As fellow fashion and beauty writer Amanda Richards noted in her piece "The One Way To Tell If You're Having Body Positive Sex," there is arguably no right or wrong way to have sex, nor is it possible for me to tell another human how they can have body positive sex. Truthfully, that all depends on how each participant feels about themselves, and where they are on their own journey to body positivity. When you feel full of self-love, it can be easier to enjoy your body (and the bodies of others) as well as communicate your needs in the bedroom. Without including two (or more) people who are feelin' themselves, it's not likely that the sex that will follow is going to feel very body pos.
In my years of having sex while body negative, as well as shacking up with humans who hadn't learned to love themselves or respect the bodies of others, I learned just how far a body positive attitude can go in the bedroom. And when your partner follows suit — loving their body and knowing how to be positive towards yours — good things will always follow.
I think it's important, as a body positive person and a human worthy of great sex, to explore the bodies of those who feel similarly to you regarding body image. So here are some ways to tell if your sexual partner is body positive.
1. They Keep The Lights On
Most of my sexual partners in the past preferred to have sex with the lights off, and would sometimes shy away from doing it if the room was well lit from the day's sunshine. I completely sympathize, since I was definitely a "lights out" person during my early sexual encounters. However, since growing up and becoming more at peace with my body, I prefer to see all the sexy action with at least some dim lighting or a candle.
2. They Are Comfortable With Their Nude Body
When I was younger, my sex life was filled with half-clothed earnestness and efforts to conceal my belly. These things often acted as obstacles for my personal enjoyment in the bedroom, as I was too occupied with my anxieties about my tummy slipping out from my shirt to be able to relax. Without fear of showing my body distracting me — and with my partner feeling just as comfortable about their own body — we are free to enjoy each other without being hindered by a loose boob or stomach.
3. They Embrace "Unflattering" Positions And Tummy Rolls
Some of the most satisfying positions for you might be ones that include lying on your side, tummy rolls or dangling breasts in full view. When your partner doesn't shy away from those positions, you know they're into their body and not likely to stop giving or receiving pleasure because of an "unflattering" pose.
4. They Tell You What Feels Good
A body positive partner will likely not be shy about communicating what feels good and what doesn't during sex, since they love their body and, as a result, know it well.
5. Their Comments During Sex Are Varied
It never feels fun for me when someone tells me how huge my tits are or how hot I look when I'm going down on them. A body pos partner will often take care not to bring that kind of awkward verbal attention to parts of your body you're a bit self-conscious of, and will stay away from comments they know make you feel a little gross. It's important during sex — and in leading a body pos life in general — to not compliment based solely on appearance. Personally, I meet vaguer compliments like "you're so beautiful" with more understanding than others.
6. They're Not Afraid Of Queefing Or Farting
Sex is messy and weird. And when you are relaxed enough or receiving sufficient pleasure (or if you ate a big burrito that day), you might fart or queef (maybe even multiple times) during sex. Hey, it happens. Our bodies make sounds and secrete fluids, especially during intimacy.
Personally, I get very self-conscious during sex if I queef, but my current partner (who is completely comfortable with the noises their own body makes) shrugs it off, never skipping a beat. Their seeming disregard for what I feel is a super embarrassing moment helps me relax into enjoying what we're doing, rather than worrying about the noises my vagina is making.
7. They're Down To Try New Things
As a sexually adventurous and kinky individual, it's important for me to have a partner who is willing to explore new territory with me, whether it be through sex toys, role playing, or simply a new position. Their willingness to try new things with you — without concern over how it may look or sound — demonstrates a comfort in their own body and skin, which is essential in exploring new physical and sexual territory.
8. They Don't Pressure You To Alter Your Body
Past lovers have told me time and time again to shave my legs, and often jumped away from my furry armpits as though they were spiders. Having a partner who doesn't try to influence the way you maintain your body, respects your choices, and appreciates the beauty of your body as it is makes a huge difference.
9. They Worship Every Part Of Your Body
Although I still sometimes struggle with loving my parts of my body like my belly, I appreciate when there is sexual and/or loving physical attention placed on these areas during sex. As I lean closer and closer to a body positive attitude about these parts of myself, I begin to love the way my partner takes time to kiss, bite, and lick my belly, as they do with my neck and thighs. Your body pos partner will know that your jiggle belly and your double chin deserve just as much love as the rest of you.
10. They Feel Themselves... Figuratively And Literally
When my partner makes cocky proclamations like, "Oh, you like that, don't you?" regarding parts of their body, it's an unbelievable turn-on for me. It's easy to have body pos sex when your partner is so clearly feelin' themselves. And speaking of feelin' yourself, if your partner masturbates in front of you during sex, you know they are not feeling self-conscious about their body in the slightest.
11. They Don't Make You Feel Weird About Your Limits
Generally, adequate partners respect your boundaries and your limits — so body positive partners won't make you feel guilty about said limits, even subtly. My current partner and I do not have vaginal sex, thanks to my complications with vaginismus and sexual trauma. However, they have never once pressured me about it or specifically requested penetration.
At the end of the day, your partner should respect your own journey with body positivity, and won't hold you or your body to any standards of sex you don't want to be held to.
Image: Pixabay (1)