Man sexual problem

Body image and sexual function

Body image concerns refers to our thoughts about our bodies and our beliefs about how others perceive it. People with a poor body image usually have low sexual esteem and believe they will hardly manage to satisfy someone and be satisfied by someone. A poor body image has been associated with the avoidance of sexual intimacy, while a positive image is associated with frequent sexual activity and experimentation.

Studies agree that how we feel about our bodies affects our sexual satisfaction more than the objective physical characteristics of our body. Body image affects sexual function mainly through the thoughts that dominate during intercourse. ie when concerns about the body are intense, they may distract attention away from sexual stimuli. Then, sexual disatisfaction is quite probable and it is very likely for sexual dysfunctions to emerge.

Does body image affect a couple’s relationship?

The body image not only affects sexual satisfaction, but satisfaction from the relationship as well. Women who feel comfortable with their bodies are more confident that their partner finds them attractive, while women who feel uncomfortable with their bodies indicate that sexual closeness creates anxiety. These doubts lead an avoidance to initiate sexual encounters and to experience a significant reduction in the frequency of sexual intercourse the couple. This reduction in the frequency of sexual encounters, and a reduction in sexual satisfaction, then leads to a decrease in overall satisfaction from the relationship, not only for women but also for men.

Pujols Y, Seal BN, Meston CM (2010) The association between sexual satisfaction and body image in women. J Sex Med 7: 905-916.

Meltzer AL, McNulty JK (2010) Body image and marital satisfaction: evidence for the mediating role of sexual frequency and sexual satisfaction. J Fam Psychol 24: 156-164.


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