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As two women, together, we share exactly three things outside the fanciful magnetism of love — lipstick, necklaces, and books. Our signature colors are two red varieties. She, my beautiful lady, opts for a deeper maroon, to match her olive skin and complexion. Her necklaces are long, each with hip, trendy designs, like gold owls, giraffes, or geometric shapes. Properly gay, she has a large section of books organized by colors of the rainbow, and they sit on a three-tiered bookshelf in descending order from red to purple.

No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. The differences observed between bisexual and lesbian women indicate that all orientations should be considered, and confirms the importance of including bisexuality in future studies. These could mean that bisexual women could be more vulnerable to the influence of BMI in body dissatisfaction, which could affect to sexual dissatisfaction. Lesbiqn Center Support Center. Overweight and obesity in sexual-minority women: evidence from population-based data. Body dissatisfaction and monthly sexual activity were ocy in terms of predicting sexual dissatisfaction, with the most relevant predictor being monthly sexual activity.

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Gender-based differences in body image dissatisfaction are not conclusive.

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As two women, together, we share exactly three things outside the fanciful magnetism of love — lipstick, necklaces, and books. Our signature colors are two red varieties. She, my beautiful lady, opts for a deeper maroon, to match her olive skin and complexion. Her necklaces are long, each with hip, trendy designs, like gold owls, giraffes, or geometric shapes. Properly gay, she has a large section of books organized by colors of the rainbow, and they sit on a three-tiered bookshelf in descending order from red to purple.

We have lesbian friends that share pants, shirts, and um, underwear. Mixing outfits is a regular part of a relationship, they say. Her legs, her torso, her chest, and her feet. We joke accurately that her feet are twice the size of mine. I wear a 5 and she, a size The small sizes squeezed my growing muscles too much. A self-loathing attitude towards my body fed into my dissociation from my sexuality. Like pushing food scraps down the drain of a kitchen sink, I tried pressing my attraction for boys.

I lived abroad, lost over 30 pounds, and finally, for the love of god, came out to everyone as a lesbian. Unable to control any other part of my life, I frequented the gym, 5 days a week, 2 hours a session. I was never happy with what I saw in the mirror. I realized then, importantly, that others only see the external parts of our bodies: the arms, the legs, the thighs.

The first night I shared my body with my partner — and she shared hers with mine — I was nervous. Her curves and my short legs? Would that even work? Our clothes melted off like cheese on a sandwich; slow, savory, and worth the wait. At each point, though, we were communicative and open. Our different sizes did and do work. She can reach the high-level cabinets in the kitchen. I can carry heavy boxes.

Our bodies are functional, in deeply special ways. I see a reflection of my shape in the way she would be looking at me — and I know she loves it. Our notion that beauty comes with sleek, slender legs, butts, and arms is just that, a notion, that is also a lie.

Indeed, weight loss, for a fat person, can still be a constructive thing while also practicing self-acceptance. These are not mutually exclusive entities, though it is easier for our brains to process them as such. Together, we celebrate her health and the body she has. Though tensions, they still live, breathe, and hold space together.

Whatever that means. It means something inimitable for all of us as women. Being with a woman — someone with the same, but still diverse body is a lot like coming home, traversing across terrain that is both known, and unknown. Our bodies connect us, remind us of our humanness, and for this, I am grateful. Life is hard, but it's better when you're not alone. Sign up for our newsletter and get our Self-Care and Solidarity eBook just because we love you!

Heather Newell joni edelman, RN. Being both small and athletic was difficult, even from a young age, because nothing fit right. Things changed rapidly in my twenties. More recently, she has faced the reality of weight loss. If you like this article, please share it! Your clicks keep us alive! Articles You'll Love.

Sexo 24 But covertly, the conflict carries on. Once you know what body type you are, you can begin to work with your body shape rather than against it when choosing clothing and swimsuits. Will the women find their way back together? What is her name? Your email address:.

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Gender-based differences in body image dissatisfaction are not conclusive. In this study, we quantitatively examined the degree of body image and sexual dissatisfaction experienced by heterosexual, bisexual, and lesbian women, to determine whether body dissatisfaction can predict sexual dissatisfaction.

Three hundred and fifty-four women completed an online survey measuring body and sexual dissatisfaction. No sexual orientation-based differences were observed in body or sexual dissatisfaction; however, body concerns were found to have less influence on sexual dissatisfaction in lesbian women compared to heterosexual and bisexual women.

Standards of beauty remain constant among all women, yet removing themselves from the male gaze may be interpreted as a protective factor which shields women from expressing concern about their appearance during sexual activity. There is a widespread consensus that nearly all women feel the societal pressure of having an ideal female body Wolf, ; Wade and DiMaria, This pressure often translates into body image dissatisfaction, which has been labeled as normative in heterosexual women Rodin et al.

Research carried out to date points in two directions. Some studies have found that lesbian and heterosexual women share the same body issues when it comes to level of dissatisfaction Striegel-Moore et al. Other studies, meanwhile, have found that lesbian women are less influenced by oppressive beauty standards because they experience less body dissatisfaction Siever, ; Conner et al.

In the latter case, these findings may indicate that lesbian women move within a subculture, which is likely to shield them from mainstream heteronormative beauty standards Brown, In the classic meta-analysis conducted by Morrison et al. The contradictory results regarding the differences between heterosexual and lesbian women in their body experiences may stem from the fact that the lesbian community is considered a homogeneous group.

In a recent study, Henrichs-Beck and Szymanski suggested that lesbian gender expression within the lesbian culture may account for their body dissatisfaction differences. These findings coincide with previous literature demonstrating that greater masculinity is associated with less body dissatisfaction Kimlicka et al. Feminine gender expression could imply a greater risk of body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness Meyer et al.

Furthermore, objectification theory has been used to explain differences between heterosexual and lesbian women in their body image concerns. Specifically, sexual objectification, which sees women more likely to be treated as sexual objects, can make them more vulnerable to developing eating disorder symptomatology.

This sexual objectification is related to the internalization of the thin-ideal standard of beauty, and predisposes women to closely monitor their body image and become more body dissatisfied Fredrickson and Roberts, Objectification theory has received robust support, primarily in relation to heterosexual women Moradi et al.

Kozee and Tylka observed how higher self-surveillance levels were predictive of increased body shame, which, in turn, predicted eating disorder symptomatology in lesbian women and indicated a direct link between levels of body surveillance and negative eating attitudes.

Haines et al. These findings support the notion that models developed for heterosexual women may not fully apply to lesbian women. In fact, Engeln-Maddox et al. Although there is limited research on sexual minority women, the findings posit that sexual objectification experienced by these minorities may differ from that of heterosexual women. Research into the influence of sexual orientation on female body image has either excluded bisexual women or grouped lesbian and bisexual women together for comparison with heterosexual women.

However, because they attract both sexes, bisexual women occupy a unique social position in terms of how they move in heterosexual and LGBT cultural environments, thus deserving of individualized attention. There is increasing awareness of the distress that bisexual women may experience compared to their exclusively gay or heterosexual-identified peers. Bisexual women are interested in attracting men and may feel the pressure to fit the beauty standards defined by the male gaze.

However, they are also interested in women, which can align them with lesbian women, both groups separating themselves from the dominant heterosexist culture.

Chmielewski and Yost found that bisexual women experience a tension between their resistance to adopt sexist ideals, characteristic of feminist women, and the assumption of the thin ideal of feminine beauty. Previous studies have reported that bisexual women worry about their body image and conform to the feminine ideal e.

Research also suggests that bisexual women may have more body image issues than lesbian and heterosexual women Boehmer et al. Furthermore, research into body image and objectification theory involving sexual minority women has primarily focused on lesbian women, excluding their bisexual counterparts.

To our knowledge, only one research study has analyzed the sexual objectification experiences of bisexual women. Brewster et al. Body image is closely related to sexual satisfaction. Research into sexual satisfaction has mostly centered on white, married, and heterosexual people; again, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual groups LGBT have been underrepresented in these studies. Among those who identify themselves as heterosexual, earlier research confirms that body dissatisfaction is associated with increased sex-related distress and anxiety Berman et al.

As for the LGBT community, little research exists, yet findings point in the same direction. Shepler et al. Peplau et al. They found that men who identify themselves as heterosexual report more positive evaluations of their appearance; less preoccupation with their weight; more positive effects of their body image on their quality of life and the quality of their sex life; and greater willingness to reveal aspects of their body to their partner during sexual activity, compared to those men who identify themselves as gay, heterosexual women, and lesbian women.

Regarding bisexuality, a more positive body image was found to be associated with higher levels of sexual activity and sexual satisfaction in bisexual women Zamboni et al. Findings from previous literature suggest that the more dissatisfied a woman is with her own body, the more likely she is to report a dissatisfying sex life.

However, the scale of this effect may be influenced by sexual orientation. The outcomes may yield knowledge about the pressures to fit the beauty standards defined by the male gaze and about the internalization of heterosexist values among heterosexual, lesbian, and bisexual women. Past literature studying the role of body image on sexual satisfaction has focused primarily on heterosexual samples, and the few research studies published on sexual minority women have either compared lesbian and heterosexual women—excluding bisexual women—or have solely focused on bisexual women.

To our knowledge, no studies to date have analyzed this topic by simultaneously comparing heterosexual, lesbian, and bisexual women. Thus, our study aimed to quantitatively examine the degree of body image and sexual dissatisfaction experienced by heterosexual, lesbian, and bisexual women to determine 1 whether body dissatisfaction is a reliable predictor of sexual satisfaction; and 2 whether differences by sexual orientation exist. In line with earlier research, we hypothesized that bisexual women would report less dissatisfaction with their bodies compared to their heterosexual and lesbian counterparts, and lesbian women would be slightly more satisfied with their bodies than heterosexual women.

In previous studies, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual women reported more similarities than differences in their sex life Matthews et al. Therefore, we did not expect to find differences in sexual satisfaction and frequency of sexual activity by sexual orientation. Finally, objectification theory has been widely confirmed in all women, including sexual minority groups, although lesbian and bisexual women have yielded mixed and more complex results.

Therefore, we hypothesized that women interested in attracting men heterosexual and bisexual would feel more pressure to fit the beauty standards defined by the male gaze, and that their body concerns would have the most impact on their sexual satisfaction, compared to women removed from the male gaze in their sexual relations lesbian women.

Three hundred and fifty-four women were initially recruited into the study. However, the final sample was reduced to participants after removing 21 women 13 were underage and eight left some responses blank.

A priori analyses of power were run to select a sufficient number of participants according to our chosen statistical test. Based on the results for detecting a small-to-medium effect size 0. The women were asked to complete a survey prompted by online advertisements on different websites. Postings were added to general community forums and websites of interest to lesbian and bisexual women in Spain.

Participation was voluntary and completely anonymous; no compensation was offered to survey respondents. A total of women identified themselves as heterosexual; 79 as bisexual; and 78 as lesbian. Ages ranged from 18 to 62 years, with a mean age of Participants reported age, educational level, height in centimeters , weight in kilograms , relationship status, sexual orientation, and frequency of sexual activity via checkboxes.

Body Mass Index BMI was calculated as a continuous variable using the standard formula of kilograms over height squared. This item self-report instrument measures the degree of concern with body image, especially feelings of fatness e.

The total score ranges from 34 to , and scores above are indicative of mild to severe body dissatisfaction. Some items are worded positively and coded inversely.

All 25 items are summed after the positively worded items have been reverse scored and then subtracting 25 from this sum, giving the total score. The scores range from 0 to , and those equal to or greater than 30 indicate sexual dissatisfaction. The ISS has been adapted into Spanish Crooks and Baur, and validated with Spanish-speaking populations, showing a high consistency for measuring sexual dissatisfaction Iglesias et al. We used the same procedure as described in Henrichs-Beck and Szymanski Participants were recruited through postings placed on several Facebook pages.

The ads featured a brief explanation of the study and a link to the online survey. These ads were shown to Facebook users who indicated they were over 18, lived in Spain and have Spanish nationality, and identified themselves as female. Postings appeared on pages of general interest and pages of specific lesbian interest e. Hence, a snowballing sampling technique was employed, whereby links were posted on social media networking sites or emailed to contacts, and respondents were asked to share them with their networks.

Before starting the survey, participants were warned that it contained information of a sexual nature. They were also informed that participation was voluntary and anonymous, and a guarantee was given that the data would only be used for research purposes.

Participants consented to completing the survey and confirmed that they understood the purpose of the study. The survey comprised 69 items corresponding to the chosen questionnaires. All participants signed informed consent in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. A contingency table and a chi-squared test were used to analyze the correlation between frequency of sexual activity, relationship status, and sexual orientation.

One-way ANOVAs were performed to determine differences in body dissatisfaction, sexual dissatisfaction, and BMI among heterosexual, bisexual, and lesbian women. Finally, simultaneous multiple regression analyses were performed for each sexual orientation to confirm the predictive value of all independent variables regarding sexual dissatisfaction. This regression method is recommended when no specific predictions are made about the weight of each variable, as in this case.

However, there is interest in determining the degree of influence of several variables and the relative influence of each variable under study Keith, , p. Regarding frequency of sexual activity, the contingency table see Table 1 reveals similar percentages of sexual activity in women by sexual orientation.

In terms of relationship status, Given that the primary aim was to determine whether body dissatisfaction might predict sexual dissatisfaction, women who reported not having had sex in the last 6 months were excluded from all remaining analyses. Therefore, the following analyses were run on women. Age 1 was also analyzed to check for possible between-group differences, yet no significant differences were found.

The correlation coefficients of the associations between variables which were later entered into the regression analysis for each group were calculated See Table 3. The results revealed that heterosexual women were the only group in which sexual dissatisfaction was significantly correlated with BSQ scores, BMI, and frequency of sexual activity, indicating that increased body dissatisfaction, high BMI, and low frequency of sexual activity are associated with less sexual satisfaction.

In contrast, in bisexual and lesbian women, only frequency of sexual activity was significantly correlated with sexual dissatisfaction, demonstrating how less sexual activity on its own is associated with less sexual satisfaction. Simultaneous multiple regression analyses were conducted to predict sexual dissatisfaction by taking into account body dissatisfaction, BMI and frequency of sexual activity as predictors.

Given the ordinal nature of frequency, three dummy variables were created: daily, weekly, and monthly. Different result patterns emerged for each sexual orientation.