Q: I have a small penis and I'm a little embarrassed about my overall body appearance. I'm so incredibly shy about being naked in front of my partner that I ask that the we turn off the lights before we get intimate. Do you have any ideas on how I can overcome my shyness?
A: It might be helpful to know that the vast majority of us have things about our bodies that we don't like. In fact, studies find about 45% of men wish they had a bigger penis in particular. So you're far from alone in feeling like this. However, researchers have also found that the vast majority of women (85%) are satisfied with the penis size of their male sexual partners. So, this is mostly an issue for men, rather than their sex partners.
I'm glad that you recognize that this is something you can overcome. I suggest making small steps toward becoming more comfortable showing your body to your partner. You could start by being naked with your partner in low light, perhaps candle light. Over time, see if you can incorporate a dimmed light bulb and then, as you begin to feel more comfortable, gradually increase the amount of light in the room. It's likely that as you increase the light in the room, you'll continue to have satisfying, enjoyable sexual experiences. This process will help to ease your anxiety about being naked in front of your partner.
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.