It’s great to have a partner who showers you with sincere compliments. But when it comes to sex, one compliment can make the difference between a crazy-good sex life and one that’s more so-so. According to a new study, knowing that your partner loves your body correlates to hotter, more enjoyable action between the sheets.
The study, published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, focused on 244 women between the ages of 18 and 30, asking them questions about their body image and sex life. Each of the women were in a committed relationship for at least three months and had been sexually active within the past month.
The women were first surveyed about their own body appreciation. They were asked to rate how much they related to affirming statements like, “I feel good about my body” and “I respect my body.” Next, they had to complete the survey from their partner’s perspective, rating statements like “My partner feels good about my own body.”
The researchers then inquired about the women’s sex lives, asking them how often they felt sexual desire, their level of arousal, lubrication, number of orgasms, and sexual satisfaction. They were also asked about whether they ever experienced pain during intercourse. The women then rated their overall relationship satisfaction, taking into account how positive and valued they felt.
The overall finding? The more a woman felt that her partner appreciates their body, the more satisfied she was with both their sex life and their relationship in general. Those who felt high levels of attraction from their partner had more arousal, lubrication, and orgasms, all signs that the sex is pretty damn enjoyable.
There was also a correlation between how much women value their own body and how much they think their partner values it. The women with a higher level of body confidence were also the ones who felt their partners were the most attracted to them. However, a woman’s own body image was much less a predictor of sexual satisfaction than how she felt her partner saw her body.
Of course, everyone enjoys feeling desired, but the researchers think there might be more to it than that. They believe their findings could be related to trust. Having sex makes you seriously vulnerable, so assurance that your partner is aroused by your naked body would inevitably make you more confident and able to let loose.
The takeaway here isn’t that we should worry about what others think of our bodies. But if you know your partner finds your body crazy arousing, you’ll be able to let go of any body image issues holding you back and really rock the sheets.
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