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What’s with the Body Weight? SEX!

Always on the lookout for news about sex I have three research studies that have collected about our bodies. Perhaps it is no surprise to some but Fitness magazine reports that over half (51%) of all American women would give up sex for a year if they could just be skinny while 43% say they skip meals and 39% have taken diet pills to lose weight. (March 2011)

Just recently, a new study has confirmed a previous study that there is a strong correlation between those who attend church and obesity! In fact, if you attend church, you are 50% more likely to be overweight! (One hypothesis is that church goers are more likely to attend various church functions where food and friendship go hand-in-hand, and thus get in the habit of overeating. I have another hypothesis. Read on.)

Last year the US military released a report in June 2010 that said 27% of young people are “too fat to fight.” (June 2010) While ten years ago only Kentucky reported that 40% of their young adults 17-24 years were obese or overweight by 2010 there are 39 states who did so. In fact, in three states, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama, that figure is 50 %!

And in the meantime botox industries and liposuction factories are churning out inflated lips and boobs and creating flatter stomachs and removing double chins to satisfy a very unhappy, and in this case mostly female, populace.

What is going on in our culture that we despise our sexual bodies and hide it with the warm fuzzy feelings of overeating at church dinners, or save up funds for a tummy tuck or botox away the wrinkles so that we even prefer our looks over sex?!  Are we that shallow? Evidently we are. However I would suggest something else is at play. Sex.

I maintain this is a sexually conflicted culture obsessed about, and yet fearful of, sexuality. We send a clear message that individual personal value is linked to good looks and sexy bodies but also say, usually to females but increasingly to males, to look sensual, seductive, (and thin) but don’t get caught acting on sexual impulse, (if it is not your spouse that is.) What kind of craziness is that?! So try these ideas on.

Would we stuff our faces at church potlucks if we could all of us have lots of good sexual pleasure? as much as we wanted? whenever and with whoever? Would we continue to choose plastic surgery or starve ourselves if we were each treated as whole people, beautifully sexy just as we are, regardless of size or weight? I didn’t think so either. My thought experiment is this: What if we began doing a better job of treating one another as sexual creatures? No objectification. No seduction. No gender games. No stereotypes. No manipulation. And, certainly no coercion or power plays. What if we just relaxed and learned to play…with respect and responsibility? What if we gave some serious and sell-considered thought to our sexual ethics instead of embracing the legalism of our seriously sex-phobic religions? What if these same religions began teaching sexual decision-making that embraced pleasure and sexual responsibility? What would happen?

My guess is that we would soon be in great physical shape, though of differing sizes, on the outside because we felt good about ourselves on the inside. In fact, to the Pentagon’s dismay, in my fantasy we just might find ourselves feeling too sexy to fight. And the downside to that is.....?

Danni, 04-06-11 12:55pm:
I think it's a little oversimplified to say that sex is the cause, but a general disdain for pleasure I'm sure has loads to do with obesity.

Only certain types of pleasure are acceptable in this country, such as those that don't take a lot of time or can be put on expense accounts.

There are many cultures that are both incredibly sensual and generally overweight (many hispanic cultures) and this is largely due to lack of knowledge or access to good nutrition.

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