Recently I presented to over 50 women at the 7 sisters festival, and was again reminded of how deeply impactful sexual shame is on women’s lives. Shame for women can come in the form of shame about body shape and size, shame for feeling sexual, shame for past experiences, shame about not being able to orgasm, and shame for not feeling s*xual.
Sexual shame is equally present in men’s lives. I have heard men describe feeling shame simply because they have a penis, and in today’s world, that is cause enough for people to assume they are guilty of wrongdoing. Men also experience shame about their body shape and size, their sexual experience or lack of, their performance sexually, and for having desire/a lack of desire.
The underlying energy of shame is one of feeling “not good enough” or “there’s something wrong with me.” The impact of this is diminished confidence and esteem - not just in relationships and sexual experiences, but in life generally. Diminished confidence and esteem can present as someone who feels withdrawn, repressed and unable to speak up for themselves, AND it can also present as someone who is overly talkative, pushing and striving forward in everything they do.
Whilst these two energies might seem like opposites, the common factor is the missing connection to a deep sense of self. The energy of overriding one’s own internal navigation system, not being connected to the natural impulses that rise and fall in one’s own body and being.
Sexual shame can show up as crippling anxiety, low self-worth, depression, inability to have lasting relationships, using sex for validation, being an overachiever, always being busy and distracted, and judging others/being righteous.
So what do you do with Sexual Shame?
- Become aware of its existence and its effect on your life.
- Take a look at the origins of shame in your life, writing a sexual autobiography can be a helfpul tool.
- Slow down sexually - with yourself and partner/s - to discover what causes your body to open and what causes your body to contract.
- Seek emotional support to process emotions that are trapped with the shame
- Be supported to discover what your unique expression of sexual aliveness feels like. This can be with a partner, with the guidance of a mentor or within sex positive workshop spaces.
For more follow my instagram @martinajhughes
I have also created a Transform Sexual Shame guided audio meditation, which you can purchase here.