Does Size Really Matter?

Some of you might be a bit disappointed because this is definitely NOT going to be another article about penis size. But let not your heart be troubled; do read on. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed for too long.

I recently did an interview with Sexuality and Relationship Therapist Rebecca Rosenblat, on her television talk-show Sex @ 11 With Rebecca, on Rogers TV, Toronto. Before I actually came on air, she was responding to an e mail and seeking to reassure one of her viewers, who had been grappling with a poor body image and an insensitive partner. Rebecca’s statement that “Fat is not the Kryptonite of sex!” immediately peaked my interest and actually inspired this article. For those of us who have been following the adventures of Superman over the years, we well understand the impact of Kryptonite on Clarke Kent’s ability to be super and strong. But does “fat” have a similar impact on our sexuality, our sense of our sexual selves, our body image or on our partner’s ability to enjoy our bodies? Now unapologetically I say it most certainly does! Not however because of some intrinsic flaw inherent in having a few pounds or curves. While “fat” in no way inhibits our ability to be sexy or to enjoy a good roll in the hay, what we think about it often does.

Ultimately sexiness is a state of mind.

We are inundated mercilessly with media images which seek to convince us that a truly sexy woman must be a size six or under. All the stars of the really great romantic comedies, of every romantic novel and of all the music videos we watch, have a particular body type. This says nothing about the magazine cover-girls and poster girls of Weight-Watchers®, like Jennifer Hudson. Suddenly Ms. Hudson is now “living the life” and “looking like a blast” according to the media-validation and hype which now comes her way on account of her moving from a size sixteen to a six. (We wonder what her fans really thought of her before). While I’m most definitely not knocking Ms. Hudson, weight-loss (could definitely shed me some pounds) or a healthy lifestyle, it is apparent that the media convinces most of us that thinner is sexier; and we believe the crap!

Now to the million dollar questions: Can a woman be “fat” and sexy? And does size really matter when it comes to our emotional and sexual health?  Honestly, I do believe that we should all strive to be our better selves. That often includes shedding some pounds, getting into an exercise regimen, eating more balanced and healthy meals and spending more time getting adequate rest and relaxation. In an ideal world; this is where we would all like to be. Being our better self (since there’s always room for improvement), however, also includes knowing who we are outside the definitions of media, family, friends or sexual partners. It is also true that today’s “fat” and “plus-sized” is yesterday’s voluptuous. (Studies actually show that the average woman is a fourteen and not a four).

Each human being is special and unique. As women, we need to feel comfortable with our own sense of style and with our expression of our sexuality. This is going to be very difficult to accomplish, however, if we are constantly beating ourselves up because we don’t look like someone else’s version of sexiness. Yes, I’m entitled to feel great if I’ve set myself a weight-loss target and then accomplished it. But should weight-loss define my happiness and sense of self? Of course there are loads of women with metabolic, thyroid or other medical issues which may make obesity and required weight-loss a challenge. But even for those women, it is important to find and validate the self. At the end of the day, while our bodies are our windows to the world, we are in many ways not just a body. There is personality; essence, mind, soul and spirit.

Losing weight to make YOU healthier or to feel more energized is actually great. Doing it to “fit in”, to please or to keep your partner, is another thing altogether. If a woman needs to move from an eighteen, sixteen, or fourteen to a six, to feel that she has suddenly struck gold as an individual, chances are, her sense of validation is flawed, shallow and dependent upon externals. Anything will shake the foundation of a woman who can only feel fabulous when her dress size conforms to the media stereotypes. Yes, every woman loves a great make-over. No woman can deny that we feel sexier in a new outfit, with a new hairdo or with a fresh manicure. We feel ready to take on the world and then some but if we can’t leave home without the make-up or the weave, then something is inherently wrong with our self-image. This is what is damaging to our sexiness.

There are many full-figured, voluptuous women, who have never been without a partner or who are happily married and sexually fulfilled. What attracts a man to a woman is not the number on her dress tag but her wonderful personality and sense of sexual self-confidence. This is what makes a woman riveting and unforgettable. The woman who turns heads as she enters a room exudes an aura which says “I know I look good and I really don’t care what you think!” No matter what size you are as a woman, learn to do you to the max, as you engage your incredible sexual energy in positive ways.

Here are seven helpful tips that will hopefully make this happen:

  • Strip naked and look at yourself in a mirror. Decide what you like and affirm yourself eg “I love my butt”, “I have great legs/breasts” etc. If there is stuff that you would love to change, devise a realistic plan and timeline to make that change a reality. If you’re totally happy with what you see, more power to you diva!
  • Do NOT beat up on yourself if your planned changes do not emerge as you would like them; know that you are great; regardless.
  • Think about your core personality and of the things that you feel passionate about. Find ways to engage your passion and your dreams. When we are emotionally fulfilled because we are connected with our purpose, it shows up in our walk and our talk; instant sexiness!
  • Treat yourself to a “spa-day”, even if done at home; a facial, manicure, pedicure, hair-conditions, re-braiding or perm can go a long way to boost how you feel about yourself. See these things, however, as enhancers of the real you and resist the temptation to be totally defined by them.
  • If you are in a committed relationship or marriage, discuss the concerns you may have about your body-image with your spouse but “own” your own body and the decisions that you make to improve it.
  • Do not accept emotional abuse from your spouse, family members or friends on issues of weight gain. Those who truly respect you will lovingly affirm you, despite what you look like.  When advice is offered or concern expressed, it should be non-threatening, non-derisive and sensitively communicated. Abuse that becomes defining or over-bearing in an intimate relationship or marriage, warrants the intervention of a Counselor, Pastor or Therapist. Do not tolerate this as normal.
  • Ultimately sexiness is a state of mind. Learn to love yourself, warts and all, by affirming that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and by thinking positive, sexual thoughts. A woman who loves herself is ready for some good loving and the terrific sex to follow.

WHAT KIND OF APPLE ARE YOU? Exploring Sexual Power Styles

Most women generally love to be in love. We love relationships because we love . . .  relating. We enjoy connecting. We love sex (those of us who do) because sex makes us feel desirable and on a good day, loved. We therefore understand intimately the power of sex. At least most of us do. From as far back as we can remember, there has always been some crazy boy panting and trying all types of tricks to get us to “drop the drawers” as it were. Some of us gave in because this is what we wanted to do at the time, some of us held fast the fort waiting for that special someone to come along or the ring, others of us were not mildly interested and still others got a heady rush from doling out that special something to who ever came along.

Even though among women there will be diverse responses to sex and sexuality based on upbringing, culture, religion, socialization and values, what is common among us is an understanding of the power of sex. Many, if not all of us understand quite well the pull or the tug of sexual attraction or chemistry.We women know intuitively that we have something that men invariably want. Steve Harvey (Author of Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man) calls it “the cookie”. I like to call it “the apple”. Yeah we all have apples that the guys just long to devour; and it’s not what you’re thinking! Please don’t be mistaken, the apple and its nectar of which I speak is not simply the literal vagina. If that were all a man wanted, such could easily be had from the prostitute down the street.

What most men crave is the essence of our sexual power. They long to unravel the mystery. They want to uncover the mystique; that illusive thing about us that they can’t quite name or put their finger on. They somehow believe that once they have sex with us, that once they possess us sexually and “nail us with their penises”, that their craving will be less potent or that their hunger will be quenched. They somehow think that they will feel more in control of us and of their confusing feelings; that they will somehow “know’ us better and in the case of the Casanovas, would have earned bragging rights often heard in locker-room conversations and bars.

Even though many men may be unaware of it, that illusive thing which they try to conqueor in a woman is more than her actual vagina as I said before. This explains why for some men any woman will not do. The man who is on a quest for sexual power will seek out the woman who exudes a certain sexual energy and strength. He wants to “take her down” or uncork her apple because she seems to have something that he earnestly wants.

Now there are a number of factors which may influence how we women respond to such unbridled male lust or sexual interest. For the convenience of this article, we will term this concept our individual “apple style”. By this I mean the way we learn to interact with our inner sexual power.

DISCERNING APPLE LOVERS (DAL’s)

Being the lovers of attention that we are, some of us women often revel in the unbridled heat of male sexual interest. Some glory in the attention, and the sense of power that it brings. Others appreciate and enjoy the male response to their womanliness without overtly encouraging it. As attractive as this sexual interest might seem however,  we consider ourselves discerning apple lovers. In other words, we love and accept the power of our sexuality but we have nonetheless decided to accept this “sexual fire”  from only one man; the man to whom we have committed.  As flattered or as amused as we might be by the attention of others, we have vowed that they will never get close enough to even smell the nectar much less nibble on our apple. We are quite content to remain a mystery to 99% of men out there because we have chosen to reserve our sexual essence for one man. Very often this man is or becomes our husband.

APPLE FEARFUL (AF’s)

From my observation, they are definitely those of us who have a love-hate relationship with our sexuality. We accept to some degree that this is what defines us but we are terrified of sexually letting ourselves go with anyone. We therefore hate such responses from men.We feel affronted and insulted because we don’t want this unsolicited male attention; in fact we don’t know what to do with it when it comes our way. Since such women can be downright afraid to confront sexuality in them selves and by extension in other people, they are usually prepared to run hard in the opposite direction when approached sexually.

APPLE TRADERS (AT’s)

While some women might be mildly or very interested in a sexual duel, they are not prepared to hand over their apple with its sweet nectar without some kind of fight. The point is though that such a woman will hand it over, eventually. She can be persuaded or cajoled; she just needs the right words, the right professions of love, or the right bargaining chip. Usually however she is just using her apple to trade for “love” or some deep feeling of acceptance. It may be purely about the looks of the guy and what he brings to the relationship. Or she might be using her apple just for the fun of it. She might think that since apples were meant to be eaten why not just give hers up for breakfast, lunch and dinner and to hell with the consequences. As long as she at least likes the guy who is doing the taking, nothing else matters.

APPLE DISTRIBUTORS (AD’s)

And of course there is the woman who does not have to bother with the pretense of a relationship. She does not need to coin her sexuality in “relationship terms” in order to accept or enjoy it. She will indiscriminately hand over her sexual essence, her power and her person hood to any and everyone whether single or married, Earthling or Martian. She may even distribute this apple in even or uneven chunks to several “apple-eaters” at the same time, who may be only too eager to devour and destroy who she is. What is important to her is the sexual power she has become addicted to. She believes that her sexiness is contingent on the numbers of men who she gives away her apple to.

The DAL’s, AF’s, AT’s and AD’s are terms which represent different ways that we as women have learned to engage our sexual power.

While Discerning Apple Lovers (DAL’s) may be sexy and confident, for them, sex in the context of a committed love-relationship is high on their list of priorities and there is just no other way to engage their sexual treasure.

For Apple Fearfuls (AF’s) sex is either over-rated, unnecessary, or best left untouched. Any success into breaking into their “sexy” will require the persistence and ingenuity of one clever brother.

Apple Traders (AT’s) on the other hand, earnestly believe the adage about giving to get. The flip side is that they can easily get more than what they bargained for or even less than they expected, (depending of course on how you look at it). Once their apple has been consumed, they may recognise that they and their “trading partner” have not been exactly on the same page. This can easily leave them bereft and in search of another trader.

Apple Distributors (AD’S) at surface level, may believe that they have reached sexual utopia. They may appear quite happy with all the handling and sharing of their apple and the renown of their nectar. As their biological clocks begin to tick however, or as they glimpse the quiet adoration in an older gentleman’s eyes for the “wife of his youth” some may begin to wonder if they perhaps missed the boat on apple distribution.

As we women continue to navigate our personal sexual journeys it may be useful for us to examine this concept of our sexual energy and power (our apple). How do we feel about it? What are we doing with it? Do we even know that it exists? How does our understanding of it influence the men around us? How does our understanding of it speak to our own understanding of ourselves as sexual beings? Are we convinced that we have made the correct sexual choices? If we have not made choices in our best interests, what can we do about it?

Maybe if you’re a woman, the next time you see an apple, you’ll do some extra thinking.