Is It Really Possible to Be "Naked and Feel No Shame"?

Hint: How you feel about yourself is the biggest factor in how much freedom you will feel in your marriage bed.

Although there are many hurdles that often hold couples back in the bedroom, there is one in particular that outweighs (no pun intended) them all. Yep—body image issues.

And when it comes to body image issues, I am not talking about just women—men have them too.

Before I dive in to this topic, let me clarify that when the Bible says Adam and Eve were both naked and felt no shame (Genesis 2:25), this refers to far more than just being comfortable in their birthday suits. But for the sake of brevity, I would like to zero in on what a negative body image can do to the freedom and lack of inhibition we should be able experience in the bedroom. And when it comes to body image issues, I am not talking about just women—men have them too. They often feel as if their frames are too small, or their gut is too large, or they simply lack the definition of the super-cut guy with six-pack abs on the P90X commercials. He can get really self-conscious when he develops "Dunlap's Disease" because his belly has "dun lapped" over his belt. I had to laugh when I recently heard a pastor in New Zealand declare, "My wife tells me I have the body of a god. His name is Buddha!" I was glad he could laugh about it too, but I do wonder if a man's sexual self-esteem isn't negatively impacted by such physical characteristics that are not considered ideal by our looks-obsessed culture.

As of this writing my almost fifty-year-old husband is fretting the fact that his chest hair is turning gray and his hairline is rapidly receding. Regardless of my reminders that I like an older, distinguished-looking man and that he will always be sexy to me no matter how much hair he loses or wrinkles he gains, it is still difficult for him to accept the fact that age is taking its toll on his body, just as it does on everyone. I will say, however, that although men can certainly be plagued by a negative body image, many seem to be able to compartmentalize that issue long enough to let down their hair (receding hairlines, bald spots, and all) in the bedroom and have great fun.

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May 25

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