Providers often work with people who struggle with their feelings about their bodies. Although women are undeniably affected by the conventional beauty standard, I know that many of my male clients (and men in general) have complicated feelings about this as well. Expectations about the presentation of masculinity often leaves these men suffering in silence, without an outlet to express their frustrations and work through their insecurities.
Being an entertainer requires a level of confidence and comfort with oneself, but here’s a secret: Many of us didn’t always feel that way. Entertainers are human too, and have had to overcome their own body image issues. Developing a high self-esteem takes effort, and can be a constant process. Successful providers often have methods for working through hard feelings; our bodies and our minds are vital tools that we need to keep in excellent health.
If you find yourself struggling with body image issues, here are a few tips that may be able to help you gain confidence and feel comfortable within your own skin:
1. Get naked.
Hang out naked at home. Hang out naked with lovers. Hey, if you have the kind of friends who want to hang out naked, do that too! Go swimming. Go to a sauna. Sleep in the nude. Check out a local nudist locale (no, seriously!). Try to spend some time in your body without covering it up both by yourself and around other people.
Between spending fourteen years in theatre and working at a house of BDSM when I first entered this world, I have spent a lot of time around naked people. Realizing the wide variety of different body types have different positive things to offer, and seeing them in both sexualized and neutral situations made it hard to hate my own body. Having nudity be an unremarkable experience made it easier to let go of lingering negative hang-ups.
Getting comfortable with your body in its natural state can take away the shock and discomfort that takes place in those few times you catch yourself in the mirror. Being naked in public around other naked people who are cozy with their dimples, curves, and moles can inspire you to feel the same about your own. Plus, seeing the bodies of others will remind you that most of us are inherently imperfect. Most people have funny little physical flaws; accept your own and move on! You aren’t alone.
2. Move your body.
Please make no mistake: This article isn’t about losing weight.
It’s about being healthy and making your body feel wonderful. Moving your body, regardless of your size or shape, can remind you what that body of yours is capable of. This is especially true if you engage in an activity that forces your body to move in ways it isn’t familiar with.
I realized how important this step is when I started doing roller derby. Challenging my muscles, teaching my body a series of new skills, and seeing exactly what my body could do made my self-confidence skyrocket. It enhanced my flexibility and strength, and doing something completely outside of my exercise history allowed me to focus on sport-related goals, rather than the imperfections of my own body.
I had to quit roller derby due to the risk it presents (Can you imagine a dominatrix with a cast on her foot?! What if my favorite flogging arm got broken!?), but the lessons it taught me have stuck with me.
This worked itself into my kinky practices too; a lot of heavier play can be intensely physical, and can be extremely active. æAt the end of some very heavy impact play sessions, I’ve found my cleavage glistening with sweat and cheeks flushed! æUtilizing my body as a tool, both recreationally and professionally, taught me to appreciate it in its flawed glory.
Looking for more tips from this lovely entertainer on how to feel better about your body? æCheck out the second installment of this series to find out how dressing well and psyching yourself up the right way can help you deal with negative feelings on a day-to-day basis.