Discover more from Beyond Liquid Courage
Body Image Beyond Booze
How to get out of your head and into your bangin' body
Happy Hump Day! I’m Tawny, an advice columnist better known as “The Sober Sexpert” and author of Dry Humping: A Guide to Dating, Relating, and Hooking Up Without the Booze. I’m here to empower you to find your *intrinsic* courage without booze—regardless of your relationship status—one date at a time.
Before we dive into this week’s question, this is a quick reminder to submit your preorder receipt so you can download your Dry Humping Starter Guide and receive a signed bookplate! Haven’t preordered my book yet? No time like the present!
I’m struggling with body confidence in the (sober) bedroom.
Earlier this year, I had surgery that led to a 20 lb weight gain—and now I’m not comfortable with my weight. I’ve been sober for four years but am just now starting to have sober sex—and he’s only my second sober partner since I started my alcohol-free journey.
He’s also someone who is really hot and fit.
When we’re together lately, I can’t get out of my head. I’m self-conscious about being on top, even though I love that sex position. I’m afraid he’ll be totally grossed out—even though I know that “I’m beautiful,” and “if he’s my person, he won’t be grossed out” and “he’s obviously into me, or he wouldn’t be here,” and all of that.
And when I can’t get out of my head, I definitely can’t focus on my own pleasure. I love the performance aspect of sex and get off on it, but I also want to enjoy it myself freely. Help!
- Sober & Sexy
Hey Sober & Sexy! First of all, I love your self-awareness here. You know your partner is with you for you—not some idealized version of you. This also means that no matter how many compliments you get from him, you must believe it yourself. I’m right there with you.
Body image and sobriety is an important intersection that I address in the first chapter of my forthcoming book. I often relied on liquid courage to feel a certain way about my body, but as I’m sure you’ve figured out on your own sobriety journey, relying on liquid courage rarely does us any favors. In fact, relying on liquid courage can actually do a disservice to our self-esteem because we rely on alcohol to give us pseudo-confidence instead of finding our own real courage.
It sounds like you’re already on a healthy path to self-love and found a hot, fit dude to celebrate your body with you. So let’s discuss some tangible tips that you can try next time you get stuck in your head:
Talk It Out
Sometimes when I’m intimate with my beloved and my anxiety takes the driver's seat, I talk about it. Try saying something like, “I need a minute to get out of my head” or “Hey, you’re totally hot, and I’m super into this, but my head is all over the place right now.” Then take a pause.
You can also try dirty talk, discussing what’s happening in the moment to help center yourself and get you out of your head. Engaging in sexy talk can help both of you feel more present because you’re literally talking about what you’re doing to each other.
BDSM (Bondage, Discipline or Domination, Sadism, and Masochism) isn’t just chains, whips, and dungeon masters (although those can be fun, too!). Studies show that couples who engage in BDSM might have less anxiety and increased pleasure. You and your partner can try shibari, role play, sensation play, and good ol’ fashioned candle-wax play.
I’m curious about what your foreplay looks like and whether it’s sufficient enough for you. As someone who struggles with severe anxiety, it’s difficult for me to be fully present in bed without the right amount of foreplay.
Sometimes foreplay can start even before y’all touch each other. Maybe splitting a bottle of non-alcoholic wine or a pot of tea can give each of you the chance to unwind from your stressful day and be fully present with each other. Unloading your stress before you hit the sheets might help you stay present with your man and stay out of your head.
Learn something new or want to give Sober & Sexy some additional tips?
Comments are my love language!
P.S. This issue was edited by Irina Gonzalez