Lesbianing with AE! Finding Sexual Confidence After Weight Gain

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Dear Lindsey,

I’ve gained some weight over the last year, as the result of a bad breakup and some health issues, and I feel self-conscious about my bigger body. I find myself dreading intimacy — not that I’ve come close with anyone since getting back out there — because my body is bigger than it used to be, and I’m not comfortable with that. I am taking steps to get back to a healthy weight, but my health conditions make losing weight slow. So how do I let my guard down and make friends with my new body, so I can allow someone else to touch me?

– Lou

Hey Lou,

This is such an individual thing. I can’t tell you one strategy to use to make peace with your new body, but I can tell you some things that have worked for others and maybe you can pick and choose to see what helps you appreciate your new body so you can get sexy with it.

And let’s start there, with appreciating. You might be focused on your larger pants size, but I bet you’re overlooking features you like. Make a list of these and hang it in your walk-in closet – or somewhere you’ll see it every day.

Look yourself in the eye, in a mirror, and give yourself a compliment about your looks. This might feel super weird but do it anyway. One to three compliments a day, even if all you can think to say is “Your hair looks amazing today.” Bonus points if you do it while you’re naked.

Look yourself in the eye, in a mirror, and give yourself a compliment about your looks. This might feel super weird but do it anyway. One to three compliments a day, even if all you can think to say is “Your hair looks amazing today.” Bonus points if you do it while you’re naked.

The point is to balance out the negative self talk with loving kindness. The more you repeat this, the more natural it will feel to notice your best features — and you might be able to move past those features to find the beauty in things you aren’t comfortable with now.

Bodies change. And yours will keep changing.

Surround yourself with friends and family who see the best in you and support you, especially if you’re still dealing with health issues. Positivity can be contagious, so when you’re hanging out with people who love you the way you are, want good things for you, and believe in you, some of their thinking can rub off on you.

EFT or tapping is something that some folks swear by for relief from all sorts of problems, including body image stuff. Look up clips on YouTube for EFT body image or EFT weight, and then tap along with the video. I’ve tried EFT for anxiety, I didn’t find it a panacea, but it might work for you.

If you’ve changed sizes, you might need some new clothes. I encourage you to find what makes you feel sexy at your new size, because you aren’t going to feel good in frumpy clothes.

Speaking with love and kindness to your body will initiate a shift, but IT WILL TAKE TIME. The trick is to be patient and keep up the kind words.

You probably aren’t aware of all the ways you criticize yourself, but if you’re like most women it’s a steady stream of inner negative chatter. Trust that as you start to notice your good qualities and shift your thinking on the things you like less, you will feel better. And when you feel better, you’ll radiate energy that will draw others in.

As you start to notice your good qualities and shift your thinking on the things you like less, you will feel better. And when you feel better, you’ll radiate energy that will draw others in.

I know that sounds like bullshit, but it’s true. If you need proof, head to a burlesque show. Odds are you’ll find a bigger girl who dances like she owns the stage and isn’t self-conscious in her panties and pasties… and an audience who is cheering her on with genuine enthusiasm.

Know that you can have that same inner confidence – and do the work.

While you do this work, you can and should keep putting yourself out there. If things escalate to sex, you can ask her to turn out the lights. You can say you want to keep your t-shirt on. Or slip into a robe. You can hop under the covers so she doesn’t see your body, if that’s what makes you feel safe. You can do all these things and continue to do the work of loving yourself as you are now.

You deserve to feel safe, but you also deserve to be seen.

Write to the editor, memoree@afterellen.com with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line if you have a question for Lindsey! 

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