In Bed With Body Image: How Low Self-Esteem Can Ruin Your Sex Life

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In an era where poor body image plagues many of us, it’s difficult to have a healthy, fulfilling, great sex life. This sex and self-esteem expert is here to help.

By Hanna Brooks Olsen for

There are a lot of reasons why sex can be not-great. An unhealthy relationship is one. An uncomfortable bike seat is another. But according to author, speaker, and general sexual oracle and body-positivity hero Ducky Doolittleone of the biggest libido killers for women isn’t an outside force–it’s an inner voice that has been peeping in our ears since we were kids. In an era where poor body image plagues many of us, it’s difficult to have a healthy, fulfilling, great sex life.

Don’t believe it? Just last week, Esquire writer Chris Jones reminded women that they’re not as good in bed as they think they are–underscoring the real reason women often don’t enjoy sex as much as they could. Jones labels his previous sexual partners, many of whom consider themselves to be “sexual Olympians,” as “unenthusiastic, uncomfortable, and uncommunicative,” launching an assault on women he perceives to be over-confident, yet woefully under-skilled.

Unfortunately, Jones fails to grasp the concept that it’s kind of hard to get it up for crazy-hot sex when, as women, we’re consistently being put down for our bodies–and told to put ourselves down even more. We aren’t “uncomfortable” because ladies be crazy (or biologically sucky at sex); many of us have simply been conditioned to feel crappy when we take our clothes off.

So, when we’re not “enthusiastic” (because we’re feeling self-conscious about our perceived imperfections) or “communicative” (because we’ve been told to put up or shut up for most of our lives), it’s not because we’re deluded and overly-confident…it’s because we, as women, haven’t really been nurtured to feel like sexual beings.

But Doolittle, who wrote about about sex, confidence, body-image, and self-esteem in her book, Sex With The Lights On, let us in on how sex (again, either alone or with a partner) can help women regain a positive self-image, and a great relationship with our own amazing, beautiful bodies.

Here’s what she had to say...

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