Throughout COVID over the past 2+ years, disordered eating has skyrocketed over all ages and genders. As summer approaches, this is only getting worse. Disordered eating and a negative self-image are taking a major toll in the bedroom as it relates to intimacy. Whether you are by yourself or with a partner(s), body image has a huge impact on sexual desire.
We all have vulnerabilities and many of them get intensified in the bedroom. Being naked is vulnerable, sharing your body is vulnerable, expressing your needs is vulnerable, and expressing your insecurities is one of the most vulnerable things one can do. Confidence is sexy, and no one wants to appear not confident. However, many people suffer in silence when it comes to sharing what makes us self-conscious in bed.
Not only do these thoughts impact confidence and communication, but it also has a huge impact on desire. People end up trapped or even feeling helpless because they do not want their partner to see their body. If you are having disordered eating thoughts and body dysmorphia, you can bet that you may not feel like pleasuring yourself, either.
Partners can end up feeling rejected if left in the dark – they continue to find you desirable and want to be intimate with you, but you are closed off and don’t dare mention the real reason you don’t want to have sex or get naked. The distance created here can cause long-term issues for a relationship or to oneself. The isolation one can experience when feeling trapped with the self-deprecating thoughts, or the isolation from being rejected and closed off from a partner, can feel all-encompassing and a bit hopeless.
The key here is communication. We are allowed to tell partners how we feel about ourselves. When we are having a low self-image day, when the disordered eating thoughts get especially loud, we need to figure out how to communicate them with someone around us. It doesn’t have to be a partner. It can be a therapist, friend, or family member, too.
No one has to surrender to disordered eating being part of their sex lives. With communication and support, you can start to feel that desire again. For help with disordered eating, intrusive thoughts, self-image, and communication don’t hesitate to make an appointment for therapy. It may feel overwhelming now, but once you can start talking about it, the weight will start to lift.