Those of you who follow along with Girl Boner® or have read Embraceable know that my relationship with my sexuality played a huge role in the eating disorder I battled in my late teens and early twenties. I was working as a model when I was diagnosed, seducing cameras and leading what seemed like an ultra-sexy. Meanwhile, my sexuality laid dormant.
Anorexia strips women of their femininity—sex drive and ability to even have sex often included. So while I could work cameras and runways with the best of them (until the illness progressed), I was pretty much useless in the bedroom. Even if I could’ve had sex physically, my dwindling self-esteem would have prevented much of anything.
Whether we develop a full-fledged eating disorder or not, how we feel about our bodies and selves deeply influences how we feel about our sexuality, and vice versa. Simply recognizing my lack of sexual empowerment seemed to take my recovery from belabored baby-steps to soaring. While not an instant fix, it unlocked a new beginning. Awareness is mighty powerful.
In the latest on Girl Boner® Radio, I had the pleasure of interviewing two special guests who know all about such awareness—and use their skills, voices and platforms to raise it for others. You’ll hear from Tye Riviera Handley, a nutritionist who’s noticed prevalence of eating disorders in the male fitness community, and Kendra Tanner, of The True You Project, who contributed a beautiful story for Embraceable.
Here’s a rundown of topics we explored:
- Why it’s important to recognize that eating disorders are not merely “feminine diseases”
- Unique challenges men who struggle face
- Binging versus overeating
- Orthorexia basics
- Signs a loved one might be struggling with an eating disorder
- How Kendra’s “clinical” sex education at home affected her
- Parallels between her struggle with bulimia and her beliefs about her sexuality
- How religious views affected her sexuality, early on and now
- What you should know if you’re struggling in these areas
- Dr. Megan and my responses to a listener’s question about bulimia and low-libido
Listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or here:
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What did you think of the episode? How has poor body image or disordered eating affected your sex life? What’s helped you heal? I love hearing from you!
Jenny Hansen says
Fascinating, August! And I’d never heard of Orthorexia.
August McLaughlin says
It’s super common and hard to detect. It often comes across as ultra healthy, but can be so devastating.