Body Insecurities: America's Ultimate Cockblock
Pure surveyed 2,000 Americans on body perception and how it affects them in the dating scene (and under the sheets). The reality is, often the only person holding us to such high standards is ourselves.
We spend hours scrolling through our timelines looking at picture after picture of the ‘perfect’ body. We know they’re almost all heavily edited and so far from reality, but can’t help but feel like our figures fall short of standards.
More than half of Americans feel pressured to have a certain body type, with 23% actively experiencing body dysmorphia and 20% having experienced it in the past. Yet, every body type is attractive and desired — and the vast majority of people aren’t looking for perfection anyway.
- More than half of Americans feel the need to meet unrealistic body standards, which often gets in the way of healthy relationships and a satisfying sex life.
- However, despite these worries, very few Americans actually find common insecurities — body hair, shape, and stretch marks — to be a turn-off, with just 21% having backed out of sex after seeing their partner naked.
- While body image issues can be difficult to overcome, confidence goes a long way in the dating world. Rather than the perfect body, 82% of Americans are seeking a partner who is self-assured.
Imperfections and all, your body is beautiful
We tend to focus on our faults and convince ourselves that they’re far worse than they actually are. Your partner, on the other hand? Chances are, they won’t notice and wouldn’t care even if they did.
Stretch marks are among our biggest body insecurities. Yet, with 90% of people having them, chances are, they’re something you and your partner have in common.
Some 94% of people won’t bat an eye, but if your partner happens to care, well, there’s plenty more fish in the sea for you, but not so many for them — Anyone waiting for a partner with a body that hasn’t stretched and shrunk at some point in time will likely be waiting for a very long time…
Busy day at work and no time to shave before your date? No big deal. A bit of hair isn’t half the turn-off we’ve convinced ourselves it is. In fact, for more than two thirds of Americans, their partner's body hair has never given them the ick.
If you’ve made it back to their apartment and your clothes are scattered around the room, they’ve already checked you out and liked what they saw. Some 81% of people have never backed out of sex because they felt their partner’s body size or shape didn’t meet expectations. They’re not about to call you a taxi home — so relax and enjoy yourself.
We come up with all sorts of reasons why our bodies aren’t good enough, but let’s be real… Nobody is hitting pause on the foreplay to search their partner’s body for imperfections. In fact, 71% of Americans have never bailed on sex after their partner strips down.
Your body isn’t the issue — It’s your mind
It’s highly unlikely that your partner will back out… but you might. With the anxiety that comes with baring all, 59% of American women have let their insecurities stand in the way of sexual satisfaction. At 20%, men are far less likely to pull out. However, that’s not to say they’re any less likely to suffer from body image issues.
You meet the perfect match, down some liquid courage, make it through the first fling, and find you’re in a steady relationship. Only, it’s not so steady. With body image struggles linked to less secure and more anxious relationships, you’re constantly questioning whether their love for you is genuine. With our insecurities constantly third-wheeling, 94% of Americans agree that maintaining a happy and healthy relationship can be a real struggle.
More than half of Americans feel that body image issues often stand in the way of a happy relationship and healthy sex life. Scientific research tends to reach a similar conclusion: dissatisfaction with our image has a significant impact on our sexual feelings, attitudes, and behaviors.
However, body dysmorphia might not be the main problem standing in the way of a happy relationship, but the choice of partner. Some 83% of Americans feel both partners need to feel the same way about their bodies for a relationship to last. Understanding of the others’ thoughts, feelings, and needs is essential to a healthy relationship — so you’re far more likely to connect with someone that understands your struggles or shares your confidence in the bedroom. The right match can help us to address our insecurities and finally feel comfortable in our own skin.
The key to sexual satisfaction? Body confidence
Everyone has imperfections, and, for many people, those imperfections are perfect. That said, most people aren’t looking for perfection anyway — In fact, 82% of people would much prefer a little self-assurance over a flawless body, so a little confidence can go a long way in the dating game.
Our bodies do stand in the way of our happiness and satisfaction when it comes to relationships, but not because there’s anything wrong with the way we look. Rather, because we’ve convinced ourselves that anything short of perfection isn’t good enough.
It’s simply not true, and with 97% of Americans believing that feeling good about their body improves dating, relationships, and sex, the sooner we accept we’re perfect just the way we are, the better we’ll feel for it — in our minds and in the bedroom.
Methodology: To create this study, researchers from Pure surveyed 2,000 Americans aged over 18 years old. The study includes participants of all genders and ethnicities.