A sexy woman sitting on a bed and leaning back

How to Overcome Shame about Sex?


For years, the mere mention of the word "sex" made me feel uncomfortable inside. I never "talked" about it with my parents, and there were awkward silences when I talked about it with friends. Even uttering words like "masturbation" made me uneasy. I often wondered why discussing sex became such a taboo when it plays such a natural role in life. It seems that society has collectively agreed to skirt around the topic rather than discuss it openly.

After years of reflection, I realized it was time to break free from this cycle of insecurity, and at the age of 22, I resolved to confront the issue head-on and save myself from years of awkward interactions to come. As Gwenyth Paltrow famously said, "We're talking about sex." It's time to tear down the barriers and have an open dialog about this fundamental aspect of the human experience.

1. Write it down

You may ask how I can write about such a personal topic. For me, writing is therapeutic. When I'm dealing with strong emotions such as sadness, frustration, or guilt, I turn to the written word. Starting with a curious exploration, I discovered a unique form of therapy.

I found myself pondering questions about my body, intimacy, and communication with my partner. I realized that my writing could serve as an avenue to find answers and understanding. It was a place where I could confront insecurities, explore desires, and challenge misconceptions about sex and self.

Some of the questions became critical in my life's journey:

- Am I at peace with myself and my body?

- Do I struggle with intimacy?

- Do I associate sex with negative connotations?

- Do I associate sex with negative connotations?

- How can I take control of my sexual experience?

By confronting these questions, I gradually shed the layers of discomfort and guilt that had long plagued me. Through introspection and writing, I discovered the roots of my beliefs and values about sex, empowering myself to make positive changes and approach intimacy in a healthier, more fulfilling way.

2. Find a shameless community

In 2024, the importance of community is becoming very apparent, both in person and online. For me, platforms like #kinktok are invaluable classes. While the focus isn't exclusively on risky behaviors like bondage or the use of restraints, these topics are certainly part of the conversation. What really stood out was the discussion around sexuality, asserting your desires in the bedroom, and exploring new sexual positions.

By connecting online with sex coaches, OB/GYNs, and sexual health professionals, I not only gained knowledge, but I also found a sense of camaraderie. Sharing what I've learned with friends who also struggle with sexual shame has allowed us to have honest conversations about topics ranging from society's view of menstruation to purchasing sexual aids. In these moments of vulnerability and honesty, the shame around sex began to dissipate.

I found it eye-opening to realize that many of my close friends had similar feelings of shame and discomfort around sex. Together we overcame uncertainty and insecurity, supporting and understanding each other along the way. Having a supportive group can really change a person's mindset in times of confusion and help pave the way to a healthier, freer approach to sex.

3. Turn guilt into pleasure

Growing up, the idea that "masturbation is sinful" reverberated around me, even though my family wasn't particularly religious. But why was something so natural given this stigma? Upon reflection, I realized that the patriarchal underpinnings of religious teachings often limit women's autonomy over their own bodies.

As I delved into my own journey of overcoming shame, I came across stories of women who had similar experiences. The church environment instills a deep sense of guilt about sexuality, treating it as sinful and taboo. This disparity in treatment - women are thought to be ashamed of their bodies while boys are given more freedom - highlights the systemic misogyny that is ingrained in this doctrine.

The notion that women's bodies are a source of temptation has permeated every aspect of our lives, from ineffective sex education to restrictions on reproductive rights. It perpetuates the belief that women don't deserve pleasure or mastery over their bodies.

A hot babe sitting on a bed with her hands tugging at her black lace panties.

4. Self-pleasure

In an effort to regain autonomy and pleasure, I embraced the idea that self-pleasure was not only acceptable, but empowering. Just as I indulged in retail therapy after a tiring day, I allowed myself the freedom to explore the sexual liberation of my body. I have found that I derive endless pleasure from the simple indulgences of scented candles, soothing massages and aromatic oils. By honoring my sensual desires and investing in self-care practices, I learned to prioritize my own happiness and fulfillment.

The key lesson I've learned from this journey is to prioritize my own desires and pleasure without guilt or shame. Instead of isolating myself, I invited the myriad of things that bring me joy and excitement and embraced the endless potential for self-discovery and fulfillment.

5. Re-educate yourself

We all recognize that the brief sex education we received in health class barely scratched the surface, right? As someone who only recently discovered the difference between a vagina and a vulva, I firmly believe that the minimal sex education I received did more harm than good. Dissatisfied with the superficial knowledge imparted in school, I embarked on a life-changing journey of sexual enlightenment.

Instead of asking friends or family questions I was too embarrassed to ask out loud, I turned to the vast resources available on the Internet. I explored various forms of eroticism, reshaped my view of sex toys, and gained a deeper understanding of the balance between feminine and masculine energies within myself. My inquisitive nature led me to dabble in a series of programs and documentaries such as Sex, Love & Goop, Goop Labs, Sex Explained, and Principles of Pleasure.

These programs not only cover a wide range of sexual topics, but also provide valuable insights into anatomy, contraception and pregnancy, with a particular focus on the vagina. It is incredibly humbling to witness people of all ages push themselves out of their comfort zones in pursuit of growth. If they can face their discomfort head on in order to learn and grow, why can't I? This realization pushes me forward on my path of self-education and empowerment.

6. Love Yourself

Navigating the tangled web of sexual shame requires a great deal of self-compassion. Think about it: throughout your life, you've been asked to distinguish between right and wrong. If concepts like sexual liberation, self-indulgence, embracing women, or vulnerability have been categorized as "wrong," it's unrealistic to expect a quick reversal of those ideas. Like the most delicate flower, your journey to sexual liberation requires patient nurturing to fully bloom.

One of the most valuable lessons I've learned during this transformation process is learning to treat and understand myself as kindly as I would my closest friends. I made a conscious effort to connect with myself regularly, acknowledging my struggles and offering gentle comfort in times of self-doubt, both in and out of the bedroom. I began dating alone, immersing myself in self-discovery and fully exploring my love language. I came to realize that understanding my own desires was a critical first step in expressing my needs to others.

There were moments of fear as I took control of my sexual journey, but the most important thing was that I proceeded at my own pace. If I'm not ready to take a major leap, I embrace the gradual progression through one small step at a time. Maybe you're still on the fence about introducing sex toys into your routine? Start by exploring your own touch. Not sure if you want to start intimacy with your partner? Delve into sex-themed podcasts, delve into steamy literature, or seek honest advice from a trusted friend.

Throughout this journey, I've come to realize that embracing your sexuality isn't a race, and that anyone with an opposing viewpoint isn't worth your time and energy. Shedding layers of shame and letting go of harmful beliefs is a gradual healing process that requires patience and self-praise. Acknowledge the progress you've made every day and look forward to future progress with pride and optimism.

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