Even the word shame elicits a reaction in my body. I can feel a spiraling heat in my belly, I am reminded of times when I felt ashamed, when I was shamed for my thoughts or actions. Shame is a powerful motivator; it motivates both action and inaction. It can live inside us and alter our perception of ourselves, tearing us down, telling us we do not deserve love and connection. Many sexual blocks, concerns, and overall dissatisfaction stem from shame.
There are numerous ways sexuality is shamed. Truthfully, nearly everything regarding sexuality can and has been shamed. If you choose not to engage sexually, someone may call you a prude. Too much confidence in your sexuality, someone may call you a whore. Often those dishing out the shame have been shamed themselves, perhaps as a child exploring their own body or as an adult unsure and stumbling through early sexual interactions. Thus a shame cycle is created, shame experiences created more shame experiences.
Even worse though, than being shamed is to allow that shame to become our reality. Internalizing shame about our sexuality creates insecurity; the wiliness to explore and express ourselves becomes limited. Brene Brown, brilliant authority on shame and vulnerability, says this about shame “the less you talk about it, the more you have it” (watch her full TedTalk here). It is through the silent festering of shame that we lose ourselves, forget our primitive right to enjoy pleasure, and pull away from intimacy and connection with others. So how do we stop it?
We share. We talk about sex. The brilliant and joyful experiences, as well as the times when we experienced shame. The times when things went all wrong, when people called us names, when we thought “I am bad”, we share and we connect and then we release. We release the obligation to carry that shame around and step into our messy perfection. We release the idea that in order to experience bliss and pleasure that we have to fit into this impossible image of what we think that looks like.
This is why I’m here. This is why I’m talking about sex. I have felt the slow burn of sexual shame first hand and I know the freedom of its release. I now know the joy of feeling totally and completely worthy of love. I want that for you too.
What separates good sex from great sex?
Confidence and comfortability. It’s really that simple. The more confident and comfortable you are with yourself and then also with you partner, the better sex is going to be. Nothing is more distracting during sex than worrying about what your body looks like, smells like, and sounds like. When you are worrying about these things you are essentially shutting down your body from experiencing higher levels of pleasure and also shutting down an opportunity for connection with your partner.
The social expectations of what sexy looks like are hard to overcome. We are presented with this very linear idea of what sexy should be. Media makes us believe that in order to be sexually desired we must adhere to a certain set of rules. Not true. Here’s the thing, sexy starts inside and then shines out of us. The focus of sex should be pleasure and connection. Unless you are in the adult entertainment industry, no one cares what you look like during it!
Great sex is messy! Most bodies look a little strange in certain positions, so if you look odd but it feels good keep going! Hair gets messy, bodies get sweaty. Also, strange noises are a total normal (and in my opinion delightfully hysterical) part of sex. To me a big old body fart in the middle of a really sexy moment is a great opportunity to laugh! Laughing during sex can lighten the mood by reminding us about amusement. Sex is fun, it combines physical pleasure, emotional intimacy and an opportunity for amusement. So the next time you have the opportunity to get frisky, I want you to act like the sex god or goddess that you are and see how that changes the experience!
This past year has been full of opportunities for bravery for me. I have stepped outside my comfort zone time and time again, leapt into unknowns, and traveled through such magnitude of emotions. Through all of this I have developed a deeper sense of personal trust in the unique path of my life. No, things have not gone the way I planned, far from it in fact. And yet, I can see now how perfectly imperfect it has been.
I remember leaving Florida almost a year ago now. My kids in the backseat, my car loaded high, and my ex-spouse in the rear view mirror, that moment both tore me apart and set me free. What I didn’t realize at the time was I was leaving behind my unhealthy habits of people pleasing. Up until that point, I teetered on the line of normal and unique, wanting to fit in, check off the traditional ideas we are all spoon fed throughout our lives. I cared deeply what other’s thought of me, even if I managed to conceal that on the surface. So when my “perfect” family dissolved, my spouse came out as transgender, and I moved home I made a pact that I would never exist for anyone’s approval again. I love making people happy, it’s in my nature, but I am now unwilling to do so at the expense of myself.
The pure bliss of decorating my own apartment is hard to articulate. I bought most of my furnishings second hand, I filled the walls with unique artwork, mixed patterns and textures, I made it my home. I looked forward to the solitude of sleeping alone during that time I was healing. Everywhere I looked I saw me and I liked what I saw. So when I was ready to venture out in romance again, I did so with my whole heart intact. I found that loving myself was the most solid foundation I could possibly have in a relationship. It’s amazing what you can build with someone, what you can experience, when you are willing to be completely yourself with your partner.
With an exquisite love relationship peculating, my home life steady and joyful, I thought perhaps the call for change had been satisfied for a while. But as it has been with most leaps of faith, I found myself being pulled in a direction I hadn’t thought too much about. The past year I’ve had the honor of working with a collaboration of women called Daring Spirits. What they are doing with meditation is a serious game changer and essentially what I owe my peace of mind to. With their support, I developed my passion for Sexuality & Relationship Coaching and found my wings. It’s been a beautiful working relationships built on a foundation of strong friendship. Yet, in my head came at first the whisper, which then grew into a roar, “it is time to spread your wings”. What choice did I have but to listen?
So this leap is into the awakening of my own coaching business, built on that same foundation of love, courage, and truth that I have rebuilt my life. Just like all the times of great changes, I am filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation at how this will all unfold, but now it is easier to trust in the uncertainty. Thank you for being here, for taking an interest in my journey. It is my hope that you can see some reflection to yours, and that my bravery inspires your own bravery.
Read. Relate. Repeat.
My hope is through my words, through my own experiences, you will relate to some piece of my story. Some desire that I've shared or insecurity I've admitted to will also belong to you. My words are my truth, but they may also be yours.