A new study has just been printed in the British Medical Journal regarding the sex, sexuality and reproductive lives of obese men and women. Twelve thousand French men and women were interviewed by researchers (the study was government funded) who wanted to examine their sex lives to see if carrying extra weight had any input, and if it did – what kind?
The results were quite startling. Obese women were one third less likely to have had a sexual partner in the last year but ironically, were four times more likely to have had a baby. Obese men were not less likely to have had sex partners than men at healthy weights but they were a whopping ten times more likely to acquire an sexually transmitted disease than thinner men, as well as twice as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
So how are obese women having less sex but more babies? Researchers believe that large women are not only less likely to use birth control options like the Pill, but their doctors seem less likely to discuss sex with obese women than those with slimmer body types. But why doctors feel this way hasn’t really been a focus. Perhaps they feel obese women aren’t as likely to have sex, or aren’t even as sexual as average sized or slim women. Or it’s a general discomfort with these women more so than others. Perhaps some input from doctors would really help here.
Obese women are more likely to forego contraception at all, or use ones that are less likely to be 99 percent accurate like the withdrawal method (which does work well for some) and the research suggested that obese women themselves were less likely to ask their health care providers about birth control options or sex in general.
Almost two third of the obese women had obese partners; whereas only 40 of obese men had obese partners. Professor Kaye Wellings of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine wondered if “…maybe women are more tolerant of tubby husbands than men are of tubby wives…” Aside from the sexual challenges that extra weight brings, it also plays a part in conditions like diabetes and depression which in turn affect sex lives.