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When Body Insecurity Kills Your Mood — Experts Weigh In

The Case: I can't concentrate during sex. I'm very attracted to my husband, but in the moment all I can think about are my imperfections. Before and after sex, I have no problem feeling aroused — just not in the moment. Help!

Sexperts Em & Lo offer a dual-action approach:

There are two ways to address this issue: from the outside in, and from the inside out. For the former, try investing in some lingerie that makes you feel good — something that flatters your good qualities and skims kindly over your so-called imperfections. As for working from the inside out: Whether your body imperfections are real or imagined, working out on a regular basis will do wonders for what you see when you look in the mirror. While exercise is great for toning and aerobic endurance, it's really less about changing the way you look and more about changing the way you look at yourself — even if those 20 minutes on the treadmill don't give you the bod of Lady Gaga, we guarantee it will give you some of her confidence. And hopefully this will carry over to the bedroom.

Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, M.D., advises:

Intimacy cannot proceed without trust, and neither can happen without what I call "the spanx of your sex life," the thing that literally and figuratively holds it all together: self-image. The mind and body are truly connected, and when the mind is observing (“Oh man, is he touching my thighs? I hate that cellulite!"), the body freezes up. Is your partner aware of your issue? (The guy married you; I'm guessing he finds you wonderful, attractive and all the rest.) Has this always been an issue in this relationship? In others? Self-love is the key to any successful relationship. In discovering what is deeper to this situation, you can then release it — or at least put it away during sex and get back to enjoying that physiological response.

Sexologist Dr. Natasha Janina Valdez gives some tricks to try:

During sex, focus on what is happening instead of on your body. Really feel his hands touching you, and your hands touching him. The minute your mind starts to wander during sex, repeat a mantra to yourself in your head — something like "I am beautiful, this feels amazing; I am beautiful, this feels amazing," until it brings you back into the moment. You can also start Kegeling during sex, so that you have another experience to focus on: one that brings you back into the moment and gives you and your partner extra pleasure.


Em & Lo have co-authored six books, including Sex: How to Do Everything, and blog daily about sex, love and everything in between at EMandLO.com.

Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, M.D. is a Diplomate of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who currently practices at the Women's Care Center of Beverly Hills.

Dr. Natasha Janina Valdez is a relationship and sex therapist and clinical sexologist with a doctorate in human sexuality. She is the author of A Little Bit Kinky: A Couples' Guide to Rediscovering the Thrill of Sex.

  • Don't let body issues bring you down.

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When Body Insecurity Kills Your Mood — Experts Weigh In
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