Body Image in Our Culture
Let's face it, it's not easy to feel confident about your body nowadays. We're constantly bombarded with images of models and actors that have been surgically improved and plumped, plucked, injected, and enhanced to the fullest extent that modern medicine and technology can allow. And as if that's not enough, images of those models are then further enhanced using digital imaging software. Even the models themselves find it a daunting task to try and live up to their own unrealistic photos. Several supermodels have even come out and admitted to being Photoshopped in their covers, further acknowledging that in real life they have (gasp!) cellulite and other problems just like the rest of us.
Self-consciousness and self-doubts get in the way of full sexual expression. They can occupy your mind and keep you from focusing your attention on the physical sensations that bring you pleasure. Yet many people lose themselves, agonizing over whether they're “good enough” or “pretty enough.” Don't fall into this trap!
It's important that you adjust your expectations for others and yourself, or you'll be inevitably disappointed when nobody can meet your impossible standards. Also, don't assume your partner expects perfection. This can be especially problematic for women, who often feel they pale in comparison to the buxom, Botox-enhanced centerfold models their men seem to drool over. In fact, many men say they'd find that overly enhanced type of women to be a turnoff in real life. Odds are, the main turn-on is that the women seem comfortable with their bodies and sexually open and adventurous.Conquer Your Old Baggage
Unlearning the negative attitudes you inherited about bodily pleasure as a child may take time. You probably weren't encouraged to learn about your body and what brings you pleasure. When you touched yourself, an adult would move your hand away from down there.
If you received more painful negative reinforcement, you may carry guilt and shame regarding your sexual feelings, desires, and actions. Your body may carry the physical memories of those hurts just as your emotions do. It's important to understand that the hurts and injustices you may have experienced in your early years can hold you back from being a fully expressed sexual and sensual being.