Sex vs. Sexy

So let’s bring this sexuality thing home:

If I’m not mistaken (and I’m pretty sure I’m not), part of the reason that fitspo has gained so much traction is the concept that we’re all looking for motivation to help us make our bodies “sexy.”

Don’t ask me why, but as a culture we place an inordinate amount of weight (see what I did there?) in becoming “sexy.”

Sexy is, apparently, the ultimate achievement: our gossip columns dissect it, our music praises it, and our models live and breathe it until the trends change or their bodies give out.

Sexy is Kate Moss is Pippa Middleton is Jamie Eason. It doesn’t matter which body type we’re lusting after, we just know that we have to be this certain thing, and that certain thing is the thing we aren’t.

 before the glorification of skinny there was something called sexy Marilyn Monroe

This goes for men and women alike–just look at the magazines at your local grocery store. Doesn’t matter which gender they’re targeting, they’re all playing on your desire to be the sexy thing you’re not.

But sexy doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with sex. Sex, the ancient, primal, animal act of uniting with another bring to potentially create another being. To achieve a sense of oneness that Plato once suggested allowed us to rival the gods.* Sex, the ultimate expression of your woman- or manhood…is mutually exclusive from sexy.

“Sexy” is something 12 year olds try to be when they emulate their favorite stars without even understanding the concept of sex. “Sexy” is a model on a page. “Sexy” is a line in a song. “Sexy” is the art of imitating sexuality through aesthetics, not the act of sex itself.

Women's Health Magazine Jessica Alba Sexy

Sex and Sexy are two different things, but not according to the magazines…

The act of sex is rarely sexy.

In my own personal quest to become sexy–to be the perfect fitness model, I starved the sex right out of my own body. The thinner and more muscular I got, the more I stressed out every system that is required to make sex a possibility.

Not only did I stop getting my period, but I completely imbalanced the hormones that made me care about sex.

It’s funny…You can look at any of your hardcore body builders at the gym, and guaranteed they’re more concerned with their next protein shake than their next date.

Just as amenorrhea is your body’s way of trying to conserve energy, so is disinterest in sex. This happens to both men and women who are consistently at low levels of body fat and undergoing regular intense exercise.

Your brain stops sending out the sex hormones, because your body needs to conserve as much energy as possible to continue existing while being completely stressed out. It’s the primal, genetic code in action: if you’re spending all day, every day, being chased by lions, then you sure as hell don’t want to be doing anything that’s going to waste your energy at night. You had better be getting 8 hours of restful sleep so that the lions don’t get you the next day.

Over-exercise and starvation are modern-day lions. Your brain has no way of telling the difference, so it just re-routes your sex drive into egg whites and active rest.

ED is a completely sexless, genderless, emotionless being. ED is a body in constant stress, constant pain, constant survival mode. ED is the ultimate expression of a body on the brink of death.

Sexless but sexy

Sexless but sexy

I let myself get to that point due to my own issues with sexuality, but I see more and more men and women get there because of their issues with exercise and food. For me, it was a conscious effort to erase the woman inside of me…for many it’s an unconscious loss of their fundamental selves into the pages of fitness magazines and onto their Pinterest boards. This is why fitspo scares me so much. People who fall into the eat-clean trap often don’t even realize that they’ve gone over the cliff.

Sex vs. Sexy may be a fundamental difference between sexually repressed anorexics and weekend warriors, but it’s also the thing that unites us. From opposite sides of the spectrum, we become slaves to aesthetics and we lose our sex.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be sexy. But sexy should never be the reason to choose deadlifts over sex.**

Stay hungry,

@MissSkinnyGenes 

*Well, Plato, recalling a story told to him by his teacher Sophocles, who heard it from Aristophanes at a party in which everyone got drunk. (If you haven’t read the Symposium or any Greek lit, you’re definitely missing out…)

**Even if you’re not sexually active. I’m talking about the hormonal and energy balance in your body. I’m talking about the ability to be alive and to choose (or not choose) to do the things that live bodies are meant to do.

PS I mentioned this in my last post, but if you’re interested in learning how to reset your hormones and become the sexual being that you were meant to be, I highly, highly recommend checking out Stefani Ruper’s PCOS Unlocked. Seriously…even if you don’t have PCOS, I guarantee you’ll learn a thing or two about your hormones & the beauty of being female.

To pick up your e-copy, CLICK HERE.

PCOS Unlocked by Stefani Ruper
This ebook is invaluable & honestly worth every penny.

And, to catch up on all of the other posts in the “Getting Healthy…Period” series, see:

Getting Healthy…Period
My Boy…Friend, ED
Sex With ED, or Let me Be Frank
The Disappearing Woman
Becoming ED: The Female Athlete Triad and Amenorrhea

5 thoughts on “Sex vs. Sexy

  1. I remember when I was 22, a guy friend asked me why it was that I had never had sex and was still a virgin. I told him it was because I was so busy having an eating disorder that I didn’t have the time or desire for sex. It is true. ED made me sexless. Just last week, I told a man who has been trying relentlessly to date me that I am so busy having a relapse into ED that I don’t have the time or energy to date him. Shockingly sad.

    • It IS sad–and awful, and painful, and difficult, and unfair–but you’re not alone. I recently broke up with a really sweet guy because as soon as the relationship started to go from intellectual to “something more” I freaked out and started letting ED creep back into my life. It’s strange how we can be so aware of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, but not necessarily be able to overcome it in the moment…It’s a process, I guess…

      • It is a process. A long, convoluted one! I have turned down being intimate with a couple of men lately because of ED. I am not comfortable with my body and I’m so obsessed with food that I just don’t care about being in a relationship. Sad thing is, both these men that are pursuing me are really nice. I hope you find a way to get ‘something more’ some day when you are ready!

      • It definitely sucks to let the good ones go because you’re addicted to the baddest one of all (I’ve somehow anthropomorphized and androgynized ED, but I think it’s fitting). I wish there were an easy way to give up that obsession and discomfort and say, “screw this,” both literally and figuratively, I suppose, but who knows whether it will be possible to reach that point again? I’m just taking one day at a time, and trying to heal old wounds from past relationships. In any case, my dog loves that I’m not bringing strange men home to take up space on the bed, so I guess that’s a plus, right? 😀

      • My cats feel the same way as your dog 🙂

        Sometimes I repeat the AA mantras (I am NOT an alcoholic!) but in the case of ED they make so much sense:
        1. Let go and let God
        2. One day at a time
        3. Accept the things you cannot change

        I am really big on the whole one day at a time thing right now because it is all I can cope with. I hope for better days for all of us. You especially. You deserve the love of a good person in your life. Sometimes when we can’t love ourselves but someone else can, it makes enough of a difference to get us away from the baddest one of all.
        Stay strong xo

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