As common and a natural part of life as sex is, it is incredible that it is also steeped in so much taboo and shame. Unfortunately, shame influences your sexuality and how you talk about sex.
Many factors contribute to sexual shame, and these can have a devastating effect. Often, parents may find that they cannot speak to their children about sex, or the inability to communicate can inhibit a couple from speaking to each other about their sexual preferences.
Sexual shame is mostly psychological and is usually picked up from a young age. It comes from negative messages received from parents, religion, communities, and the culture of the society we are raised in. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that shame undermines their sexual confidence. This leaves them feeling insecure about their bodies, troubled with intimacy, and loathe to explore their sexuality.
Sexual communication is vital, especially in a relationship. Some people may ask, but what is there to talk about? Well, at the very beginning of a relationship it may be about where each person hopes the relationship will lead, but thereafter conversation will be about birth control and safety precautions, sexual desires, preferences, and sexual boundaries.
Whether the relationship is long-term or not, communication remains important.
Understanding the signs of shame
- Body insecurities that lead to self-consciousness during sex.
- Not willing to, or uncomfortable to express sexual desires or make sounds during sex.
- Difficulty with arousal or orgasm.
- Sex is less pleasurable.
- Fear of having sexually intimate relationships.
- Shame or regret of certain sexual encounters, including masturbating.
- Embarrassed or ashamed to talk about sex.
Understanding your sexuality
You need to understand what turns you on, and to understand that for each person it is different. Explore your sexuality, understand it, and communicate it because it’s not something you should be ashamed of.
Additionally, during a relationship sexual styles also change and can vary between tender, lusty, angry, funny, romantic, and even fantasy. Talking about each phase and enjoying it is important.
Making sexual conversation easier
Sexual desires, expectations, and needs do evolve. That is why conversations about sex should never be limited to the beginning of a relationship only. Even couples who are together for many years need to communicate about sex, something which can be just as scary in a new relationship as in an old one.
One of the best ways to get rid of sexual shame is to remove the source that sets the boundaries. Sex therapists and psychologists say the more a person practices having uncomfortable conversations, the easier they become.
There are some useful tips to make talking about sex easier:
Pick the right place and time
The best way to approach talking about sexual intimacy with your partner is to be forthright about it. It’s best to avoid talking about a sexual problem in the bedroom, so pick a neutral location and avoid having the conversation immediately after having sex.
Take it slow
Blaming is not needed. The conversation should focus on your need to feel closer and more connected with each other; and how you can achieve this to have a fulfilling sex life together.
Focus on other types of affection
Intimacy is not only about sex and how frequently you have it. Beyond intercourse, there are other ways that you can build your intimacy so talk about these and how you can both contribute toward it.
Sexual fantasies should first be discussed
If you want to introduce a new element to your sex life, don’t suddenly spring it on your partner during sex or by buying a sex toy to present them with. Discuss your fantasy with them and research your options together.
Satisfying sex life is based on talking
Sexual desires, concerns expectations, and fears are some of the things that you need to talk about in any relationship. Your partner needs to understand your fears, likes, and dislikes. Be open and talk about your desires. This will lead to a more satisfying sex life because you will be more comfortable in your relationship.
Relationship satisfaction needs constant communication
One long conversation will not suffice if you want to have a great relationship with your partner. Regularly talks about sex with your partner increases your relationship satisfaction. This is one area where practice makes perfect.
The more you talk about sex, the less uncomfortable and shamed you will feel, and the easier it will become for you to talk with your partner. Differences are normal and should be respected. Use them to improve your sex life.
If you can’t seem to get past your shame and continue to struggle with talking about sex, couples therapy or personal therapy may be the answer.