Shame and Sexuality

This can be heavy topic!

Sexuality is an integral part of the human experience, but it often carries a heavy burden of shame and stigma in various societies and boy oh boy how I have seen this firsthand. The number of times I’ve been in a Consult with someone who expresses not only with words often of worthlessness but with tears how shame is destroying their relationships or relationship to self.

So, over the years I have witnessed there are some main reasons people carry this toxic shame.
  1. One of the reasons behind this complex relationship between sex and shame and keep in mind its multi-faceted but usually deeply rooted in cultural, religious, and social norms. Most often much having to do with childhood. These beliefs heavily shape our perceptions of sex, often emphasising modesty, purity, and adherence to specific norms. This can lead to shame when individuals deviate from prescribed behaviors or engage in activities ‘deemed’ immoral or taboo. Oh boy the ‘expectation’ that is often placed upon people in regard to sexuality it’s so ridiculous!

I once had a client come to see me who had an arranged marriage set up for him and he wanted to learn how to be a good lover prior to being intimate with his to be wife. His fear was that he would end up feeling so ashamed that he wouldn’t be able to please and maybe ejaculate too quick. He wondered if he should see someone first or maybe an escort and felt soo much shame around this also. You see I wasn’t there in that session to judge but what I did suggest is that he rid himself of the shame and explained the impact of what shame can do. Only by getting rid of shame was he able to fully embrace his sexuality and feel free.


By eliminating the expectation and tuning into what feels right within, he was able to make the right decision for himself.
  1. Societal pressures and gender expectations can exacerbate feelings of shame associated with sex. Men and women hey let’s face it all genders these days face different standards such as beauty, promiscuity, dress, and I believe often so inadequate sex education leaves many individuals ill-equipped to navigate their sexual experiences confidently. Non-normative sexual orientations or practices can also cause ridiculous shame which can lead to suppressing their authentic identity. Honestly, without proper knowledge and understanding, people may internalise shame and guilt for natural desires and behaviors, leading to negative self-talk and self-perception.
A man questioning his sexual orientation can be so confusing and scary.

The amount of shame to keep things a secret is common still to this day, how crazy. On one hand like a client, I once saw for a few sessions, he was attracted to certain things but on the other hand he knew that you will be judged by his family. Not wanting to bring shame on the family who was in the limelight, just kept it a secret. Living a lie for years not being able to feel free to be himself because of the fear of shame caused him much anxiety.

  1. Past Trauma or sexual abuse, assault, or harassment can inflict deep emotional wounds, leaving survivors with profound shame and guilt. I have come across this many times with my Intimacy Coaching and I usually highly recommend seeing a Therapist. Along with therapy there are many other modalities that can help such as Emotional Healing which I’ve witnessed can certainly assist.
I’ve worked with many clients guiding them through an Emotional Healing and one of the common themes is shame, guilt and fear.

Holding on to baggage and often someone else’s baggage, and I see this quite a bit and how working through this, little by little and finally letting go can feel so liberating. I literally can see a change in my client’s eyes and the weight lifted they even walk lighter when they leave the session.

Having positive people in your corner can help.

If you are holding on to shame and it’s affecting you, step forward and seek help. Hey, I don’t know about you, but I feel strongly … To strive for a future where sexual expression is celebrated rather than shamed, allowing individuals to embrace their authentic selves without fear or judgment to live a free, open and happy life. We can do this one step at a time, it’s all it takes.

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