Shame is one of those things that is universally experienced but spoken about minimally, yet it is an incredibly powerful force in the way we perceive ourselves and our relationships. People feel shame about a variety of issues in their lives. For women, shame around their bodies and sexuality is unfortunately very common and can be crippling not only in developing healthy sexual functioning, but overall emotional functioning as well.
One of the few instances where women will actually use the word shame is when discussing the post-sex trek often referred to as the “walk of shame”. Interestingly, women will use this terminology even when describing a scene where they left a man’s apartment in the middle of the night but nobody even saw them. In other words, it can be a “walk of shame” regardless of whether they were spotted by others because shame isn’t just about what others see or think; it’s about the story you tell yourself. For many women, the story they tell themselves — whether consciously or not- is that sex is inherently ‘dirty’ and something to feel guilty about.
Shame around sex is an issue not only for women who have sexual dysfunction but for all women. It stands in the way of being present, expressing desires and needs, and feeling worthy of receiving pleasure. Understanding your feelings around shame — specifically around sex — can be instrumental in getting to know yourself better, identify roadblocks both mentally and emotionally, and bring you closer to having your mind and body feel aligned.