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A fascinating discussion about sexuality and body size is occurring on my message board (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/foodandfeelings). Even though we live in a culture that’s considered out there with sex, the sad truth is that sexuality and intimacy get talked about very little among women. The subject gets raised even less frequently by women who are ashamed of their bodies because of their size. Hats off to those of you who are willing to take the plunge and think and talk about sex and weight.
No matter what their weight, most women have lots of conflicting feelings about sex, sexuality, and intimacy. After all, we’re supposed to be demur yet seductive and other mutually exclusive traits all at once. Then there’s the bombardment of cultural messages telling us that fat is repulsive and thin is alluring. Women who feel comfortable in their bodies at any weight are few and far between. I don’t know that I’ve met one who’s exceedingly overweight who came close to having that comfort.
It’s a complicated subject. Many overweight women say they feel more sexual when they’re thin. Some recognize that excess weight is a protection against their desire for sex. Sometimes remaining fat is a passive-aggressive way of getting back at a partner who’s hurt them. Sometimes staying fat defends against desiring a partner who’s not into sex. Other times it’s due to a fear of wanting someone who is not their partner. Whenever fears drive body size, it means there are unresolved internal conflicts going on. More often than not, it also means there’s something unkosher happening in a relationship that gets acted out through body size.
You may have difficulty considering these issues because they make you uncomfortable. Or you may feel you have no one to discuss them with. After you’ve spent time sorting out your own feelings and fears about sexuality and intimacy, try raising the subject with a close friend or family member. Don’t be afraid. Everyone thinks their own crazy thoughts are worse than everyone else’s, but they’re not. Treat yourself and seek out a therapist. We’re used to talking about sex without blushing and can help you untangle your mixed feelings and whatever’s going on in your relationship.
Sex should not be a taboo subject, but most of our religious training has made it so. My message board members have so inspired me to speak out on the subject that I intend to write more about weight and sex from now on. If we can talk about food being orgasmic, what’s wrong with talking about the real deal?
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