Sex and Self-Esteem

February 13th, 2009

The December 2008 Journal of Health & Science reported that gay men who feel sexually undesirable are more likely to have risky sex (The Advocate, February 2009 issue).  Gay men with positive body images are more likely to insist that their partners use condoms.  In other words, gay men who feel good about themselves make better decisions about their health.

While this study focuses on gay men, I believe that it can apply to all folk – broadly speaking.  Life experiences and the culture at large can leave our self-esteem battered and bruised.  And if you think poorly of yourself, including your looks, and don’t feel loved, you may do things that aren’t in your best interest.  You may may put yourself into unsafe situations, stay in violent relationships, drink or drug, or feel down and depressed.

But it’s not hopeless.  There are many ways to attend to cultivate self-worth.  12-Step Programs, a loving, supportive community, yoga & meditation, and counseling and therapy come to mind.  It takes courage and a degree of self-love to take the first step in finding the real, worthy you.  And you can do it!

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