No worries, I won’t make you embarrassed with this one. Neither will I shut down my voice. But let’s face it together and talk about sex and shame. This is a post dedicated to Self-love and Vulnerability.
Shame arises when we feel scared, afraid, anxious and embarrassed about something. We blush, are confused, avoid eye contact and maintain a very closed body posture. Shame increases through low self- esteem, depression and aggression.
Brené Brown is an amazing research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She has found out that Shame is one of the nagging monsters that tells us two things: ‘You are not good enough’ and ‘Who do you think you are?’. Shame is focused on oneself (‘I am bad’) – whereas guilt is focused on one’s behavior (‘I did something wrong’).
The Body Issue
When we feel ashamed naked in front of our lover/lovers it’s because we think our breasts are too small or too big; our body is too thin or too big. In such moments we are fully concerned with our body.
We don’t love our body enough, haven’t embraced our self-love fully yet and the voice continues telling us that our body is ugly and we continue to believe in that voice. For a long time I did believe in that voice.
The Talk Issue
When we are ashamed to talk about our pleasures, desires and fantasies it’s because the nagging monster tells us that it is bad to say this out loud. It feels like a lock sits stuck in our throat which stops the words from coming out. We stop ourselves from sharing our emotions, pain or anxieties and don’t even look for the hidden key which could open the lock. When I am at this point, I stop talking, go inwards and just want to be left alone until I figure out what’s the matter.
The Moral Issue
Ok, there is the religious part. In most religions sex is not something pure, not something we are allowed to celebrate. In Christianity it’s a sin. But it’s not just religions that tell us to stay a virgin as long as we can and only have sex after marriage. It’s our family and society who contribute to make ‘the talk dirty’. Ever caught your parents during lovemaking? Remember how embarrassing that was for you and your parents? Society projects sexuality as something very impure, something which is not allowed to be watched or seen. And everyone is astonished when a new video pops up on the Internet of a new celebrity having sex. What a surprise!
Why Does Shame Often Win the Game?
It is actually the inability to deal with our own vulnerability. We are vulnerable especially during sex and in relationships. That’s why it’s so hard for most people to deal with those topics – because they make us vulnerable. Why is it so hard to ask someone out for a date? Because at that moment we are so vulnerable and so afraid of rejection.
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”
– Criss Jami
For me it’s the realization that when I feel ashamed it’s alright because I am vulnerable and I do what I have to do – learning to be a courageous, feminine woman and loving myself and everyone else from the bottom of my heart. Only then the voice of shame quietens down and I know I’ve been courageous enough to stick with my vulnerability even though I failed or got a rejection – I just know deeply that from there the fruits will grow.
Watch this TED talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html) talk from Brené Brown on ‘Listening to shame’ to dive deeper into the topic.
“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”
– Brené Brown