How has Lipedema Impacted Your Sexual Mind Set?

Lipedema patient of Dr Marcia Byrd

Author, Denise Bennett

Lipedema can impact your sexy factor and get in the way of enjoying all of life. Sex and sexines is something a lot of us don’t talk about, and I’m not sure where to begin.  So, let’s start by saying that this topic is personal on at least two levels.  First, the answers will vary from person to person, and secondly, it is personal in that many women have never had this conversation out loud.  Sorry, but the older I get, the more I am willing to talk about everything. How can I learn from others, or know that my experience is shared by others if I am unwilling to talk about the questions I have and the thoughts that run through my head?

Sexuality is often a delicate balance of the emotional and physical.  It includes all of your sexual knowledge, thoughts, values, desires and behaviors. Sexuality is a normal part of life, but how you feel about yourself and your level of attractiveness impacts your experience as you interact on a sexual level with another human being.

My question is, “has Lipedema impacted your sexuality?”  Has the fullness of your legs, the wideness of your hips, the orange peel-like texture of your skin, the jiggly-ness of your upper arms, or lower abdomen kept you from seeing yourself as attractive?  I hear women who have gained 10-15 lbs. over the course of their lives and are experiencing a “muffin top” for the first time mention that they don’t feel sexually attractive anymore.  They say that their perception of their body imperfections keep them from engaging in intimacy or in initiating sex with their partner.   If that is the case for a woman with a muffin top, or a tummy “pooch,” or a little jiggle in their thighs, how big of a deal is this for you?

Aging & Lipedema

As we age normally, and especially as we age with Lipedema and its progression, our bodies change.  We gain weight, our skin and muscle tone change, and some of us no longer feel as comfortable in our bodies as we used to.  Some of us may worry that our partners will no longer find us attractive. This can cause stress and worry, and get in the way of enjoying a fulfilling sex life.  Have you experienced this? Are you overly self-conscious of your body?

I tried to do some research on this topic and came up, surprisingly, empty handed.  There’s some information about women who feel disfigured after breast cancer treatment, or after facial burns or other cancers that have caused physical disfigurement, but nothing about how self-image and sexuality is impacted by lipedema.

I don’t have any answers, just questions and maybe a wee bit of insight on the impact of having a negative self-image. I have always associated being thin with being sexy.  I have always strived to be thin, and have only managed to accomplish that for perhaps a year or two in my entire life… all combined.  Even now, post liposuction for lipedema, I am not thin, by my definition.  My legs are more slender and no longer disfigured, my arms are smaller (and more jiggly) and my tummy is smaller and less firm than ever before.  Some is the result of liposuction and some is the result of having lost 80 lbs. over the last few years.  I’m happy about all if it.  What I’ve noticed though, is that the weight loss I need to accomplish is between my ears.  Yes.  My mind is the real problem.  I need to embrace being sexual, despite the fact that my mind has embraced our culture’s message that only perfect bodies are sexy.

Be Sexy and Confident in Your Own Way

A few weeks ago I was at a beautiful outdoor shopping center here in San Antonio.  It was a pretty day, and people were out in droves.  While stopped for a cool drink, I engaged in a little bit of people watching.  I love doing that.  What I noticed was this… I did not see one, not one, perfect body walk by.  Not one.  Some were dressed as if they didn’t care what others thought about their bodies.  Yep.  People were dressed and acting as if they didn’t care what anyone else thought.  They walked with confidence, laughing, and enjoying their day out.

They were all sexy in their own way.  They looked good, not perfect, but comfortable in their own skin.  I realized then that I need to embrace myself… to be as easy on me as I am with all the imperfections I see out there in the real world.

I don’t have an answer… but I do have a suggestion.  Don’t let lipedema impact your sexy factor. Try to accept the fact that you are sexy.  Try to accept that.

Someone likes you, loves you, accepts your curves and jiggles, in fact finds YOU to be the sexiest woman on the planet. Choose to accept yourself.  Swing those hips ladies.