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.
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.