Dear Phyllis:

I’m a female who grew up in the 60s and 70s, reading the Playboy Magazines that my older brother subscribed to. As a consequence, I could never help comparing myself negatively to the centerfold models. In my mind, I was always too thin or too fat — never just right. Now that I’m in my 50s and carrying extra weight, I can’t bring myself to enter into a physical relationship with the man I love. I know, intellectually, that our physical appearance doesn’t matter … that people can and do enjoy lovemaking no matter their size or age … but, emotionally, I can’t reconcile that with the way I feel about my body. I’m involved with a man now whom I love deeply, but we’ve never engaged in lovemaking, in large part because of my very poor body image. Can you please offer advice that will help me get over my inhibition about baring my non-Playboy-centerfold body to the man of my dreams? ~Anonymous

Wow.  There is a lot in there.  First let me be straight with you that I am in no way a professional therapist and it may behoove you to discuss this matter with someone to delve deeply into the underlying issues in this question.  That said, if you want a “gal pal’s” point of view, I can give you that in spades.

Rewriting the software is never easy.  Knowing something and doing something are two very different things.  The head and heart are powerful and often do not reconcile without effort.

First I suggest you might wish to try the following.  It sounds like you could benefit from seeing larger forms being beautiful, sexy without clothing or with for that matter.  The world of art abounds with examples, but just this morning I ran across a vid that is very good at illustrating how lovely and alluring the larger form can be to the opposite sex.  The video is called “16”.  Here’s the link.  I recommend all large and lovelies to watch this.

Secondly feeling comfortable in your own skin is something all women struggle with, not just large and lovelies.  Body image. Sigh. Every frickin magazine has images that are touched up, changed, altered to make them uber attractive.  Some times the breasts are so big they are like the terminator, larger than life and poised to kill.  Rarely do these exist in nature on a small body.  A lot of these ladies have been nipped, tucked, bruised and have sacks in their chest that are in danger of leaking yuk into their bodies.  When you think of those pictures think of what it took to get them to look that way.  E.g. Picture the chest cut open, skin pulled back and a balloon like thing inserted, then the other side and sewn up again.  The thighs with a hose stuffed up them sucking out what little natural shape they had… gross.  I tell you it’s GROSS.  And not at all healthy.

Sounds to me like you are a very healthy normal woman.  Please consider trying little things that will let you feel sensual yourself.  Since this issue is with you.  Take the extra time and do your hair especially nicely.  Look in your closet and even if it’s a slow day pick out a very sensuous, beautiful ensemble.  Do your make up, wear a fab pair of shoes and go out for a walk.  Have a cup of coffee.  No I am not suggesting you audition for the part of streetwalker.   I am suggesting you look like a really hot lady and interact in that form with the public.  It may be weird to you but I think you would benefit from trying out that feeling for a while.  Get out of your comfort zone and let yourself look HOT.  Sexy not slutty.

You are aware of the difference between love and just sex.  You are in love.  After the above has met with some success try a romantic date in your new found look and find out if you are truly in love with this man.  If so and you choose sex, try another date and do the whole candelight thing (use the new flameless candles if you are afraid of… ahem… knocking them over) everyone looks great in candlelight.   If this is the right man for you, with enough positive stimulus and reinforcement of your own gorgeousness, you will be able to erase the incredibly misleading images from your past and be swept away by the moment you are waiting for.  Remember, he’s in love with YOU not a centerfold.

Like I said, I am not a professional, just a gal pal offering advice.  You have nothing to loose by trying the things I suggest and everything to gain.

Treat yourself well my dear, love yourself as you are and anything is possible.  Be patient, kind and give yourself the time you need to get there.  If he is the one, he will understand and wait.


Breathe that in, what it feels like to be beautiful.

It was very brave of you to ask such an open and honest question.  Good for you, you can’t get anywhere without making those first steps.  You are a warrior, now go out and fight for your fabulous self image.  It’s there waiting for you.


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