Spice Up Your Sex Life -- No Matter What Your Size

By Jean Lawrence
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Have you put your sex life on hold while you wait for those last 10 (or even 100) pounds to disappear? While losing weight and getting healthier can definitely get those urges going again, depriving yourself of romance in the meantime is not a good idea.

Statistics show that people who have sex regularly tend to have stronger immune systems, are less likely to be depressed, and live longer. Marriages in which the kitchen has not replaced the bedroom also tend to last longer and be more satisfying.

"Sex is fun," says Hanne Blank, author of Big Big Love: A Sourcebook on Sex for People of Size and Those Who Love Them. "Sex is good for you. Sex is good for PMS. Sex is part of what we do socially as human beings."

And while movies, television, and advertising would have us believe that sex is only for the svelte, keep in mind that statistics show two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Yet people keep getting married. Babies keep getting born. Someone out there is still "doing it" and presumably enjoying the heck out of it, weight or no weight.

Who's In Charge -- Hollywood or You?

"We are just on the wrong side of the world and the wrong era," says Rina Valan-Hudson, who founded a company called Fantasia Home Parties to bring women of size together to buy the latest in marital aids and lingerie. She says today's "real woman" would go over big (so to speak) on the curve-loving island of Fiji or in the era of the Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens.

Of course, Hollywood and Madison Avenue don't help, with all the Size 0s running around.

"This is a very prejudiced society against weight," says Hale Dwoskin, author of the motivational bestseller, The Sedona Method. The method is not a diet, but a way of programming negatives out of your life. Thinking you're fat, and therefore unattractive, would be one of those negatives.

"Let's face it," Blank says, "body parts are body parts. There are only so many ways you can rearrange them. The problem is not the sex, but getting to the sex, meaning getting past people's preconceptions."

Those people, she adds, include the heavy person him -- or herself. "We do a good job of policing ourselves," she says. "There are plenty of men and women who like the feel of a more substantial person."

"We are obsessed with bodies!" Dwoskin says. "Everyone has secret shame and disapproval of some part of their body. No one wants to get naked, and this includes thin people. Everyone can be free of this."

How to Break Free

Dwoskin's method of letting go of stress and negative feelings is based on three questions. Once you take a look at why you are not having sex (fear, self-disgust, anticipation of what your partner might feel), you ask yourself:

  • "Could I let this go?"
  • "Will I let this go?"
  • Then: "When?"

If you bring your underlying emotions to the surface, you become more "present," he says. "Everyone wants a date or bedmate who is present and engaged."

Here are some other ideas for getting past the negative feelings that can inhibit romance:

  • Focus on parts of your body you do like. Befriend your graceful hands or strong arms. Appreciate the curves of your slim ankles.
  • Accept yourself as you are. This doesn't mean you can't change. But wanting to change something, Dwoskin says, keeps us focused on the negative (the thing we want to change). Change comes when you focus on the positive. "Self-acceptance makes it easier to change."
  • Remember, you are perfect, even if you don't think so. You will also be perfect when you lose 25 pounds, but not more perfect.
  • Quit seeking approval -- or, the flip side, expecting disapproval. Could you do that? Would you? When?
  • Just let go. Dwoskin teaches the art of surrender -- and where is that more appropriate than in bed?
  • Blank, who has also written a book of larger-size erotica, says you should suspend your disbelief. Yes, that cute guy may be talking to you! That sexy babe may indeed want to buy you a drink! "Look at all the married people," she laughs. "They weren't all models when they got married and then put on weight."

If you still can't get past what you see in the mirror, Valan-Hudson reminds us is that vision is just one of the five senses. Heavier people may be orally oriented (in sex, this can be intriguing, yes?). Tactilely, they possess interesting curves and sensual spots. "You can really get into the touch thing," she says. Lotions and scents can tease the sense of smell.

The sense of hearing can also be sensual -- especially if the two lovers are talking openly about their likes and dislikes. Married people, especially, need to communicate more about sex, Dwoskin says. "This is the sexiest thing you can do."