Is it possible that gaining weight wiped out my ability to have an orgasm? Ive gained some weight in the past few months. Should I give up trying until I lose the weight?
A Weighty Dilemma
How much weight are we talking about, cha-cha? Putting a few more pounds of junk in the trunk isnt going to manacle your orgasms to the bedpost, but it will if youve gained so much weight that your blood type is now Ragu.
Excess fat can give your vagina a flat tire by narrowing the width of the blood vessels leading to the genital area. It can also cause an imbalance of the sex hormones estrogen, prolactin and testosterone, which affect sexual response.
But come on. Fat aint your problem. Self-image is. Womens sexual satisfaction is intricately tied to the way they feel about their body. The more you perceive yourself as overweight, the more likely youll experience a drop in sexual desire and functioning. The more unattractive you feel, the worse sex youll have. In fact, the latest study in the Journal of Sex Research came to a pretty shocking conclusion: How you feel about your body has more of an influence on sexual functioning than even menopause!
Just about every woman has said it to herself at some point during sex: Oh, my God, hes touching it. The it, of course, is the part of your body you dont like.
Sometimes its just a passing thought, but sometimes that thought gets stuck, sets up camp and gives birth to hundreds of other ones like it. You start thinking things like, Im too fat to have sex, even though youre objectively average-sized.
You joke that beauty is only a light switch away, but you get serious about having sex with the lights out. You tell friends youre not having sex till youre a size six. You put conditions on sex. You wear cover-up clothing and only get in positions that prevent your partner from looking at or touching certain parts of your body. Your libido stays high but self-judgment paralyzes your enjoyment, making it difficult to orgasm.
First and always talk to a doctor to rule out medical reasons for the change in your sexual response. (Did you go on new meds? Is there situational stress?) Assuming theres no physiological reason your orgasms have left the room and locked the door, Id say its not the weight, but the baggage.
You need to do two things. First, exercise. Not to lose weight, but to improve blood flow in your southern hemisphere. That means yoga, brisk walking or cycling for 20 minutes three times a week. These exercises are known to bathe the genitals with better circulation (this goes for men, too, by the way). Over time, the result of this bath is more lubrication, better arousal and the ability to wake up your neighbors with ecstatic screams.
Second, take an orgasm sabbatical. For the next 30 days, practice orgasmless pleasure. Meaning, no orgasms for 30 days. Why? Because the quickest way to stop an orgasm is to aim for it. The big O is controlled by the involuntary part of your nervous system. The more you consciously try for it, the less its likely to happen. But if you relax into the pleasure of sex, if you sink into the sensations and let your body guide you, then youll arrive at the Promised Land. And not a stroke before.
As far as body shame in the bedroom, thats another column. But you can go a long way toward healing it if you get rid of the idea that you need to lose weight to enjoy your body. Sex is not a reward for losing weight. Its the reward for being human.
Got a burning or a why-is-it-burning question for the Sexorcist? E-mail him at Sexorcist@creativeloafing.com. Midtown resident Mike Alvear hosts HBOs The Sex Inspectors, blogs at mikealvear.com and teaches monthly blogging workshops with Hollis Gillespie.
Because they are super-duper horny, of course.
Hoping he cleaned his pooh hammer before hand