Better Sex: What's Weight Got to Do with It?
Being overweight does affect your libido. But small changes can jump-start your sex drive.
By Colette Bouchez
Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson, MD
From Sex in the City to Desperate Housewives, there's one media message that's louder and clearer than ever: Looking, feeling, acting, and just being sexy is the order of the day.
But cultural messages also continue to tell us that no one bigger than a size 6 should be singing the siren song of sexuality. Much like oil and water, being overweight and sexy just don't mix. For those already struggling with weight and image issues, that powerful message can easily throw a wet blanket on even the most active libido.
"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, " says Martin Binks, PhD, a clinical psychologist and director of behavioral health at Duke University's Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C.
But it turns out that cultural messages aren't the whole story. New research suggests certain physical conditions that go along with obesity also affect sex drive, further dampening the desires of those who are overweight. The good news: You can make some changes to your body (and how you think about your body) to enhance your libido. You can: