Help my girlfriend love her body
October 5, 2010 8:48 AM Subscribe
What is the best way to help my girlfriend cope with or overcome body image issues that make physical intimacy a bit of a challenge? NSFW details.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (24 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I recently started dating a young woman around my age (mid-college-aged), and we've gotten along very well. We both adore each other, and we were rather quick to become fairly intimate physically, relative to my past relationships. (PS: I'm male)
The only problem is that she has fairly strong body image issues. She doesn't like her stomach or thighs, so she'll wear a v-neck shirt without a bra and pull her breasts over the opening, and she'll keep her jeans on. This is fine for making out, but when we want to go farther, this makes things difficult. She's eager for me to finger her, but it's difficult to get very deep considering that I have to maneuver my hand down past the waistband and then up inside of her. This tendency to keep clothes on also makes it impossible to try a bunch of positions/acts. I know I could ask her to change into less/looser clothes, but I would really prefer that be a stepping stone to her being comfortable in the nude, rather than a long-term substitute. I heard through a friend that her ex-boyfriend had similar issues, so it's not like a matter of getting to know her (I am not a gossip, and I was surprised to come across that info).
I also find that I have trouble getting aroused because I am on an SSRI, and seeing her cover up so much of her body and be clearly nervous about me seeing her nude kind of challenges my already stunted libido. That bit of the equation is probably something more between me and my psychiatrist, but it does compound the other factors. My current SSRI works very well for me, and I'm a wreck without it. Also, as I'm on my mother's healthcare plan and she's on a tight budget, I'm doubtful that something like Viagra is an option.
What's really dismal about this is that I like curvy to obese women more than their skinnier peers, but I'm afraid to admit that this early in the relationship for fear I might sound like I'm objectifying her, and/or only dating her for her curves, when I also love how she is really smart and funny.
She is not even that heavy. She is a slight pear shape, and definitely not overweight. She is, in my opinion, a healthy and sexy size.
Please don't think that I'm not empathetic to her body image issues. I know that this is harder for her than it is for me, which is a big part of why this concerns me. Up until high school, I was deeply ashamed of my own extra weight due to bullying, and would not swim without a shirt on. And I still feel a twinge of anxiety about getting nude, both because I'm not as fit as I would like and for fear I won't maintain an erection (damn SSRI). I just want us both to be comfortably physically intimate.
Since I've mostly described the situation without asking any questions, how can I best go about helping her feel more comfortable about her (beautiful) body?