Body Image General Chat Mental Health Sex Positive

Lights On or Off?

One thing my husband has noticed is that night time (with the lights off) is when I feel most confident having sex.

He knows why, I’m just never sure he understands why. Not really.

You see, lights on or off has everything to do with body confidence and nothing to do with you partner not wanting to see you, or what you’re doing. It is a question answered by their self esteem and how worthy they feel of you. If they feel like they’re a let down, like they don’t deserve you, they’ll ask for the lights off. It is nothing to do with you and everything  to do with them.

When your self esteem is low, really, really low, you don’t want to see yourself naked, nevermind your partner seeing you naked. That’s a whole new level of mental hell! Those of us with low self esteem will torture ourselves the entire time wondering if you actually like what you see, so to save that gut wrenching, enjoyment sucking headfuck out of the equation we hide. When you’re getting intimate they’ll cover their eyes, hide their face or turn off the lights. Trust me, it is not you, it is them. It’s the shittest, but low self esteem is shit.

If they can’t hide in the dark, or cover their eyes, they’ll close their eyes and turn away; they’ll do anything to avoid eye contact. They don’t want to see how you’ll react to seeing their body. They worry that you’ll be put off by what you see, by their body. They’ll be worried you’ll be put off having sex once you see them.

So as tedious as it may seem to you to be always reassuring your partner, they need it, they need you. Being with someone who’s self esteem is low, being worthy of them, requires you to make them feel less shitty. It’s not their fault they feel like that, they’ve been force fed body ideals from a young age. Some are able to brush of the beauty and fashion industry norms, some are not. Those that are not end up confused about their bodies, they believe their bodies are something to be ashamed of because they don’t fit the factory model mold. The ones with low self esteem have spent their lives being conditioned to think they’re not good enough.

You can say anything you want, but the truth is actions speak much louder than words ever could; show them they are beautiful. Don’t just tell them they’re gorgeous, tell them while kissing them and holding them. Don’t be another person making them feel like shit. Don’t be another person that makes them think their self worth is only measured by how good they make you feel or by how much they can please you. Don’t be another knock to their self esteem.

Show your lover that they are beautiful, that’s their body is gorgeous. Don’t be selfish. Spend time getting to know their bodies, getting to know their minds. Make sure they believe their bodies are just as beautiful as you think their bodies are.

If your partner asks for the lights off, if they hide their faces away, stop, stop trying to have sex and just hold them, reassure them, make them feel safe and desired. Be there, without distraction. Don’t force the matter, don’t keep on about sex, leave that till later. Sex is much better when low self esteem hasn’t joined in.

Don’t make your partner face their demons alone.

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