Low Libido: Body Image, Personal Freedom and Social Change
Women (and men too) – your body is beautiful, right now, just as it is. So many women spend so much of their lives hating their body, struggling against it and punishing it for having curves or wrinkles or spots. Women feel like they don’t deserve to have sexual pleasure until their bodies are perfect (and there is no such thing as a perfect body, even the magazines airbrush supermodels). The media, the dieting industry, the fashion industry and so many of our cultural outlets tell women that they have to change themselves to be beautiful. In this way, they can keep making money off of women’s insecurities. And, women’s insecurities about their bodies are yet another cause of low libido.
When women diet in unhealthy ways, starve themselves or overexercise, their sex drive goes down – if you think about it in biological terms, it doesn’t make sense to make a baby if you won’t be able to feed it or yourself. Also, many women feel ashamed about being naked in front of their partners and, instead of feeling the pleasure of sexual arousal, experience sex as though they are outside of themselves watching to make sure their stomach or thighs aren’t too fat. If there is one thing that we know about body image, it is that body image DOES NOT CHANGE from changing your body, it changes when you start loving your body just the way it is and stop monitoring every bit you eat or every pound you have and then beating yourself up about it.
Sometimes just the act of loving your body in this way inspires you to take good care of yourself, eat healthy and exercise. When you look at your body with love and picture others doing the same, you begin to walk in the world in a way that is more open and alive, you believe that you deserve pleasure and people begin to respond to this aliveness and this belief. The freedom from diet-brain and self-hatred is a personal freedom, it is about claiming your own right to pleasure and self-love. To improve your body image towards better libido follow the three steps in our previous post on loving yourself in 3 steps.
Also, and this might sound surprising, libido is about having power out in the world, about claiming your voice, connecting with other women and changing the world in positive ways so that women’s sexuality is celebrated and cherished instead of denigrated and denied. One example of this might be attending a Slut Walk, a walk organized to respond to a comment by Toronto police offer who said that to remain safe, “women should avoid dressing like sluts.” At events like this, women speak out about ways that they have triumphed in the face of adversity and about issues that still need to be addressed around women and women’s sexual freedom. Another option would be starting a women’s group, or a mother/daughter group, with your friends or acquaintances and educating yourselves and each other about women’s issues and women’s sexuality (or girls’ sexual development). We love to come in and speak to women’s groups, so please invite us if you do! When you begin to see how all women have been denied the full expression of their sexual desire, you will become motivated and inspired to change the world and when you make positive changes in the world, you feel more alive and sexual as well!
We would love to have your comments and experiences, so please write them below.