is not strictly on the subject of health, but rather on the body
itself in regard to sexuality. A person in good health is
likely to feel more sexual as such, and fitness plays a large part
in overall sexual performance and pleasure.
However, there's another
aspect that mustn't be overlooked self-image. A lot
of sexual problems can be traced to low self-esteem and even self-loathing.
We now know that many of the eating disorders relate to a poor self-image.
A person eats to the level required to fulfill the internal
picture he or she carries. So, if a child was told continually
that he or she was 'fat,' he or she will believe this and live it
in adult life. Some do this by gross overeating and others
by near-starvation. The end result is the same a body
that is distorted, either by too much weight or by too little.
Our society puts a great deal of stock on bodies and their appearances
and so much of what we think of as sexuality is tied up with image.
Sex begins in the mind.
Self-image has a lot to do with how sexual a person feels and, therefore,
is. Parental attitudes and family beliefs can shape adult
sexuality, and these are even more relevant when applied to the
body which, after all, is the instrument that we use to express
our sexuality. Issues such as nudity, making love in the light,
experimenting in bed, are all affected by the way we feel about
ourselves and our desirability. People who are not in touch
with their bodies, or who see themselves as 'ugly', are unlikely
to relate to others in a free and uninhibited way. How can
you offer the gift of yourself to another if you don't value
This problem seems to
affect women more than men, probably because society places a lot
of unrealistic expectations on female beauty. It's also a
very stylised concept with few variations and many stereotypes
big-breasted women are stupid but sexier, blondes 'have more fun',
women must be thin to be beautiful, and so on. There are thousands
of texts around that expound these ideas so I won't strain the point
but, as they pertain to sexuality, I can't stress enough that to
enjoy sex you need a healthy self-esteem and a healthy self-image.
It really doesn't matter what your body looks like as long as you
feel good in it and it's healthy.
Many men get hung up
on things like penis size just as women worry about having the 'body
beautiful'. These ideas can erode self-esteem and spoil the
enjoyment of one's own body, as well as create barriers to the sharing
of sexual experiences.