Findings of a new study revealed that sexual anxiety can often result from people’s dissatisfaction with their physical appearance, which can also negatively affect their sex life.
Study author Marissa Bowsfield explains that body dissatisfaction issues are frequent across all genders. Satisfaction with our physical appearance plays a significant role in our sex life as it entails exposing our body in front of another person, so any negative emotions we nurture can definitely affect sexual outcomes.
The study in question investigated how one’s body image perception impacts the sexual satisfaction of their partner. The sample included 123 couples who lived together and had been in a relationship for around 4 years. The participants underwent BMI measurements and completed a survey on their sexual life.
As expected, lower body satisfaction levels coincided with higher anxiety during sexual intercourse. In addition, findings revealed a connection between a participant’s sexual anxiety levels and sexual satisfaction levels of their partners. Bowsfield argues that anxiety during sex is often projected to the partner because it inhibits complete engagement during intercourse.
Bowsfield also admits that the study had its limitations, primarily that it did not include couples of the same sex or open relationships, and that it is hard to determine the causal link between body satisfaction and sexual satisfaction.
The authors look forward to further investigating the interrelatedness between body satisfaction and sexual satisfaction, as well as evaluating the levels of these two variables based on partner feedback.