Letting Go: How to Move Past Sexual Shame
Identity

Letting Go: How to Move Past Sexual Shame

By Emmeline Peaches, 02.09.2019

There is something to say about the kink element of sex being seen as devious under a mutually agreed pretense, but when these feelings are taken sincerely and internalized then sexual shame can emerge.

Sexual shame can happen for many different reasons. Sexual trauma can contribute, as can a strict religious upbringing, but these aren’t always the origin of shame. Our culture has a complex relationship with sex and it is easy to fall in to a true perception that sex is painful, wrong, or something to be hidden and kept in secrecy.

Complicated relationships with our own body or in a relationship can also lead to the development of long-term sexual shame and, sometimes, an individual doesn’t realize it until they are suddenly in a situation where that shame is exposed.

But sexual shame doesn’t need to be tolerated and isn’t something that should be perceived as a normal part of our sex lives.

Although it’s a challenge (and a long-term process) there are many ways to gradually overcome sexual shame.

Here are some of the most empowering ones to help you take those significant steps towards letting go of sexual shame and finding yourself in a loving and sexually open way.

Don’t Expect Immediate Results

The most important things to do when recovering for sexual shame is to recognize that sexual shame is something that has built up over years and so recovery might be an equally lengthy process.

Our society is one that expects immediate results and working on deep internal issues just does not align with the immediacy that we experience on a daily basis, no matter how much we wish it would at time.

One of the most significant things that you can do when trying to heal from sexual shame is to give yourself the forgiveness and space to recognize that this is a process and that you are not failing if your recovery journey is not in line with your expectations.

Don’t ever expect immediate results, forgive any set backs or slow progress, and be willing to explore on your body and mind’s own terms and you’ll be in a much better position to deal with sexual shame.

Take the Time to Explore Your Desires

In order to move past sexual shame it’s important that you actually recognize that there is no shame in enjoying your body, or your own sense of desire.

A lot of sexual shame is rooted in the idea that your desires themselves are somehow wrong or should be subjected to secrecy, but this is not the case. Humans are innately sexual creatures and sexual wellbeing is one of the core aspects of self-care for a happy and healthy life.

However, it’s hard to be sexually confident in an open way unless your first open up with yourself.

Give yourself the time to explore your body. It might be awkward or uncomfortable at first but that’s all part of the recovery process.

Place your hands on areas that you consider to be intimate. Use subtle finger motions to delve deeper in to your own desires. Take note of how you feel when doing certain things. Is it good? Uncomfortable? Is that discomfort emotional or physical?

If it’s emotional then allow yourself time to sit with those emotions while still keeping your hands in place and allowing yourself to explore further as and when you feel comfortable.

Gradually do this whenever you feel able until you reach a certain amount of familiarity with yourself then allow that to blossom in to confidence which, in time, will replace the shame.

Be Open and Honest

Sexual shame comes with a lot of pressure and that can transfer when integrating another person in to your life too.

It’s one thing to become confident with yourself. It’s another thing altogether to take that sexual confidence that you’ve developed and dive in to a relationship with someone else.

Thankfully, you are never to dive in to the deep end when it comes to your sexual boundaries and transparency is key.

Communicate with any potential partners and let them know how you feel. Be open and honest about your sexual trauma and where you’re at in terms of the respect and boundaries that best facilitate pleasure for you.

This will be a powerful step and a strong part of your journey in overcoming sexual trauma.

Of course, talking doesn’t guarantee that everything will be okay in the long term, but being able to shape your confidence within whatever romantic or sexual situation you choose to have will, no matter what, be a positive step in life.

The Takeaway

Sexual shame is far from a black and white issue and, often, there is a lot of insecurities and history involved.

But, no matter your personal developments, an approach of self-forgiveness, kindness, and exploration will be crucial in creating a sexual identity that is free from the shame you have held for so long.

We wish you nothing but empowerment and pleasure in this process.

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