One of the great things about moving up to London is how much more time I get to spend with friends. And recently, while I’ve been reviewing more and more date locations, it’s meant I get to spend quality time with friends, as well as dates.
Last week I caught up with one of my close male friends, and as is standard these days, we got onto the topic of relationships.
He’d just started seeing someone, and there were a few things he was unsure of.
Now, the main one may shock you ladies … because the issue he had in particular, was that whenever they had sex, the girl he was seeing would rush to put her clothes back on.
Us Brits aren’t particularly comfortable when it comes to nudity. Yes, the colder climate is partially to blame … but even in foreign climes, we rarely strip down in public. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, us Brits are rather prim when it comes to getting our bits out!
The problem with that, is it means growing up we have very few realistic role models to compare our bodies to. As teenagers, the only semi-naked women we ever saw were in magazines – air brushed to biologically impossible standards. Women in magazines don’t have muffin tops, or cellulite, or real bodies. And so often we compared ourselves to unrealistic expectations. And finding ourselves obviously lacking, we covered up.
I did it for years. I can remember the dance I’d do in the changing rooms at school, not even wanting anyone to see me in my bra and pants. I can remember the way I would grimace over photos of myself in my early teens, finding fault in a figure I’d pay good money for these days! And then later on, when I lost my virginity, sex was very much a ‘lights off’ affair. I never particularly enjoyed it – mainly because I spent the entire time paranoid about how my body looked.
Even in my mid-twenties I worried about my naked body. I had a regular boyfriend, who clearly adored me, and yet I would bully myself about the fact the tops of my thighs touched, or the slight bump of a muffin top. I would cover myself in a towel, or a sheet, or a t-shirt at any given opportunity, or suck in my stomach whenever my body was on show.
And then I started going to yoga. I’ve never been a particularly spiritual or meditative person, but hot yoga works for me, as I sweat buckets and it gets my heart pumping. And I can drag myself to the studio, no matter how lazy I’m feeling. The thing about yoga, is that not only do you start to appreciate all the things your body can do … but also everyone around you is so chilled about their own bodies. After class, women of all shapes and sizes would be getting naked around me.
They weren’t the magazine-perfect women I’d compared myself to for years. They were real life women, with working, healthy bodies. And they came in all different shapes and sizes. When everyone around you is getting naked so easily, you end up feeling prudish covering yourself up. And the more at ease I became with my own naked body, the more I started to appreciate it.
I don’t look perfect naked. But no one does. Not even those women in the magazines … that’s why airbrushing exists!
The more comfortable I became with my own body, the happier I was to strip when it came to the bedroom. And because I was no longer worrying about what I looked like the whole time, I became a lot more comfortable and confident about sex.
That was when I realised the reality of getting naked in front of a guy.
When you’re naked in a room with a guy who fancies you, he doesn’t see your muffin top. He’s not staring at your stretch marks, or your cellulite. He’s not noticing the slightly uneven bikini wax, or the fact you missed a strip on your shin when you shaved your legs.
He’s lying there thinking “There is a naked girl in my room!”
And for him, that’s a jackpot!
When my friend sat down and discussed his new relationship over drinks with me, he wasn’t moaning that the girl he’s seeing has imperfections. He wasn’t questioning how good her figure is, or telling me about the bad bits. He was telling me how awkward he felt, because he’s so used to being naked in the bedroom. And that her keenness to put clothes back on so quickly after sex made him feel awkward.
He was the one feeling awkward for being naked!
And the exact same works for girls. Now that I’m happy to walk around the bedroom naked, or sleep with no clothes on, I notice it so much more if a guy rushes to put his boxers on before we go to sleep. I guess there’s also an element of vulnerability. When you’re naked you’re at your most vulnerable – it feels like you’re sharing something that you don’t often share with others (possibly because we’re all so stoic and British about it), so if you’re naked and the other person isn’t … suddenly you feel so much more awkward about your own nudity.
The moral of the story?
Next time you’re in an intimate situation with a guy, don’t rush to put your clothes back on. Be proud of your body, and remember you’re the only naked woman in the room! Make the most of it
Let’s all get naked more! 😉
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx