It's hard to imagine having sex every day for a year, given the effort, dedication and perseverance required.
But US author Brittany Gibbons, who wrote Fat Girl Walking, did just that - and she said that she not only felt better about her body, but learned how to communicate better with her partner.
Clearly, body confidence is a big issue in Britain. A Dove survey found that only 20 per cent of UK women like the way they look, while menswear brand Jacamo found that 48 per cent of British men desperately want to lose weight.
Having sex every day to fix that might be tempting after learning of Gibbons' story.
Having sex every day is not for everyone
Both experts pointed out that Gibbons had something that not everyone does - the option to have sex every day with a supportive husband who wanted to help her develop body confidence. Dr Jacobson told indy100:
She was in a safe relationship, where she could say yes or no, state her needs, and be vulnerable. In this unique circumstance, then yes, perhaps sex could lead to body confidence.
But we certainly could not take this story and then state ‘sex every day builds body confidence’.
Dr Jacobson explained that pushing yourself to have sex every day for year, regardless of what your body and mind really wants, could carry some dangerous consequences.
Sex every day with, for example, various partners and strangers, especially if you have a traumatic past involving some sort of sexual abuse, could lead to shame, feelings of worthlessness, dissociation from the body, and depression.
It could mean we were pushing ourselves to have sex just to ‘keep the record going’, instead of listening to ourselves and recognising our needs in each moment, which is so essential if we at all suffer low self-esteem.
So it could equally be a terribly dangerous game to play.
She made clear that it all comes down to the individual.
If you were with a loving partner or partners, and it was something you'd decided to do for fun, it might lead to better connection, and improved sexual confidence, but you'd have to both be wanting sex at the same time and prioritise individual needs on a day-to-day basis over any 'ticking off a day on the calendar'.
Sex with random people is more likely to cause issues with confidence over a rise in confidence. Any big declaration you intend to have sex every day for a year with many different people is far less likely to be about body confidence and more likely to be a sign of deep-rooted issues, including trauma, sex addiction, or histrionic personality disorder.
Focusing on just sex is probably not the answer
Knowles warns against obsessively fixating on sex as the solution to all your body confidence issues.
Often, self-esteem issues run far deeper and are more complex. Knowles said:
People might be focusing on their body when there are other areas of life that might be problematic.
But they look in the mirror and say ‘How can I ever be happy with a body like this?’ And focus completely on that.
Rather than focus on the negative, think about what you do have.
If there are parts of your body you’re not happy with, take a good look and think about the parts of your body you do like. Maybe you have nice skin or nice legs.
If you don’t like parts of your body, don’t focus on them every day – the negative – because it’ll bring you down...
It’s not all about your body. It’s about who you are as a person.
Be careful what you wish for, Knowles warns. If you become dependent on having sex every day to feel better, then how are you going to react if the sex starts to wane?
Knowles recommends improving your lifestyle, diet and exercise routine instead:
The issue here is making the decision to do something different. First recognising that ‘I want to do something good about this problem’ and seeing it through.