The thing about fears and anxieties is that you have to face them to overcome them. Afraid of snakes? Hold one. Can’t stand speaking in front of people? Give more presentations. My mom has struggled with anxiety her whole life and once attended a support group. One woman was claustrophobic in elevators so they rode elevators up and down. Another man had panic attacks driving across bridges, so they drove across bridges together.
Brittany Gibbons, body image advocate and writer for the Huffington Post got nervous about sex. She would find herself making excuses as to why she couldn’t have sex with her husband. She was insecure about her body and being naked around him terrified her. She knew about the trick of repetition so she decided to apply it to this fear. She had sex with her husband every day for a year.
I would think if you told yourself you had to do something every day it would become a chore. And it did feel like that at first for Gibbons. Isn’t one of the things that makes sex great the spontaneity? Plus, Gibbons is a mom of three kids. Making time for sex every day was just exhausting. But then something happened.
“It became less of a chore and more my time—our time,” Gibbons said.
Because they did it every day, Brittany had to start telling her husband what she liked and what she didn’t. She became more honest. They both opened up and it became a time in her day that was an escape. I’m guessing if you do something every day you start to come up with new and different ways to do it. Or else you go crazy.
The real purpose behind the experiment though was to see how her self-esteem changed. Before, when she would express her insecurities and negative feelings about her body her husband would tell her that she was beautiful. But nothing would change until her feelings about herself changed. She appreciated the compliments but they didn’t really help.
“I wanted to feel the same way he was feeling about my body,” Gibbons said.
So what were the results? What did they learn? How does she feel now?
“Me feeling great about myself is better for both of us in the long run,” she said. “I feel really sexy…it brought us closer…we have better communication.”
She really started to understand herself better, and in doing that, her husband really started to understand her better. And, because communication improved, they’re both better at expressing their feelings.
Gibbons understands that improving self-esteem is each woman’s own journey with herself. She says you’re there when “you’re OK in your skin. You’re OK in your body. You see yourself in a way other people see you. They’re not seeing your flaws, they’re seeing the parts that make you beautiful.