Conquer body image fears to enjoy sex with your partner

Vanessa Tarfon

1 Mar 2024 – 3 min read

woman holding flowesr up in from of her face, hiding face behind flowers.

Do you spend way too much time thinking about how to prevent your partner from seeing your naked body? Do you change in the dark or lock doors? If this is you, honestly, you are wasting your time and energy. 


I’ve looked back at old photos and thought damn I wish I felt confident in my body then because I was hot!


You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone and the same can be said for your body image. If you don’t stop and accept who you are and what you look like now, you will waste time and energy that would be better spent laughing and enjoying yourself with family and friends.


The reality is:

  • If you’ve recently had a baby your body shape is likely to have changed overall or weight distribution shifted. 
  • If you’re transitioning through menopause you may have gained more abdominal weight. 


It is all normal.


Beauty standards differ around the globe. I’ve seen larger women and women over 50 years old flaunting their assets in skimpy bikinis. Confident to let it all hang out (rolls, cellulite, thighs that touch, saggy breasts). In Australia, we hide our bodies as soon as we have half a roll. None of those women looked sad or nervous. They were enjoying everything life had to offer with confidence.

How low body image affects your sex life

If you are in a long-term, committed relationship the reality is, your partner thinks you are a goddess! It’s time to start listening because your self-criticism is destroying your relationship with yourself and your partner.

Strategies to deal with body image issues and change your sexual self-confidence to revive your sexuality

Mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest one of all

1 in 7 women have a low sexual self-image and avoid mirrors. Today you will overcome that fear and start looking in the mirror. If you have a partner you can get them involved to support you through this step.

The goal is to look at your naked body in the mirror and talk yourself through what you see. What do you love and don’t love, and why?

Then think about where that belief or understanding has come from. For example, who told you that cellulite was ugly?

Then decide whether thinking that same way is benefiting you. If it isn’t and there is no valid reason then drop the belief or replace it with a positive one. For example, society sells me products to try to get rid of cellulite but the reality is that everyone has cellulite so it’s not realistic for me to say I won’t have any. My partner doesn’t notice it, I’m not going to worry about it anymore. 


Daily self-talk reminder

It’s easy to get sucked back into negative thinking because 80% of our daily thoughts are negative. To combat this and stay on track give yourself a pep talk every morning and every night reminding yourself of 3 positive attributes you have. You are more than your appearance, so remember, your attributes are not just physical. They can include things like your personality and your values.


Touch comfort

Before you can relax and comfortably enjoy touch from a partner you need to reacquaint yourself with touch. Every day or other day, gently caress yourself all over and allow yourself to feel each area being touched. Start at the top of your head and slowly work your way down to your toes. You can touch around your genitals until you feel comfortable to touch your genitals. This massage reignites your nerve endings across your body (26% of your body are erogenous zones), and gets your endorphins flowing. 


Movement endorphin push

There is a link between physical exercise and sexual satisfaction. Get moving and release endorphins through your body. You don’t need to hit a gym, just move freely at a moderate intensity. Do yoga, walk, dance, aerobics or chase kids. If you are in a relationship, combine exercise and bonding by doing something active together.



Beauty at any age is more than skin deep. For a life-long fulfilling sex life, it’s time to take a different approach. You and your partner will benefit long-term.

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Vanessa Tarfon

Sex Therapist, owner of Authentic Awareness

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