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QUESTION: My partner is so modest, it drives me round the bend. We are in our mid-50s and have known each other for three years, but he wears T-shirts in bed and puts on boxers if he’s walking round the bedroom. I have always been happy naked, but I’m beginning to feel inhibited because my partner’s so odd about nudity. How can I resolve this?
ANSWER: Isn’t it likely your boyfriend simply doesn’t have enough confidence to flaunt his physique?
We’re so aware that women often suffer from poor body image that we sometimes forget this insecurity can apply to blokes, too.
Modern men are bombarded with images of David Beckham and Tom Daley’s six-packs and hear women voice open admiration for perfect male physiques, so it’s no wonder they sometimes feel they suffer by comparison. If you think this is even remotely the case, you can boost his self-esteem with a campaign of shameless flattery. But don’t expect instant miracles.
This will prove especially true if your partner’s ever had a time in his life when he was overweight and felt undermined. It’s possible he is haunted by a previous partner’s inconsiderate remarks.
There is also the issue with men that they’re sometimes anxious about whether they will be perceived as well-endowed. Do you think your partner could have this kind of issue?
Remember that understanding the underlying reasons for someone’s quirks or phobias takes you halfway towards accepting them.
It’s essential to be giving in the bedroom and that generally includes the gift of your most intimate naked self.
However, there are ways of softening nudity. Low lighting and candles can help reassure a timid soul. Or share a bubble bath, where much flesh is submerged.
I’d even say that wearing a T-shirt in bed is not that heinous a crime, as long as he sometimes dispenses with the boxers.
Much can be achieved if you do things by degree. However, you must respect his limits.
You may not want a man who’s uncomfortable naked, but you really don’t want one who’s so uptight he can’t make love. - Daily Mail