In the past few years I have heard woman of all ages talk about how "free" and "independent" they have become sexually. They attribute this to a shift in society; a society where women have the ability and opportunity to express themselves sexually whenever, however, and with whomever they desire. (Funny...I thought this "sexual revolution" was what the 1970's were all about.) But this blogpost is not about that. It's about my own personal sexual shame recovery journey that has led me to peace, power, joy, acceptance, and love inside of my sexuality. It really is a miracle.
Jami and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in June, and for the first 10 years of our marriage I faked it. Apparently, very well. And I certainly was NOT going to discuss this with anybody else because of the serious shame wrapped around it. It was only after major trauma in our marriage because of infidelity that I finally came clean, and began to s l o w l y let Jami know what I had been experiencing. Over time, and with a lot of journaling, therapy, coaching, and going to Family Week at the end of Jami's 17 days in rehab (he was willing to do whatever it took to figure out what *crazy* was going on in his head that caused a desperate need for approval--an issue I struggle with off and on as well), I finally began to have the hard, shameful conversations about sex . . . and the shame.
I had been trying to run away from my sexual shame, and was embracing it at the same time because it was my norm. I was sexually abused at 5. So. Much. Shame. When I took time to lovingly observe our daughters when they were so beautiful and innocent at 5, I realized how damaging my shame had been, and was, in my life. And my heart broke into bits thinking of my daughters ever having to experience that feeling. But they did, later when they were teenagers, and now as young adults. Those feelings of "not enough" or "too much" or the words spoken about being a "slut" or a "prude" or "where's your purity ring?"
And what I've realized is that we all have experienced "sexual shame" in one form or another. Not every woman has been molested as a child by a perpetrator, but all woman have been made subject to this shame. It's our legacy from that first bite of the apple, and realizing our nakedness, our shame. BUT it's fixable! Just talking about it makes the darkness less dark, and hopefully will begin to turn us ladies into who we are made to be -- beautiful, worthy, valued, loved, adored, courageous, empowered, joyful and at peace with our sexuality, with our relationship, with ourselves.
I know this to be true, because WE (Jami and I) are at such a crazy, intimate, beautiful, connected space in our love life. Sex is amazing. Sex is beautiful. Sex is simple, but so deeply pleasurable. This experience with sex is something that I NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE FOR ME! I thought that I was so broken that I could never have an orgasm. But that was the lie told to me at such a very young age. And a lie that is told to women that vaginal orgasm is "mature" and "preferred" and if you don't have one you are, well, less than (this goes all the way back to Freud and his opinion about a woman's experience--yikes!). But this is false, degrading, and downright ridiculous! We are all different, and experience sexuality differently, and that's okay. And my experiences with Jami have been blowing my mind. This "broken" woman has found healing, and grace, and love, and compassion, and beauty; thank you, Jami.
So, here I am, splayed open for the internet world to see, and I DON'T GIVE A DAMN because I have worked freakin' hard to be free and independent in my sexuality, and I am becoming whole! And Jami and I are so blessed to be here now. I say this and mean it with all my heart: I would do it all again to be here now. Truth. And we get to share this with women all the time (and men, and couples, and leaders), when they are ready to hear it, to move into it, and begin to heal through it. I am blessed.
What steps might you need to take today to have authentic and beautiful Sexual Independence?
Join us on Thursday (4th of July!) for Jami's thoughts on Sexual Independence.