We're big advocates for loving yourself, from appreciating your body to knowing your worth, we want everyone to feel good about themselves.
We are part of the sexual health service in Stoke-on-Trent and as well as providing LGBT+ support services, one of their jobs is to educate people about many things regarding sex, relationships and body image.
Take a look at our top tips for learning to love yourself and your body too!
There is no “normal” when it comes to your genitals
Genitals come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Penis angles vary from person to person. Some people have more foreskin than others. Labia size and colour is different for everyone. One ball hanging lower than the other? That’s actually common! Everyone is different and that’s great, because life would be boring if everyone was the same.
People get hung up about what their genitals look like after watching porn, but bear in mind that these people are hired specifically for their looks. Just like you shouldn’t compare your body to a runway model, don’t compare your genitals (or boobs for that matter) to a porn star.
It is important to keep an eye out for changes in appearance of your genitals, like any new lumps, bumps, blisters or sores. This could mean you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or another type of infection or condition. If you do notice any changes, visit your GP or nearest sexual health clinic.
Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s so easy in today’s age of social media to compare yourself to others; whether that’s someone else’s ripped body, expensive car or busy social life. Social media isn’t an accurate representation of who people are. It is an Instagram influencer’s job to look a certain way, that’s what they get paid for, so they can spend hours just getting one photo for their feed. Not many people post a true reflection of their lives on social media, so remember that if you find yourself feeling down. It’s a good idea to take a break from the online world and doing something fun in the real world, like trying a new hobby, meeting up with friends or even relaxing by yourself with a good book.
Love somebody else… Love yourself!
No, we’re not talking about sex here - even though this is an article about loving yourself, being kind to others can help you be kind to yourself. If you’re positive about other people’s looks and bodies, it will help you to be more positive about your own. Lead by example; being kind about someone else will give you more faith in other’s kindness.
Learn what feels good for you
Masturbating, flicking the bean, cracking one out, having a wank… Whatever you call it, masturbation is a great way to get to know your body and learn what feels good to you. You can use your hands or toys (make sure you clean them properly!) along with some lube to make things feel great. Don’t use anything that’s not designed for use as a sex toy as you could hurt yourself or get something stuck inside you, which isn’t fun. If it doesn’t have a flared base, don’t use it for anal play.
Having an orgasm releases endorphins, which make you feel good and is one sexual act which you can’t get an STI from so put some time aside and have some solo fun.
Know your worth
Unhealthy relationships can be hard to spot, whether it’s with a friend, family member or partner. If you don’t feel like you can be yourself around someone, you’re worried of how they might react if you disagree with them or you’re miserable more often than you are happy, your relationship may be an unhealthy one. There are many local support services available which can help with unhealthy relationships; in Stoke-on-Trent it’s an organisation called Glow.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to know your worth and remember that everyone deserves to be happy – including you! If someone isn’t making you happy, it may be time to move on.