It doesn't matter whether our bodies are fat or thin, tall or
short, old or young -- women of all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, philosophies,
social classes and sexual preferences have problems relating to their own
bodies. If we find the sight of our own nudity disturbing or unappealing, it's
very hard to feel comfortable sharing that nudity with others and experiencing
any of the pleasure, satisfaction, and closeness that sexuality can
What can we do about this? How can we make friends with our
By Laura Berman
It happens at my speaking engagements, of course, but also at cocktail parties and PTA meetings, even in department stores: People who've learned that I'm a sex therapist have tons of questions for me. Some just want to hear more about what I do, but most are concerned with very specific issues — things they've been wondering about but haven't felt comfortable asking (until they run into me shopping for shoes!). I'm happy to answer, if time and the setting permit. Not only does...
Imagine for a moment that you've never formally met your body
before. Oh, perhaps you've seen it straightening some pillows or shopping at
the grocery store. But that's hardly a real introduction.
Find some time to meet yourself as though you've never met
before. Choose a time when you have no pressing responsibilities and can relax.
You may prefer to make several short dates with yourself. The important thing
is to really want to meet this person you've heard so much about.
Find a place where you can be alone and comfortable. Put on
some relaxing music, something that makes you feel good and won't distract you
from your thoughts. Get in a comfortable position on your bed, the couch, a set
of cushions, or the floor, and allow your mind and body to relax. You're here
to meet a new friend and that friend is very near to you now. If you're
comfortable with your own nudity, allow yourself to be naked. If you prefer to
remain covered, wear something loose that feels good against your skin.
As you rest and allow the music to relax you, think about the
various parts of your body: your toes, your feet, your ankles and calves. Think
about the hard work they go through every day to get you from here to there.
Maybe they don't always move you as quickly or as gracefully as you'd like them
to, but they do the best they can. Isn't that what friends are for? Inside your
mind, move up your body and take special note of each working part. What do the
various aspects of your body do for you on a daily basis? Are there some things
you could do for them in thanks? Maybe a dip in a hot tub or a massage? Maybe
just a fluffy wash cloth for your next bath.
Don't focus on whether or not you think one body part is
prettier than any other. Just think about how nice it is that they stick around
and help you out. But they can't do it alone. They need a friend who will take
care of them and reward them for a job well done.