If there is one media message that hasn't lost its punch over the years, it's this: Looking, acting, and feeling sexy is what it's all about. And despite the recent positive attention the “big and beautiful” sect has scored for themselves, the general consensus is that anyone that can't fit into a size 6 has no business trying to look sexy.
As one can imagine, this is a huge ego blow to anyone who may already be suffering with a poor self-image due to extra rolls and paunches of fat. Even the most active libido can stall with a message like that.
Martin Binks, PhD, director of behavioral health and a clinical psychologist at Duke University's Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C., says, “Unfortunately, people are internalizing society's definition of what it takes to be involved in sex, particularly the body shape – there are clearly societal biases out there that are influencing us on an individual level and not in a good way.”Physical conditions associated with extra weight can be a wet blanket on desire.
But there is more to the story than societal messages. New research indicates some of the physical conditions associated with being overweight or obese can also put a damper on sex drive
If you're overweight, you're more likely to develop diabetes, high cholesterol, gallstones, respiratory problems, liver disease, blocked arteries, high blood pressure, and cancers of the prostate and cervix. Many of these conditions can have a negative impact on sexual performance
. For example, blocked arteries can cause circulation problems not only to the heart, but to the penis as well. Since the liver is important for maintaining the delicate balance of our sex hormones, a stressed-out liver could possibly diminish libido for both women and men.
However, there are things you can do that will not only change your shape but also how you think about your body. In the process, your libido will get a needed boost. Lifestyle changes that can boost libido.
For example, losing just 10 pounds can stimulate sex hormones. Switching to more nutritious foods can control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Exercise can get the blood flowing to the pelvic region and reading a sexy novel can help with the mental aspects of getting in the mood.
These small lifestyle changes
coupled with some positive self-talk can boost both your sexual drive and desire. But if you still have problems viewing yourself as a sensual and desirable man or woman, professional counseling could go a long way to getting you to where you want to be.
"If you are someone who has very negative feelings about your body image, then getting treatment that works toward improving self-esteem will automatically be reflected in your desire for sex and your ability to achieve sexual fulfillment, regardless of your size," says Binks.
Above everything else, keep this in mind: While studies show that up to 30% of overweight people have sexual problems, up to 70% of overweight people are doing great - and you can, too.