Hubbies, Losing Weight Could Improve Your Sex Life

In a recent post, I tackled my concern that society as a whole and women in particular are harming male body image with unrealistic appearance expectations. Most of our husbands will never have a six-pack (unless you’re talking about the beer sitting in your fridge). Instead, we should appreciate the real men in our lives for who they are and how they look.

But here’s the flip side: I hear from wives struggling in their sex lives because their husband is seriously out-of-shape and overweight. I’m not talking about a few pounds. Rather, it’s a big health problem that negatively affects their sexual intimacy.

Once we ditch the ridiculous notions about body image, we are freer to embrace what really matters about our bodies: caring for our health. That’s simply taking care of the body God gave us. And while it applies to both women and men, I’m specifically addressing husbands today.

Once we ditch the ridiculous notions about body image, we are freer to embrace what really matters about our bodies: caring for our health. via @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

(For more about the wife side, check out Putting Your Body to Work to Help You Feel Beautiful, a guest post from Gaye Christmas or Feel Beautiful: Dust Off Your Exercise Shoes!)

Poor health can lead to performance issues.

Obese men have a 50% increase in erectile dysfunction compared with “normal weight” men, partly because obesity is related to medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, that affect both sex drive and performance. But also because obese men have lower levels of testosterone. Additionally, wives tell me their out-of-shape husbands fatigue more easily.

And some men worry about how big their penis looks when surrounded by a lot of bulk and are thus reticent about being naked and making love.

This doesn’t mean that being obese or out-of-shape means you’ll have problems or cannot engage in sex. Don’t put your sexual intimacy on hold! You can still have a good sex life now. But trimming down and getting more fit will have a positive impact on your own health and your sexual intimacy.

Some positions are off-limits or at least hard to do.

If a man outweighs his wife by many, many pounds, some man-on-top positions are going to be difficult to accomplish, if not impossible. Look, my hubby only outweighs me by about 30 pounds, and I sometimes push him up a little and say, “You’re crushing me.” Not, not literally. But it doesn’t feel good to have a whole bunch of weight pressing down on your body.

Again, don’t wait to enjoy sex! Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife wrote a wonderful two-part series on plus-sized lovemaking. I highly encourage you to go read it: Enjoy a Plus-Size Sex Life, Part 1 and Part 2. Christian Friendly Sex Positions also has an entire section with Sex Positions for Plus-Size Lovers. But the reality is that more angles and positions will open up once you pursue better health.

By the way, this is not true just for overweight people! One can certainly be out-of-shape and still in the weight window your doctor recommends. Any out-of-shape spouse will notice an increase in flexibility and stamina after investing in better health and exercise.

Taking care of your body can increase your appeal.

Let me begin here: The last thing I want to do is “fat-shame” anyone or suggest that some body types are less attractive. I don’t believe that at all! But if your actions indicate a lack of care in how you value your own body, it can be harder for your spouse to value your body as they should in the marriage bed.

And now and then, I’m contacted by a wife who says that her husband has gained so much weight that he has lost the musculature typical of the male build. With his high ratio of body fat, he sweats more and thus struggles with smelling good. There aren’t many clothes that flatter him. And it’s just not the man she married.

Every time I get those messages, I encourage the wife to accept and embrace the man she married. You do not need to wait for a lot of progress in the health/weight area to begin enjoying your sex life as much as possible. Moreover, a spouse should be an advocate for their beloved against the problem of obesity, not in contention with their beloved.

But I understand those feelings—the disappointment the wife feels that she isn’t quite as attracted to her husband as she used to be or could be, if only he would make some effort to care for his body a little more. Most of these wives are not asking for the superhero body, just wanting to see more of the man they love.

Let’s wrap it up.

Of course, I am aware that one’s weight is related to hereditary factors, health conditions, medication side effects, and more. But again, I’m not talking about some extra pounds, which are no big deal, but rather life-impacting obesity.

Moreover, I encourage you not to make goals based on height/weight charts, which do not take your particular body into account. If you want a target to aim for, get a health professional to do a full workup on your body that considers your bone structure, body fat percentage, etc., and you may find your goal weight is far less daunting than what was on the standard chart.

And lest you guys think I’m calling you out unfairly, I want to say that yes, I could say almost all of this to women as well. While I hate the ideal-body expectations out there that cause women to struggle so much with embracing their beauty, I also know that taking care of yourself is an important aspect of both life and your marriage. Your health matters.

But husbands, if this post describes you, could you take a step this coming week toward better health? Could you commit to doing something, a small something even, that shows you want to do better for yourself and for your marriage?

Sources: Gain Weight, Lose Your Sex Life? – Everyday Health; Erectile Dysfunction – Cleveland Clinic for Continuing Education

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18 thoughts on “Hubbies, Losing Weight Could Improve Your Sex Life

  1. Brian

    I think this is a really important topic for men (and women). We’ve gotten way too fat as a society and there’s literally nothing good about it. You’ll die faster and have a lower quality of life in every way, not even considering your sex life. And yes, it affects how attractive you are. There’s simply no denying that. …what people need is a wake up call. I don’t think God wants us to be this unhealthy.

    Reply
  2. Shaina

    I would just like to thank you for this post. I married a large man. He has struggled with his weight his whole life. I have loved him and been completely attracted to him since the day I met him. I am certainly not as thin as I used to be after 4 kids. However, I am taking steps to lose weight and stay healthy. I workout 5-6 days a week and eat as healthy as I can. My husband works a very hard demanding job. He is the sole provider so I can stay home and raise our kids. He is so wonderful and works very hard for us.

    With that said, he has added more weight. He is starting to have health problems, and he is not taking his meds for his cholesterol. We are in our early 30s, with 4 young children. My kids adore him. I adore him. I am afraid something is going to happen to him. He also has way less energy for me and for sex. It is very hard. I have a strong sex drive and one Saturday morning quickie barely keeps me going. Over the summer he had lost 35lbs and had so much more energy. I got a glimpse of what our life could be if he was healthier. He has since gained the weight back and then some. It breaks my heart. I know he felt so much better and I know his weight must bother him. He has alluded to such. But I can only encourage him. He has to make the decision to change, just like I have to. It can be very hard and frustrating to deal with this. Again, I love him the way he is, and I am incredibly attracted to him. But his health and energy have become a probly for me. This post makes me feel less guilty about having these feelings. I pray for him and encourage him.

    Reply
    1. Mark

      Shania,

      I might suggest to take it slow, but maybe try and start to ween the family off of processed foods and go with a whole food diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, even organic eggs is good.

      It will be hard to do at first, especially if he like bacon every morning. (cut it to once a week or less) but as you experiment with natural spices and herbs to replace sugar and salt. (but not all of the salt) he’ll have more energy.

      My wife makes a breakfast smoothie for me breakfast about 4 times a week. I might have scrambled eggs with a little slivers of green, red peppers, homemade salsa and leftover steak from the night before once every two weeks and creamy oatmeal with apple, almond milk with my weakness of brown sugar spread on it.. some like my wife will put organic honey.

      The smoothie is what energizes me. !/2 avocado, carrot, a little shredded turmeric and ginger (very healthy), 1/2 sweet potato, banana, a spoonful of organic peanut butter, fresh black berries, maybe a mango, apple, 1/2 of a fresh small beet, some almond milk and ice,, you’ll need a high powered ninja.

      You may not always include all of the above ingredients,, experiment a little on yourself. Go easy on the beet, 1/2 a small one will do, otherwise is will taste too strong. Probably the beet, ginger, turmeric, avocado, banana and berries is a place to start.

      If your husband is in a labor intense job, he probably can cut too much salt out of his diet, But a typical diet with whole foods, he can monitor the amount of salt he sprinkles on his food.

      The smoothie does energize me.

      Reply
    2. Natalie

      Your husband sounds like my husband, Shaina. There are lots of effective ways to lose weight (changing your diet for the better being the most affective way). But you’re right: ultimately, he has to want to change for himself. My husband and I are also in our late 20s / early 30s with small children (only 2 though, not 4). My husband’s doctor said he could go on high blood pressure medication (at the ripe old age of 28) and be on it probably for the rest of his life (just like his family and many other obese relatives), or he could make lifestyle changes to get his hbp under control. That was 6 months ago he was told that and still not much change in him or his motivation. I’ve come to the conclusion that I as his wife can do nothing except pray for him, lead by example and help surround him with other positive influences in his life. Getting fed spiritually is just as important for him (probably more important) than seeing a personal trainer and nutritionist. So many people – especially those with binge eating which sounds like both our husbands have – use food in ways or in instances when they should instead be turning to the Lord.

      And while Mark has some good suggestions, I’d encourage you both to find a new way of eating that works well for you and your family & lifestyle. For example, cutting out the bacon may work, but going keto (i.e. lots of bacon) could also have great results for you. For us (well, me. My husband still eats whatever he wants when he’s not at home), we found that eating paleo works really well for us, so that’s how I cook 98% of the time. It’s a matter of trying different things and seeing which give you the results you want while also being easy enough to maintain for the long haul, cuz anything you do that’s anything less than a full-on dietary lifestyle change will not have long lasting results. Quick fixes and fad diets for several months don’t work, only lifestyle changes. I hope it goes well for you and your husband.

      Reply
  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Sex is so far past me now, dealing with two kinds of lethal cancer, but I thought you might enoy this.

    I have four visible tunours on my chest wall, and Barb commented thus:

    “Two more, and you’ve got a another six-pack.”

    If you can’t laugh at death, what’s the point in dying?

    And is this not an abolute gem of a wife? No tears, no huddling together in the face of the horrible…just a hardass comment.

    And taking strength from her, I’m good to go.

    Reply
  4. AnonymousForThis

    I’m gonna remain anonymous for this one, so as not to embarrass my husband. I am attracted to him still, and our sex life is actually improving now that he’s dealt with his stress. But his weight is becoming a huge issue. He used to be very muscular, but as he switched from a labor intensive position to a supervisory position at work, his physique has changed drastically.

    I force myself to stay in relatively good shape because of my own body image issues. He now outweighs me by about 75 pounds. So yes, sometimes I feel like I’m being crushed. I’ve noticed lately when he tries to hold himself up to avoid crushing me, sometimes his arms start to shake. It makes me feel badly and it takes the focus off of sex. I mean, how can he be enjoying himself when he’s trying not to fall down and squish me?
    ALL of his extra weight is in his stomach. He actually looks pregnant. I would never tell him that because I would not want to hurt his feelings. But his great big belly actually makes it more difficult to “connect” if you know what I mean. What’s crazy is his big belly is not squishy at all. It’s solid as a rock. And he doesn’t drink alcohol at all, so not a beer belly. It’s weird.
    Aside from the sexiness issues, I honestly do worry about his health. They say abdominal fat is the most dangerous.
    I think I might encourage him to start working out with me. We bought an exercise bike but he always forgets to ride it. Maybe if we work out together we can hold each other accountable.

    Reply
    1. Louisa

      Your hubby’s belly sounds like my Dad. Dad is diabetic and wont stop eating a very bad diet. Lots of white bread, sugary drinks etc. His belly looks like he has swallowed a large basketball. I wonder if it is because of the extreme amount of milk and/ or white bread. I truly hope your husband will wake up to the issue before he gets any older.

      Reply
  5. Robert

    I read this verse yesterday
    1 Corinthians 6:19 New International Version (NIV)
    19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
    After reading your post it stuck me that we should all be looking after our bodies as best we can both physically and spiritually.

    Reply
  6. Mark

    J,

    There is a warning on the package of cigarettes that reads something like this “can cause lung disease”.

    If there was a warning label on all processed foods and sauces, junk food and fruit and soft drinks, (the ones loaded with either sodium and sugary stuff or both) and the warning label reads “a diet filled with high levels of sodium and sugar can affect a man’s libido as he ages” it would raise a few eye brows. Though the whole food industry would be smiling.

    Not so sure if the processed and junk food industry would like it. They would probably hire a couple of witch doctors saying that is a distortion of the truth and prescribe Viagra.

    Reply
  7. Mike

    J, I did not think I was over weight until I saw a picture of myself on Facebook. I went to the doctor who showed me a chart of what was over weight. I had to either grow 12 inches or lose 40 pounds. Since I could not lose 40 lbs, I decided to grow 12 inches, it was easier. 🙂 Seriously, I took an eating and exercise program called CHIP put on by the 7th Day Adventists, and lost the 40 lbs (gained back 10 but stayed there). The program had to be taken by me twice, and it took about a year. Sex is so much better. My doc took blood tests and my numbers were so good that he asked me, “do you want to live forever?”

    Reply
  8. Laura

    My hubby is 155 lbs. overweight, and outweighs me by almost 200 lbs. (and we’re in our early 30’s). He lost 50 lbs. last year, but gained it all back plus some back. He’s trying to diet again, but I just feel like what’s the point when I know what’s going to end up happening again?

    Reply
    1. Mark

      Laura,

      He could eat all he wants and lose a lot of weight if he eats whole foods which mainly is fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish. (but not processed sandwich meat or frozen breaded fish or deep fried fish unless you scrape the bread off of the fish)

      But it will take a lot of creativity and time to implement that lifestyle while experimenting how to use spices and herbs to replace the flavor that is in processed foods and sauces which are high in sugar and sodium.

      Reply
  9. Robert

    When I first started working, I was a family physician, about 40 years ago I thought of losing weight as a simple in put / output matter like the fuel in a car. Over that 40 years I came to realise that there is a lot more to it. Now I would not presume to offer detailed advice without a personal consultation and a substantial amount o detail regarding not just what they eat but life style and income.
    I would suggest that people see a dietician or weight watchers
    The organisation that has the best record for helping people lose weight is weight watchers.

    Reply
    1. Mark

      Robert,

      It is nice to see a physician offering sound advice about seeing a dietitian. I did visit a dietitian 25 years ago, made a difference, but it is still a work in progress.

      Basically told me to have a more disciplined diet and avoid as much as possible processed and junk food and sauces that is loaded with high amounts of sodium and sugar and eat healthier and also suggested for me to remain active like going on walks and hikes.

      Eating healthier is a lot easier said than done, when I love having root beer and eating pizza or drinking milkshakes whenever the air temperature is above 90 degrees. I must’ve had too many milkshakes as I found out later that I was lactose intolerant.

      Reply
  10. Greg

    I will transparently confess that one of the reasons that I changed up my diet, anchoring it with a homemade overnight cold oatmeal where I can better control the sugar content, and walk every weekday (with a good portion up hills), is because I don’t want erectile dysfunction to become an issue as I approach 50. My bride’s and my intimate life has turned a corner for the more vibrant and authentic, and I want to ensure that we can enjoy it for years to come. That I personally feel better and more energetic with the conscious diet and movement is an enormous blessing.

    Reply

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