I honestly never thought much about "lights-on vs. lights-off sex" when I was younger. Now that I am in mid-life with a little extra around the middle, and authoring a new body-image site for women, it has occurred to me that this is a decision that some women make as a standing preference, much like whether you take cream in your coffee or not. For some women, they either have sex with the lights on or they don't. I'll tell you my story and perhaps through reading it, you may be able to conquer this decsion to the point where you can enjoy sex either way, lights on or lights off.
Image: Robert Bahn via Flickr
You may think to yourself, "Why in the world would I want to do that? I'm perfectly happy with lights-off sex." Well, you might get to enjoy some great morning sex and, more importantly, it just might make your relationship with your partner stronger and more enjoyable.
I was widowed several years back, which made me a single mama. It took a while before I was ready to date again, and even longer to finally find a great man worth having a serious relationship with. When it came time to be intimate, I decided that since I was starting a new relationship and with a new slate, I would ignore my insecurities and just go with it, be confident, and basically fake it til I made it (the confidence, not the enjoyment). I also decided that I would stop worrying about how I looked and instead focus on really enjoying the sex. Well, it worked and I was able to "fake" the confidence and push aside my self-consciousness. I focused on having fun and I have to say it's been great, even if the lights are on.
It's not like I didn't have my insecurities. I could have obsessed over a belly that is jiggly and has some rolls or breasts that fed a child for 3 years and aren't what they used to be. Even when they were "what they used to be," I was always insecure about them. I've also got narrow shoulders and some cellulite and I can only imagine how weird I must look when I'm, well, you know.
Every time one of those thoughts arose, I simply said "No! Go away." I remembered something I had read that said the sexiest thing you can have is confidence and I know this to be true with my own preferences. A guy who is confident and nice is like magic, and his looks are so secondary at that point. It's the same for guys. They want a girl who believes in herself and can enjoy herself.
The good news is that you don't have to be born with a great deal of confidence and you don't even have to have a lot of it, yet. You can fake it to create it, but even in your weakest, most insecure moment, you must not fold. It's kind of like taking a leap over a chasm and finding your reward on the other side. I'm not saying it's easy and I'm not saying that you won't have to keep exercising your confidence muscle to keep it in working order, but I am saying that you CAN do it!
A good example of this was in a blog I read recently by Jes of The Militant Baker who describes herself as a large woman. In one post she talks about how great sex became once she shed her self-judgment and insecurities, and made the decision to love herself instead. If you focus on exploring your insecurities and facing them head on, I think you will find it to be rewarding. Take baby steps. Give yourself lots of praise for your good points and make up the rest. Know that if you are confident, your partner will dig it. If you make a point to enjoy yourself, you likely will ...enjoy sex more. And hopefully your relationship will grow too.
And regarding sex with the lights off. That's always a great option too! :-)
I would love to hear your opinions on this!