Keep the Lights On

Keep the lights off. Cover yourself up. Sex is for the girls that look like they just walked off the cover of a magazine. Be grateful for anyone who wants to touch you. Accept what you are given.

These are all the lies that are told to me by the media, by people in passing conversations and even ones I’ve told myself. You don’t see sex portrayed in the media for big girls—girls who have dimpled skin and extra flesh that we carry around. I was never told it’s okay to be fat and sexual. No one ever said girl, “You are perfect like the Lord made you, rolls and all!” I never heard I should love my body and allow others to love it—without shame.

The magazines of my youth and the TV shows of my adulthood never show fat girls like myself with sexual prowess. Yet I know what my body can do and I love how my body feels. We are taught that if we don’t look like the mainstream beauty ideals we can’t be loved sexually; We can’t be objects of desire. I have fleeting moments of body shame and self-hate but then I remember my chubby hips get me where I want to go. My lack of thigh gap has never hurt me. Stretch mark rippled skin comes to life with electricity when my husband dances his fingers across it. He doesn’t ask me to turn off the lights nor does he shy away from touching any part of me.

Still, I catch myself moving my husband’s hand away if it lingers too long at a place on my body that I know jiggles more than I like. When he gives me a loving squeeze, I sometimes cringe because I assume he feels how my flesh dimples and is repulsed. Instead of embracing the sensual moment shared between myself and my husband, I shy away. My husband knows all of my body intimately and has never once given me a reason to think he doesn’t love every inch.

But my fear of my body holds me back from enjoying the sensual touches of my husband at times. My body might respond but my brain is screaming at me about all the flaws, all the ways I am made wrong. I might as well be screaming at God. I would never tell God he was wrong in making me though. I would never tell him I was a mistake, so why do I let those doubts creep into my mind? God made my body and He made it to be loved and adored by my husband. To be enjoyed with my husband. (Proverbs 5:19)

We just celebrated our eleventh wedding doing anniversary and I will still catch myself apologizing if he walks in when I am naked. What am I apologizing for? I do tell myself now when I look in the mirror that I am beautifully made. I look at my hips and remember their power and not their stretch marks. I marvel at my breasts that were made for pleasure and for life as I think about nursing my daughter. I tell myself don’t think of the flaws that I alone find, the ones society tells me are there. Society isn’t curled up in bed with me every night. My husband is. I know what my body was made for. My curves and lumps and jiggly bits do not let me down when the mood strikes and my husband embraces me for a long kiss that I know will lead further if I let it. He loves me and loves on all my parts, jiggly or not!

Before you go to bed tonight look in the mirror at your body. Look at it with your eyes and your heart and see the beauty that God created. If you are like me and your eyes are immediately drawn to what flaws you see; close our eyes and think about what all your body did for you today. Improve on the parts you want to. Tone it, stretch it, flex it—but love it. Have sex with your spouse with the lights on!

Amanda Taylor

Amanda Taylor

Amanda is an elementary school art teacher living just south of Atlanta. She shares her home with her husband, daughter, and a menagerie of animals. Her passion for helping others and her desire to share the word of God with the hurting and lost comes through in her artwork, photography and writing.
Amanda Taylor

Latest posts by Amanda Taylor (see all)

  • Thank you for bringing this side of the conversation to light (um, pun intended?) I think more women struggle with this than will put words to it as beautifully as you have. You are beautiful and loved and I know that you have to remind yourself of that. Thank you for reminding others, too!

    • Amanda Tingle Taylor

      So glad there was a positive take away from reading this. Writing it remind me and knowing others can relate helps ease the sting of feeling like no one “gets it” Look in the mirror and know that even if in that moment you can’t see it – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL- and others see it until you can see it for yourself.

  • Karen Gonzalez

    I LOVE this, Amanda! Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel, whether we’re in a relationship or not. I sometimes cringe at my body but I won’t today after reading your lovely and vulnerable post.

    • Amanda Tingle Taylor

      Thank you so much for the comment! It really helps to know that someone out there can relate, understands and hopefully feels better about themselves after reading it! You are beautiful!

  • Alicia Smith Porras

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I need to read this daily and remind myself of these truths!

    • Amanda Tingle Taylor

      Me too! I mentally know this to be true but it’s hard in reality to live it. Thanks girl!!

  • Amanda Tingle Taylor

    Im really glad that you were able to get something from it!