Is your weight interfering with your sex drive? Take this short quiz to find out
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Weight interferes with sexual fulfillment in nearly a third of overweight people, according to research. Is your sex life suffering because of your diet? Take this short quiz to find out.
1. When you think about sex, your next thought is:
a. What can I do make my partner happy?
b. What can I do to make myself look less fat?
c. Why would anyone want to have sex with me?
2. Undressing in front of your love makes you feel:
b. Fearful or anxious
c. Totally disinterested
3. See yourself as a potential sex partner. You think:
a. It's a "score" to get you into the sack.
b. I could do better, but this will be fun.
c. I'd rather look for someone more attractive.
4. Imagine a love interest sees you naked. They think:
a. You ooze sensuality.
b. You look OK, but we better put the lights out.
c. How could anyone hide so much fat?
5. Your partner says you look very sexy. You think:
a. How right they are!
b. I wonder if they're having an affair?
c. They must be really desperate.
If you answered "A" three to five times
You may be overweight, but experts say you've managed to maintain a strong sense of self-esteem. Body image expert Abby Aronson, PhD, says a little self-talk about your positive attributes can do wonders to boost your sexual self-esteem. If you find that despite your strong self-image you're still having trouble meeting a partner, consider getting out and about more. "No matter how good we feel about ourselves, we have to share that feeling with others before we connect," says Aronson.
If you answered "A" two times:
You look forward to sharing intimate experiences, but some concerns about your body may be keeping you from fully enjoying the physical side of intimacy. According to research published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, being overly concerned about your appearance can be a sign that your sex life is inhibited by your body image. If you secretly believe others are put off by your size, then your body image might be keeping you from sexual fulfillment. Some healthy self-talk about your positive attributes -- and believing those who are attracted to you -- can go a long way in helping you relax. If your body image continues to be a problem, consider finding a support group -- online or in person -- to help you lose some weight.
If you answered "A" zero to one times:
It appears you may have problems with both body image and sexual desire. Sometimes negative feelings about oneself can cause desire to wane. But just as often physical problems may be the real problem. When romance isn't on your mind -- even in potentially intimate situations -- you may be suffering from fatigue, stress or even physical snafus related to your weight, such as high cholesterol or high blood sugar, according to female sex expert Susan Kellogg, PhD. Her suggestion: Take a vacation, if possible with a potential sex partner. If your desire returns, then probably all you needed was some relaxation. If it doesn't, talk to your doctor about a cholesterol check, a blood sugar screening, and a test for serum testosterone level (for men and women). All three can play a role in sexual desire. Maintaining a healthy weight in today's society is never easy. But it's worth a try to boost your libido and your health!
Medically reviewed by Charlotte E. Grayson, MD, March 2005
SOURCES: Abby Aronson, PhD, psychologist; author, The Final Diet. Susan Kellogg, PhD, director of sexual medicine, Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute, Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 2000; vol 26: pp 191-208.
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