Study: Obese People Are Less Sexually Satisfied

standing on scale
Sex, Self

A new study suggests that obesity can weigh down your sex life.

As if being obese didn't have enough pitfalls, findings published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy suggest that the extra pounds can burden your sex life. A weight loss drug study involving 134 women and 91 men, who were all moderately to severely overweight, revealed that obese people are more likely to report less sexual satisfaction than those who are not obese. Is Your Relationship Making You Fat?

Researchers aren't surprised: "Our findings contribute to a growing body of research that indicates obesity is associated with reduced sexual functioning and sexual quality of life," says study author Truls Ostbye, a professor at Duke University Medical Center ("Growing body" — we see what you did there, Professor). 11 Romantic Ways To Lose Weight As A Couple (YES, It's Possible!)

During the study, researchers asked participants a number of straightforward questions: do they have orgasms? Does fantasizing arouse them? Although none of the participants were too overweight to have sex, scores from a questionnaire dealing with behavior, relationships, problems, desire and masturbation confirmed that overweight women are especially prone to dissatisfaction. After comparing their scores to questionnaires answered by cancer survivors in 2006 and a general population group, researchers found that obese women's scores fell below both groups while obese men were more satisfied than male cancer survivors. 5 Reasons Having Sex Is Better Than Being Skinny

While it's disheartening to hear how health problems can bog down your sex life, David Sarwer, from the University of Pennysylvania School of Medicine, told USA Today that the research can encourage clinicians to help their overweight patients with sex-related problems. After all, the psychological stress caused by an unhappy sex life can impede your overall health as well.

Sarwer also reminds us that sex involves more than intercourse, and you can enhance intimacy by kissing, hugging, holding hands and simply being romantic, no matter how much you weigh.

How does your weight affect your sex life?