Episode 51 – Healing Sex Shame

If you watched my last video, you heard that one of my most embarrassing memories was around giving a celebrity a drunken lap dance at a Hollywood club. I think that story is actually pretty funny when I tell it to friends — we’ve all done crazy things at bachelorette parties. But you know who I didn’t want to hear that story? My parents, in-laws, friends of the family, elderly relatives, etc, because there is still a part of me that has a hard time managing that I am someone’s daughter and a sexually empowered woman at the same time. So as I dove into this pocket of sex shame that makes me want to hide this part of myself from the “elders” that I grew up with, who knew me as a little girl, I took another look at the stories that I took on as a child growing up as Christian/Catholic, coming of age in a society that told me that “good girls don’t have sex” and that my virginity was my greatest asset.

As a child and teen, I’m sure that society, my religion, and my family and teachers were trying to protect me and keep me safe, healthy, and happy as I stepped into puberty and my burgeoning sexuality as a teen. Now as a sovereign adult, who is in control of my own health and happiness, those stories no longer serve me and they actually cause me to feel shame when I act in ways that oppose those stories from my childhood and teen years. So that is why I felt shame around my sexuality when I imagined my parents, or in-laws watching that video and knowing that I am a sexual being. But to be honest, after having a baby, isn’t the jig up?  For me, in some ways, yes, and in some ways, no. I realized in making that video, that since I come from a religiously conservative background, that there is a part of me that still wants to pretend that I am a small child who listens to a priest, or parent, or teacher instead of my own Self. And that is the beauty of doing this self-inquiry work — you look at your thoughts, you question them (“Is that true?”), and you as the adult get to now refine or redefine what is true for you. For myself, healing these pockets of sex shame allows me to step more powerfully into my spiritual adulthood as a fully integrated woman who can create the life that I desire in every area.

As I made this video today, my daughter kept interrupting me. And I loved that. Because she is the reason that I am willing to give voice to my shadows and dive into my pockets of shame around sexuality. I want her to love her body, to love every part of herself, and I want her to feel comfortable embracing her sexuality when that season of life opens for her later in life. Every woman alive today has inherited thousands of years of history of sexual repression, the cultural judgment that you are either a virgin or a whore, and being treated as a second class citizen due to gender. But when you heal yourself of these stories, and you look deeper to uncover the power and strength in your sexuality and your womanhood, then you are helping to heal all women at the collective level of humanity. That is why this work is so important.

If you have done the work to heal sex shame in your own life, I applaud you! And if you are just starting out, I recommend you check out Saida Desilets or Layla Martin online. If you feel you have sexual trauma you want to heal, please reach out to a licensed therapist who is trained to help you or visit rainn.org to find free resources in your area.

If you find yourself thinking that you have a lot in common with me and would like some coaching around loving all parts of yourself and integrating them so you can be a more powerful, self-actualized woman in your life, then please reach out. I’d love to talk to you. You can schedule a time to talk here: http://bit.ly/effortlessu