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The surprising reason why women may be saying no to sex

IF SELF-CONSCIOUS thoughts are turning you off between the sheets, you're not alone.

New statistics reveal fewer than one third (28%) of Australian women consider their body as sexually appealing - with more than half (52%) admitting a lack of body confidence means the lights are left off when it comes to sex.

Not only that, but 39 per cent of women admit to having negative body thoughts at least once a day, and two in three (61%) of the nation's females feel their sex life has been impacted by poor body confidence in the past year.

With only one in five Australian women reporting a healthy level of body confidence, the 2016 Body Confidence Report commissioned by Weight Watchers explores the complex relationship between Australian women's self-perception and the impact it can have on their holistic wellbeing.

The results tell the story of women who consider sexual wellbeing an important part of their lives, but who feel their body image perceptions can impact their overall lifestyle.

Sexologist and relationship expert Dr Nikki Goldstein said how women feel about their bodies can impact every aspect of their lives.

"What a woman is feeling about herself can have a huge impact on her, including between the sheets," Dr Goldstein said.

"Everything from sexual position to keeping the lights on, to being focused on what her partner is thinking can often stop her from experiencing real pleasure and enjoying the moment.

"These new statistics underline how body confidence can affect enjoyment of many facets of a woman's lifestyle, including sexual satisfaction."

When it comes to intimate relationships, Weight Watchers found despite receiving positive emotional support and empowerment from partners, two in five women (41%) admit being self-conscious during sexual activities.

Weight Watchers member Kara Byers remembers the feeling.

"In the past, I have had a negative relationship with myself," she said.

"I believe sexual relationships begin with how you feel; it doesn't matter what size, shape, or age you are or what you weigh: it's about loving yourself.

"When you have a healthy sex life, and a healthy relationship with yourself, that's when you really live your life - that's when you get to enjoy every day."

Topics:  body image editors picks general-seniors-news health relationships

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