If You Can’t Get It Up for Yourself, You Can’t Get It Up for Anybody

If You Can’t Get It Up for Yourself, You Can’t Get It Up for Anybody

When David Hattie, a researcher at the ORGASM Resarch Lab (nice), first started analyzing the psychology of involuntary celibates, better known as incels, he noticed that they shared “the collective belief that if men did not look attractive, they would not be able to find a romantic or sexual partner,” he explained to PsyPost. “Particularly fascinating was how hyper-focused incels were on specific parts of the body; in particular, wrist size and skull shape could be arbiters of inability to find relational or sexual connections.”

From there, Hattie decided to see if other men felt similarly about their wrists being a real boner killer (mostly for themselves). He conducted a study of 298 men with the average age of 32. Participants completed a series of questionnaires about how they felt about sex and their bodies, such as the Body Esteem Questionnaire, which had them rate their bodies and physical characteristics like energy level and coordination on a five-point scale, as well as evaluate their own sexual attractiveness. 

The results revealed that when men felt good about their bodies and physical abilities, they were more likely to agree with statements like, “I would rate my sexual skill quite highly,” and disagree with statements such as, “I sometimes doubt my sexual competence.” Essentially, their “body esteem” was significantly associated with their “sexual esteem.” And this was most pronounced when it came to guys’ wrists, noses, jaws and height. 

“We found that body image anxiety negatively moderated the relationship between sexual attractiveness and sexual esteem,” Hattie explained, adding that “the strength of the relationship between sexual attractiveness and sexual esteem was weakest when body image anxiety was high, suggesting that increased body image anxiety has a negative impact on men’s sexual esteem.”

Essentially, it’s difficult to have a healthy sex life if you hate your body — even with blackout curtains and the lights off. And so, it would seem sex doesn’t start with foreplay as much as it does with a healthy dose of self-confidence. 

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