From a letter in Kara’s in-box:
It would be really good for your marriage if you could get over your shyness. One of the things I have learned about men is that the sexiest thing for them is a woman who is comfortable with her body. Body shyness is just old childhood stuff. You can get over it. I’m a real believer in baby-steps and the Nike motto, “Just do it.” You know that book title, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway? Once you do it enough, almost anything can become easy.
I’ve always wished I could do a workshop on this very subject where, after some classroom discussions and meditations, I would take a group of women to a nude beach. We would all just sit on our towels for a while, getting used to being around other naked people. They would notice that most bodies are pretty normal, definitely not what you’d find in a magazine of nude photos. Slowly, one piece of clothing at a time, everyone would get naked, sitting there on their towels. The next step would be for them to lay down on their stomachs and feel how nice the sunshine is on their backs. Then, after everyone had gotten used to their behinds being exposed, they would roll over on their backs and enjoy the warm sun on their skin. Next, everyone would sit up and feel themselves becoming part of the community of nude sun bathers. Yes, everyone notices each other’s bodies, but not in a gross kind of way. It’s kind of the same way we notice what other people are wearing. Unless it’s outstanding, we don’t think much about it.
The next phase would be to walk out to the water. Mostly, people would only see their backs. They would all go in the water and feel how free it is to swim naked. After that, they would all walk back to their towels. There would be a definite shift in how much less shy everyone would feel. Back on our blankets, we would enjoy our picnic lunch. Talking and laughing, eating and resting, the nudity would become almost unnoticed. The grand final exam would be to take a walk on the beach. The reason I know this works is because it’s exactly how I got over my body shyness. I was so shy that when I was a girl, as badly as I wanted to go to Girl Scout Camp, I didn’t because I’d heard we had to take a physical and the doctor took our tops off. I had a totally flat chest, but that didn’t matter. I’ve regretted that decision many times. Maybe someday I’ll do that workshop. I’ve enjoyed nude beaches in Maui where I lived for a while and in Santa Barbara. Usually there are mostly gay men who could care less about the women and many families with children. In Maui I used to take my grown daughter and one-year-old grandson to a great nude beach that was filled with lots of families playing in the sand and sea.
If your husband is willing to work with you on this issue, you can do this as a team. If not, do it on your own. I don’t know if you are willing to make love with lights on but if not, light some candles next time. Get used to him seeing little bits at a time. Then, feel the fear, but walk across the room to the bathroom. After you’ve done this enough times to become a little more comfortable, (over several weeks) come back into the room and sit on him so he can see your breasts. Ask him if he thinks you’re beautiful. Then lean down and kiss him. Then thank him for saying that and tell him how beautiful he makes you feel. Slowly, look for more opportunities to be naked. Yes, you’ll feel uncomfortable, but you’ll find that it will dissipate as you “push the envelope.” Keep in mind that the goal is to make your marriage more loving and passionate, which is the greatest glue for a long-term marriage. You already know this because it’s what inspired you to write. Having come from the same place, trust me when I say, it’s going to feel REALLLLY good to be comfortable with your body. I wish you great success,
You are beautiful because you are a woman.