I am not a supermodel. If you knew me, that statement would probably make you laugh out loud. I am extremely average: average height, average weight (size 12ish, on a good day), and average beauty. I think. So when I say that I never have sex with the lights off, I want you to know that it’s not because I think my body is so rockin’.
When I first got married my body was at its best, yet I was so self-conscious about my husband seeing me naked. I wish I could go back to that girl and say, “Get over yourself! You’ll never look this good again!” When I looked in the mirror my eyes would go straight to the cellulite on my butt or the smaller-than-I’d-like chest. I assumed his eyes did the same.
Trust me, they didn’t.
Now, 15 years and 2 babies later, my body has shifted slightly. I’m a good 30 pounds heavier than I was the day we got married, and as those of you who have given birth know, most things are in different places than they were then. Let’s just say if I hadn’t figured out how to get over myself, then I would be MUCH more private about my body now than I ever was back then.
But I’m not, and here’s why:
I only get one body, and I only have one husband. Sex is a gift in marriage in so many ways, and it’s one I enjoy opening. Logically, I have come to realize that to enjoy this gift to the fullest I have to be okay with the body that God and time have given me. If I continue to constantly berate myself, openly or privately, then our sex life will never reach the meaningful place it could be.
If I insist on only being naked when it’s dark, then my husband never gets to experience the gift of visual intimacy that is SO important for a male. Men are visual—you and I both know this. And trust me when I say, they look at us and see a beautiful naked body, not the belly bulge we hate or the saggy areas we try to cover.
And, side note: If we don’t feed the visual aspect of our husband’s sexual nature, then it is much harder for him to resist the temptation to look elsewhere. I’m not saying he can’t resist it, but it definitely makes things harder. That’s just the way it is.
If you struggle with allowing your husband to see you—the real you—start small. Don’t pressure yourself to become an exhibitionist overnight. Maybe just try a little more freedom when no one else is around in order to become more accustomed to the feeling of not being covered. Don’t rush to wrap in a towel after your shower, don’t go in the closet to get dressed. Baby steps.
If you, like me, have dragged around that body-image baggage for years and years, it’s time to let it go. I know it is easier said than done, but you can start today to make small changes that will lead to a healthier, more intimate relationship between you and your spouse, because sex with the lights on is freeing!
It’s freeing when you see your body as a story that bears the beautiful marks of a faithful relationship you have shared with one man for years. He chose you, he loves you—all of you.
The more comfortable you become with your own body, the more you’ll likely find that your sexual relationship with your spouse will strengthen. And, generally, sexual intimacy in marriage leads to better intimacy in every other aspect.
Who knows? Maybe one day soon you’ll be turning on the lamp before he leans over to kiss you…
(It can happen!)