Sex and Shame

We currently live in a world so overcome with Shame that many people (of all genders) have developed sexual addictions, sexual dysfunction, and orgasm difficulties.  The complexities and rationale for how and why the Shame regarding sex came to be are overwhelming. My premise is as long as sexual interactions are occurring between consenting adults, I don’t really need - or want - to know anything else. 

Many people want to have an opinion on other people’s sexual experiences. As a society, we have opinions and preferences regarding: weight, size, color, gender, kinks, partners, etc. Sometimes, we feel that our preference is THE preference. The problem is, life really is not black and white. Do you doubt that? Go to the store and buy a box of crayons. If things in life are only black and white, there would only be two crayons in the box. Life is so much more colorful than that!

Some people prefer to have sex with people of the same gender. Some people prefer to have a little pain with their sex. Some people prefer to have sex with smaller people. Some people prefer to have sex with bigger people. Some people prefer to have sex with one partner. Some people prefer to have sex with multiple partners. I’m going to bottom line this for you: As long as everyone involved is an adult that has consented to everything happening, I don’t care. I don't even care if a person is having sex with 500 people. (Again, remember my requirements are consent and safety).

People fear what they don’t understand. And when we are behaving in a manner in which we are afraid, we end up judging people (intentionally or unintentionally). And from that judgment comes Shame. And when we experience Shame for our sexual desires, preferences, or needs, many of us begin to internalize our Shame. And when we begin to have Shame surrounding our sexuality, the issues begin to multiply!

For many many years, every sexual interaction I had was done because of obligation or to please another person. It was never because I desired sex or to increase my pleasure. Now, I work with women every day who share similar experiences. I’m not sure if this is a cultural thing or just a gender issue, but I find it completely unacceptable.

Shame surrounding our sexual desires, preferences, and needs come from a variety of sources. We could talk about that for decades without ever getting to the bottom of it. Instead, I want to give you tips and tools on how to tackle the Shame surrounding sexuality. This is not a hard and fast policy or mandates, but merely suggestions. Pick which ones you want to implement and come back later to try others.

My suggestions include:

6 Suggestions for Tackling Shame surrounding Sexuality

6 Suggestions for Tackling Shame surrounding Sexuality

  1. Get Comfortable With Your Own Nudity:  Body image Shame is such a huge component of sexual Shame. If you want to have good sex, spend some time being naked in front of the mirror. During this time, value and appreciate your body. After all, it houses your amazing soul!
  2. Speak Transparently To The Important People In Your Life: This will sound like a crazy example, but one time I was looking for a car, and I told my husband my last favorite vehicle was a Chevy Tracker. Being the amazing person he was, he found me a Chevy Tracker. I hated it, but I didn’t want to “hurt his feelings”, so I drove that death trap for about four years! This just wasn’t my dream car. Truthfully, it felt tainted because it was stained with cigarette smoke, and I never felt “safe” driving it. Every time you turned right in the Tracker, it made a horrible noise. When we are not transparent about our needs, desires, wants, and preferences it sends very confusing messages to others. 
  3. Stop The Crap: Discard the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and sensations that are no longer serving you. If you enjoy some consensual pain with your sex, stop telling yourself things about how only crazy people enjoy pain. If you prefer a power exchange relationship with your sex, stop telling yourself that makes you weak. If it’s not serving you or helping you, ditch that crap. You like what you like and that’s okay!
  4. Create What You Desire: If you want to have amazingly orgasmic sex, you are going to need to act as if you are capable of having amazingly orgasmic sex. When I’m working with people who have never had positive sexual experiences, I talk to them a lot about how to create what they desire and how to celebrate good sex afterwards.
  5. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: I literally can’t stress this one enough. Communicate about every thought, feeling, desire, craving, need, wish, and want. In my relationship, we set up specific frameworks and rituals that allow and encourage us to communicate our experiences and feelings. The more you communicate, the less gets lost in translation. There’s no way to communicate too much and you can’t run out of things to communicate about.
  6. Focus On Developing Resilience:  When you are operating from a place of Shame Resilience, you no longer take other people’s opinions or preferences as gospel. You also no longer are blown over every time someone has an opinion about something that you don’t agree with. Stand solid in your truth and in your experiences. Love all of your imperfections. And don’t allow people to rent space in your head unless they are paying you to be there.

I long to live in a world where we are allowed and encouraged to have pleasurable and orgasmic consensual sexual encounters. Can you imagine such a place? The bottom line is this: it's your sex life! The sooner you own it and manage the Shame surrounding your views on sex, the sooner you can enjoy an integral part of what makes us all human. If you're still not there yet, contact me and let me know how I can help you.

Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach who works with people all over the world. To learn more about Jenn go here