For Obese Women Sex Offers Good And Bad News

The Greatest Guide to Sex by Julie Peasgood
While many studies have debunked the myth that for obese women sex is uncommon, there’s ample evidence to suggest the worldwide epidemic of obesity presents some pros–but even more cons–in terms of how frequent and satisfying sexual intimacy can be.

A 2006 French study found that, “Lack of desire or arousal or pain in intercourse” was not an issue for overweight women. However, unplanned pregnancy was four times more likely for obese women under the age of 30 as compared to non-obese women (as reported on That’s a serious concern since overweight women can experience pregnancy complications that impact both mother and child. The obvious lesson? No matter your age, use birth control unless you’re trying to get pregnant.

In investigating obese women sex issues, the same study also offered insight into who is attracted to whom in terms of size and stature, plus frequency of intimacy. The study found that, “Obese men and women with a partner were no different from normal-weight people in terms of how often they had sex.” This study also concluded that heavier people tend to gravitate towards a heavier partner, noting, “Nearly 70% of fat women reported having a partner who was also heavy, while only about 40% of fat men had a similarly proportioned partner” (USA Today – 6/17/2010).

That difference in how men vs. women feel about having a larger partner was amplified by research that investigated sexless marriages. An on-line survey of 4,000+ people in “sexless” marriages (where the male withdrew from intimacy) confirmed that for obese women sex may be less frequent because of the male’s attitude about her weight. Thirty-eight per cent of the men surveyed said the reason for their distance was their partner’s size. Concluded the study author, Bob Berkowitz (who has a doctorate of clinical sexology), “Some men take it personally if their spouse gains weight. Guys often feel a sense of rejection if they think it's not important to her to look good for herself or him. We're not talking about 10 to 15 pounds but substantial weight gain."

While this particular study focused on male withdrawal from intimacy, women may also be turned off if their male partner gains a lot of weight. Both men and women can find themselves in the vicious circle of turning to food for comfort–and away from each other-as their emotional and sexual issues escalate. A person’s size and stature is just one of the many complex issues that combine to define a relationship. But as a final note, if you’re thinking about or actively engaged in a weight loss regime, here’s some food for thought. One study showed that dieters who dropped 12% of their body weight over two years felt more sexually attractive and had greater sexual desire. “Weight loss can affect how people feel about themselves and their partners,” says psychologist Martin Binks, a study author and director of behavioral health at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C. (reported in USA Today – 2/11/2008).

All of this research demonstrates that for obese women sex can be good (lots of sexual position options) or bad (lack of stamina), happy (good body image) or sad (issues with your partner). Beyond the health and lifestyle issues, obesity may create sexual, emotional and relationship tension. The challenge is deciding how to address these concerns.

Visit these pages for more information:

Addressing Sex And Weight Gain Issues

If You’re Overweight Sex Toys Can Be A Pathway To Pleasure For You

If You're Obese Sex Can Be A Fulfilling Part Of Your Life

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