Dr. Jess on Sex: How to feel good naked on National Nude Day

A positive body image starts with being in the buff more often


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Body image isn’t about your height, weight or body mass index (BMI). Body image refers to how you feel about your body, and a recent Chapman University study found that the way you feel about your appearance is essential to life satisfaction. It’s the second strongest predictor for men and the third most important factor for women.

Those who are happier with their appearance have higher self-esteem and satisfaction with their loved ones, finances and sex lives. So if you’re not happy with your body, you won’t be happy with your life. So it’s time to learn how to feel good naked.

The first step is to spend more time naked. You don’t have to prance around in public, but stripping down on your own is freeing and transformative. It’s no surprise nudists’ body image scores are off the charts. You’ve been taught to hide your body and cover so-called problem areas for decades, and the only way to unlearn these negative messages is to defy them.
Get naked now.

If you’re only naked when you shower and have sex, you’re not giving yourself enough time to get comfortable with your nudity. Work your way up to spending a full half-hour naked (watch TV, clean, read) until you forget about your naked state altogether.

Next, adjust your attitude. You are your own worst critic, and research shows that your partner is unlikely to notice your perceived flaws, as he or she is too focused on your best assets — you should be too.

And if your friends tend to complain about their weight or criticize the way others look, it’s time to make new ones. Body image is contagious. You don’t need their attitudes affecting your self-image. Another trick is to adjust your posture to sit/stand up straight. It creates neurochemical changes in the brain resulting in a confidence boost.

Television and social media negatively impact how we feel about our bodies (and lives). Try following accounts that celebrate bodies like @EffYourBeautyStandards.

Attend a clothing-optional resort or head to T.O.’s nude beach at Hanlan’s Point. Being surrounded by hundreds of naked bodies of all shapes and sizes will help you learn quickly age and weight have little to do with confidence and sex appeal. If you can’t make it to a clothing-optional event, turn to body-positive erotica, like TheRealityProject.co, to explore nudity, beauty and pleasure in a wider range of bodies.

Finally, before you strip down, think about a time that you felt powerful. Visualize and hold this thought for 20 seconds. Try this weekly and you’ll reap the benefits of this simple exercise regardless of your state of (un)dress.

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Jess O’Reilly is a sought-after speaker, author and sexologist. SexWithDrJess.com.

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