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Author Topic: Can self image affect sexuality?
arwen
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if a person is fat and feels ugly, if a person has stretch marks and unattractive dark spots on her body and feels embarassed to get naked in front of others, can this cause a arousal problems?
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September
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Yes, having low self-esteem and negative body image can absolutely affect arousal. Arousal tends to happen when we are relaxed and happy, not when we are anxious and worried.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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arwen
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Then how can one get over this problem?
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Heather
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Just so it is clear, what is ugly and what is beautiful are arbitrary. In other words, aesthetics are a matter of opinion, not fact.

Likewise, plenty if larger people have a positive, heathy self image. Same goes with common human traits like stretch marks and spots.

Ultimately, if someone does not accept those things and wants to, they work on changing their mind. As well if and when a person does not feel comfortable naked in front of others, they take the time to work on their own stuff before doing that, and then only choose to be naked with people with whom they build trust and comfort.

If this is about you, arwen, I am thinking about your posts the other day, and you voicing being sexual with people when you truly do not feel an interest in being so. So, sounds to me like what I said around that also applies here: you want to avoid putting yourself in situations where you are doing anything you do not want or do not feel comfortable doing.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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arwen
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Then why am i so weird? All around me girls are having sex! With bfs, with exes, with strangers they meet at discs and they are all enjoying it! Why is it such a huge deal when in comes to me? Why is it so difficult? Why dont i feel like doing it??
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Sam W
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Arwen, it is not weird or uncommon for people (young women especially) to have difficulty feeling comfortable in their own skin. We get a lot of messages about how we are supposed to look in order to be attractive and although those standards (like Heather mentioned) are arbitrary, they can still be powerful.

I think Heather's recommendation from the other thread for therapy is applicable here as well. They may be able to help you parse out the negative feelings you're having towards your body.

As for the arousal, people have really varied "sex drives." Some people really crave sex, some have no interest at all, and lots of people fall in between. And that drive can vary based on situation factors as well (stress, for example). So having low desire does not make you weird.

I also urge you to be careful about assuming that all the girls around you are a)having tons of sex and b)wanting sex all the time. Because the reality is more complex than that. We can't know how people are feeling about their sexual behaviors unless they explicitly discuss it with us. And focusing on the belief that everyone else is out having a great time and you're not is only going to increase the negative feelings you are having. So, I would try to worry less about what other people are doing and focus more on working through your own feelings.

[ 12-05-2013, 12:33 PM: Message edited by: Sam W ]

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arwen
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can a person get wet, very wet, without being aroused?
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Heather
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I would also add that one of the things we know plays a part in people often making their own worst sexual choices is when people pay way too much attention to what others are - or seem to be - doing sexually, or are saying they are dong sexually.

In order to figure out what is right for us, uniquely, we really need to figure what anyone else is doing, and what may or may not feel right for them, is just plain not our business and certainly does not tell us what is right for US. To find that out, it is ourselves we need to pay attention to and our own wants, needs and feelings we need to honor and know are our own normal.

I am sure you are not "weird" in this respect ( though even if you were, who cares? It is okay to be weird or unusual.). I am sure of that if for no other reasons than that I know, human sexuality being my job, that human sexual behaviour is so, so diverse there is not normal and there is no weird. Just a whole lot of variation.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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arwen
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That actually makes me feel a little better. But i do still have this one confusion. Is it possible to get wet during sex or foreplay without being turned on?
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Heather
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The vagina is often a moist place, period. Vaginal secretions are common, often, with or without arousal. They are part of the fertility and menstrual cycle and are also how the vagina cleans itself.

That said, the vaginal fluids, Called "vaginal sweating," that occur because of arousal are generally very thin and watery. In that way they are unique from vaginal fluids through most of the fertility cycle.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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arwen
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In that case i do get vaginal sweating secretion when i'm having sex. It sort of gushes out. but i swear i feel nothing at all. At times i am surprised to see how wet i am!

[ 12-05-2013, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: arwen ]

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arwen
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[ 12-05-2013, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: arwen ]

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