Physical Barriers to Healthy Sex

Sex, Love & Intimacy |

There are two dangerous extremes in our society today related to our bodies and sex. The first is the drive for physical perfection, which causes many people to pursue unhealthy extremes to try to make themselves more attractive.

Related to this are spouses who hold their mates to unrealistic physical standards. Not long ago, I counseled a separated couple who were verging on divorce. The husband constantly criticized his wife for her weight. He kept comparing her with women’s bodies he saw in magazines and on television.

If you are a woman, you are already reacting with sadness—and maybe even disgust—to this scenario. Because you know how unrealistic this is, and you understand how rejected and overwhelmed this man’s wife felt.

The second extreme is when people abuse their health without regard to its impact on their spouse and their sexual relationship. Obesity, drinking, and drug abuse are issues that directly affect our sexuality and marriages.

Simply put, we must accept responsibility to take care of ourselves. Exercise affects your sexuality. So do healthy eating habits. Did you know that people who exercise regularly have better cardiovascular capabilities, which directly affect blood flow to the genitals? This results in greater sensitivity and sexual arousal.

As we age, medication can also be a physical barrier to a good sex life, as can hormone changes like reduced testosterone levels or estrogen. My advice to aging couples is to pay attention to these changes. For your own sake and for the sexual health of your marriage, talk to your doctor. Don’t let your marriage suffer!

And though we don’t often like to talk about it, hygiene and grooming play a key role in a healthy sex life. Guys, your wife doesn’t like it when you’re dirty or poorly groomed. Period. If you want your wife to be attracted to you and sexually responsive, then you must take care of yourself.

What I keep hearing from women is that they consider the way you groom yourself to be a true measure of how much you care about them—and how much you’re willing to invest in the relationship.

Wives? You’re not off the hook, either. I know a woman who was attractive and well-kept before she married, but immediately lowered her standards after the wedding. It is obvious that she has begun taking her husband for granted.

Men are visually stimulated, and just like a husband’s disregard for his cleanliness and appearance equates to a disregard for his wife’s needs, so it goes for women as well.

Song of Solomon describes the love affair between Solomon and his wife. In the first chapter, he says “How beautiful you are, my darling!” In reply, she answers, “How handsome you are, my lover!”

Looks aren’t everything—in fact, they’re too emphasized in today’s society—but don’t discount the impact they can have on a positive sexual atmosphere between a husband and wife.

Take care of yourself. Pursue a healthy lifestyle. Look good for your spouse. Don’t let these physical barriers get in the way of a fantastic sex life.

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