to mention sun spots, liver spots, scars from old injuries and operations loom ever larger, especially if we’re considering getting naked with a partner, a husband or a new friend. Is self-consciousness about your face and body inhibiting your romantic and sexual enjoyment? So how does a person let go of their inhibitions about their body?

I’m going to be practical here: The very first thing is to banish mirrors from your bedroom. You’ll be surprised how easily you adapt to living without them. Yes, you might feel the need for a last-minute check in the mirror when you finish getting dressed, but that mirror can stay in the bathroom or on the inside door of a closet. When you’re young and your hair is thick and your skin unblemished and tight, mirrors are confidence-building; after menopause, most women feel the opposite. So unless you have one of those magical mirrors that make you appear taller and thinner, avoid mirrors in the bedroom.

Invest in an amazing bra you wear only in bed. Bras in bed are sexy (watch any foreign movie); men prefer anything sheer or with lace. (Save the sports bra for the gym.) Wearing a bra to bed is a confidence builder. Don’t take it off until it’s time to slip under the covers for a dreamy night’s sleep, or you’re ready to pop in the shower.

Truly don’t want to see everything there is to see? Turn off the lights entirely. Take off your glasses.

Last but not least, remember your partner isn’t perfect either. Odds are he’s got his own lumps, bumps, and scars to deal with. His skin may be dry and papery. His chest hair – if he has any —is probably white. Just fyi, older American men are possibly the last men on earth to have chest hair. These days, most guys 45 and younger definitely wax. So as you stand in the bathroom in your pretty negligee, flossing your teeth, just remember not to pluck your chin hairs in bed. That really isn’t sexy.


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