Is shame affecting your ability to experience sexual pleasure?
'Despite our social advances, our culture is still guilty of casting women as what author Estela Welldon described as “Mother, Madonna, [or] Whore”' (PsychAlive).
Why do I feel bad about wanting sex? Am I hypersexual because I think about sex a lot? These are questions I often hear in my Sex Therapy practice from vagina owners. Sex is a very joyous experience for many women around the world. However, many also feel sexual shame, which cripples their enjoyment. It is only natural to feel sexual urges and want to fulfill these motives. However, feelings of guilt and shame can accompany them. These can counteract the reward and make vagina owners feel like they don't want to engage in them. It's important to recognize these obstacles when looking at how to overcome sexual shame.
3 causes of sexual shame for people with vulvas.
1. Sexually repressed or abusive upbringing.
One of the prime causes of sexual anxiety that can weigh on a person is their upbringing. People may experience childhood in sexually repressed homes. Sex can be a very taboo topic. Not just taboo but also treated with contempt and disgust when discussed. As a result, one's viewpoint of sex is disgust that leaves the person feeling conflicted about their desires.
Also, sexual abuse from family members when younger make it hard to move past shame. This affects many survivors worldwide and can lead to them being traumatized. It is resulting in them wanting to avoid sex altogether. Vagina owners often blame themselves and think it's their fault these things happened to them, which is natural but ultimately misguided. These are common forms of unhappiness long term and leave a person feeling frustrated.
2. Poor or no sexual education.
Your education can also taint your sexual experiences and pleasure. In many schools across the world, sex education is not included in the education program. Many youngsters become ignorant, especially if they are from homes where it is never discussed. The lack of adequate sex learning can lead to sexual shame. School systems need to teach children that sex is a natural human desire designed for pleasure and procreation. Unfortunately, schools across the world teach it with a very conservative mindset. Doctrines such as virginity being hand in hand with self-worth. Also, sex before marriage, being the only ethical approach to sex are negative. They can be damaging to a person's self-esteem and make it hard to move past shame.
3. Religious and societal pressure.
Not only does a lack of education impact sexual shame, but religion can also diminish the outlet for sexual pleasure. Faith-based communities do not present sexuality in a positive light. Most religions urge vagina owners to be in subjection to their partners. This means that a vagina owner is stunted in their ability of sexual expression. As a result, women do not feel empowered to embrace their sexuality and sensuality. Also that they are offending god if they are too outward with their desires.
In many societies, vagina owners are subjugated when it comes to sex. Penis owners are rewarded for their sexual conquests in many quarters of society. Vagina owners are not allowed to declare their love of sex, and if when they do, they are labeled a "slut" and other derogatory terms. Vagina owners need to withstand this pressure when determining how to overcome sexual shame.
How to overcome sexual shame.
What's essential when looking to move past shame is understanding that the causes of shame do not control you. These elements are misguided and built upon either religious fear, ignorance, or emotional trauma. To experience true happiness is to recognize that sex and enjoyment are part of the human condition and your birthright! Think about it; the clitoris has 8000 nerve endings for a reason. There's nothing immoral about wanting to experience sexual pleasure. So what can you do to move through shame and overcome it?
4 steps to overcome sexual shame.
1. Understand the root cause. Identify where your shame originates. When you are aware of the origin of the guilt, it will prepare to dismantle it.
2. Nurture the sexual relationship with yourself. Set aside sacred time to connect to your sensuality through masturbation. This is a great way to reclaim your sexuality. Give yourself permission to experience self-pleasure.
3. Practice patience. It takes time to unlearn deeply rooted negative sexual programming. Be kind to yourself during this process.4. Own your sexual experiences. Commit to making intentional decisions about your sex life. Embrace your freedom to choose what sexual acts you do and why you do them. Owning your choices eliminates shame!
You can be free of the chains tying you down from leading the fullest, happiest life possible. Embrace your inner sensual goddess! Reclaim it today!
For a pleasure-positive sex education, check out our free Vulva Talks course.
Sources - https://www.mydomaine.com/why-is-there-so-much-shame-around-sex-2982996https://www.psychalive.org/are-we-still-condemning-women-for-their-sexuality/https://www.intothelight.org.uk/core-issues-of-abuse-anger/
Kaycee Polite, a registered sex therapist, unpacks sexual shame to help us unlock our pleasure potential and understand where the guilt we may feel stems from.