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Lights on or off?

Body confidence has become an ever-increasing issue for both women and men when it comes to sex. An astounding number of us are apparently too self-conscious to let even a partner see us naked. Should a desire to keep the lights off during sex be seen as a display of body confidence issues? Beth and Lauren share their views.

I choose lights on, says Beth Currall:

We live in a society where the airbrushed curves of Kim Kardashian and the spray-on abs of Zac Efron are seen as normal, attainable physiques. It is no wonder why so many people have serious confidence issues when it comes to their own bodies. However, if we cannot allow a partner to love our bodies and boost our egos, who else can?

I don’t have a perfect body: every day, I look in the mirror and see something that I would love to change. However, I also see things that I like about my body. Too many people envisage their sexual partners as some sort of body detective, scrutinising every bump and imperfection with disappointed eyes. Just take a second to think of the last time you really noticed a problem with a partner’s body – was it so unattractive that you couldn’t bear to continue touching them? The answer, I’m pretty sure, is no.

The sexiest asset anyone can have is confidence. If you are constantly worrying about whether your thighs look big or your stomach is sticking out, you’re not concentrating on the desires of yourself or your partner. I’m sure, if you let them actually see your body, your partner will find so many assets to compliment. We’re only this young once and in a few decades, our worries about having a thigh-gap or a V-line will have given way to desperate attempts to conceal wrinkles and greying hair. Flaunt this youthfulness while you can, and remember this: if you’re naked and smiling, your partner usually considers themselves as pretty lucky anyway.

I choose lights off, says Lauren Arthur:

The thought of someone else noticing, or worse, thinking critically, of the imperfections that I am fully aware of, petrifies me. Very rarely does anyone see me without make-up on and it is even rarer to see me without clothes. Anyone unfortunate enough to fall into the latter group will do so in the dark.

Unfortunately, unlike my face, I can’t cover up my body so skilfully. I cling onto the winter months, during which I can be wrapped in layers of oversized men’s knitwear: cosy, content and cleverly covering up any signs of my female figure. The dark is therefore my forgiving best friend when it comes to certain situations. The male species aren’t (that) stupid; it’s not physically possible to pretend that you have Rosie H-W’s figure when you’re on top of someone. However, lack of light gives me peace of mind, and with that comes confidence.

I suppose it comes down to the fact that many young people just do not feel completely comfortable in their own skins. A certain extent of maturity and independence is thrust upon you as soon as the key to your delightfully decorated breezeblock box room is handed over, yet reaching a comfortable confidence in yourself and your appearance may take longer.  For me, it has done, and for the time being, I will still be reaching for the switch.

Tags: body issues, confidence, Debate, sex

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