Seems like a no-brainer, right?
Then why aren’t women acting more like it's true?
“You’d be surprised how many women have never let their partner see them naked at all or will only have sex with the lights out -- couples who have been married for years and the wife has never let her husband see her naked -- it’s a huge issue,” says sex and intimacy expert Dr. Laura Berman of “In the Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman" on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, who, along with Dr. Mehmet Oz, will discuss this topic on an episode of “The Dr. Oz Show” titled “The Naked Hour” airing on Fox on Friday at 5 p.m. PST.
Berman says a poor self-image negatively impacts sex and intimacy more than most of us would like to admit. But, ladies, it turns out that we’re a bit, well, insane in this department (although the cacophony of airbrushed, seemingly perfect models and actresses may have nudged us in that direction).
“On a continuum of teeny-tiny anorexic bodies to very large on a scale from 1 to a 6, most women will say the ideal body size is a 2 or a 1, and if you ask guys they’ll say a 4 or 5,” says Dr. Berman. “They like curves and junk in the trunk and their ideal of a perfect body is much more forgiving than ours is.... They’re much less rigorous judges of ourselves -- and [less rigorous judges] than women are to each other, quite frankly.” Sounds like we need a “Ladies Let’s Agree to Be Nice to Other Women Day”!
Berman says that once in a while you get a very narcissistic, body-conscious man, but, in general, “He’s just so happy to be having sex with you,” Dr. Berman says.
It’s practically a TV sitcom cliché that men don’t notice changes in their partner's appearance (a new hair color or style may not elicit so much as a comment). Dr. Berman says that generally men see us via the silhouette rather than focusing on minutiae, such as cellulite. In fact, she suggests this exercise to comprehend how your body looks from his perspective:
“Stand naked in front of the mirror and your eyes will inevitably zoom into the areas of your body that you’re most self-conscious about. Catch yourself doing that,” says Dr. Berman. “And then look at yourself again and zoom your eyes away and blur your eyes back to your body again, and that’s what your partner sees.”
So as we head into Valentine’s Day, if romance is on the agenda, no worries. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder –- and if the beholder is your man, rest assured your naked form is a glorious creation.
-- Alene Dawson
Photo: Statue of the Venus de Medici by sculptor Pietro Cipriani. Credit: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles