“Being a woman, I experienced sexual shame and guilt for being too forward, openly expressing my enjoyment for sex and self pleasure. It was rejected as dirty and unlady-like. This was either projected by female friends or male sexual partners.”
Welcome back to the re-writing HerStory blog series. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve shared your responses – as life has gotten quite full. Last month, I led a masterclass on pleasure and sensuality called DEVOTED. 25 women from around the world joined this 2 part class that took place over 7 days. And it was transformative…
During the classes and in between – the women shared with me just HOW liberating it was to hear that their desires weren’t dirty, that their pleasure was innocent, and that the narrative they’d been living in wasn’t intended to be theirs forever.
The reason that I started this blog series is that I knew women were ready to rise and re-write their stories. (well, one of the many reasons shall I say). But truly – what heals humanity more than anything is community and connection through storytelling. There is something just so so powerful about sharing your story, being heard, and recognizing yourself in another.
Our role as women, our gift, is to embody. Embodiment is what we came here to be, to do, to show the world how to be and to do.
When a woman is liberated sexually – her life force and creativity are on fire.
It is part of our collective rising to stand strong in this. To speak up about what we want and desire. No one else will be able to do it for us… so we need places to come, to share, and to re-write what we have been telling ourselves. It is our greatest gift to humanity.
In this weeks blog post, I’ve compiled responses from three women: Gabriel, Jane*, and Rhea. These women come from various walks of life and yet still share many common experiences. I hope you enjoy and possibly see yourself in the stories they share.
What does sexuality, sensuality, and pleasure mean to you?
G: Honouring and expressing my Divine Feminine power. By embracing my physical body through the energetic flow of unconditional love, movement, pleasure and sexual creativity; I am embodying my truth.
J: Sexuality – my embodied identity – the way my human form is contained within this skin – the way I move – the way I listen – the way I emote – the way I love.
Sensuality – the way I connect + explore in a sexually empowered way
Pleasure – heightened satisfactory feelings – touch – taste – emotions
R: Vitally, connection to ones inner desires and feeling comfortable and alive in one body. I believe it’s our pure essence .
I was raised Catholic and shamed for the way my body looked by my family members. It kept me repressed and insecure, and lead to worthiness issues and not standing in my feminine essence and power .
Growing up, was the common narrative one that supported your sexual curiosity + expression, or one that modeled repression + shame? How did that impact you?
G: I grew up in a household that encouraged self-expression and freedom, however my community was very reserved. This impacted my ability to express myself to others outside my circle with confidence, out of fear of rejection and judgement.
J: It modeled repression + shame – I was raised in a very Catholic household – one that preached no sex until marriage, we didn’t discuss the “family life” take-home books/exercises from middle school – it was awkward, unspoken, unapproved of in many ways. I felt shameful about my experiences with men until my late 20s and until lots of therapy and resources became my healing modalities.
R: I was raised Catholic and shamed for the way my body looked by my family members. It kept me repressed and insecure, and lead to worthiness issues and not standing in my feminine essence and power .
“I believed my actions, my experiences, my lack of experiences, my desires, my thoughts were all shameful.”
What were the primary belief systems you adopted about sexuality, sensuality, and pleasure?
G: Originally, I believed that sexuality, sensuality and pleasure were something to be hidden and to be a private practise only shared within yourself and those of intimate nature.
J: I believed my actions, my experiences, my lack of experiences, my desires, my thoughts were all shameful.
R: Thinking of these three words sexuality sensuality and pleasure = dirty, loose, disgrace
How did these beliefs/stories impact your relationship to sex, self pleasure + sensuality AND other areas of your life? (relationships, career, self love etc)
G: It was something you don’t speak about to avoid painting a negative picture of yourself. That sexual expression was a reflection of emotional damage and a cry for individuality and help.
J: I was like a yo-yo flip flopping from trying to be promiscuous and get boys attention to feeling like a failure and “slutty” for kissing a boy. I was lost and confused. I held shame and guilt in all areas of my life.
R: I became a people pleaser, and slept around , used drugs to hide my pain and to disappear from my circumstances that I put myself in . I felt alone and unworthy . I had no self love or care in my teens and up to about my late 20s . I did how ever have good work ethics, although didn’t have great relationships I felt I couldn’t trust anyone and always felt betrayed from my own actions and family
In what ways (if any) did you experience shame or guilt around sex and pleasure?
G: Being a woman, I experienced sexual shame and guilt for being too forward, openly expressing my enjoyment for sex and self pleasure. It was rejected as dirty and unlady-like. This was either projected by female friends or male sexual partners.
J: I believe it is beautiful – wholesome – expansive – necessary. I believe there is no “one right way” or answer or feeling about it – I believe it is so fluid and natural and that exploring sexuality, sensuality, and pleasure are necessary means of growth, understanding, and experiencing life.
R: I felt both shame and guilt , shame after I would have slept with someone out of people pleasing and guilt because I also enjoyed some of my experiences.
What are your beliefs now about sexuality, sensuality, expression, and pleasure?
G: How I adopt the belief that I am a pure reflection of my Divine Feminine and therefore I freely express myself to encourage others to feel confident to do the same. That sexual pleasure is a powerful way to connect with your sacred womb and sexual goddess. That this release can clear blockages and stagnant energies and activate your personal power as a divine vessel of unconditional love. That sexual empowerment creates unity, creativity and purpose to share yourself with the world through the many beautiful colours of the universe.
R: I love and honor my body mind and spirit I also have learned how to pleasure myself and I enjoy feeling sexy and sensual daily .. I enjoy looking at my body and moving, dancing in the mirror naked or in short shorts and bra Or what ever I have to throw on at any given moment . It hasn’t been easy and honestly I had to forgive myself completely to fall back in love with me. I believe it’s a beautiful, time here and now and these conversations are important. I also feel the feminine and masculine are being challenged to step up to a new dialogue.