Raise your hand if you were raised in religious based purity culture -slash- were exposed to zero conversations about sexual health, safety, preferences and pleasure. 🙋🏼♀️
Raise your other hand if that combo made it nearly impossible to mentally separate sexuality from shame. 🙋🏼♀️
You might have no more hands to raise, but if you did, I bet you might also be able to raise a hand that you’ve experienced sexual abuse or trauma in some way. 🙋🏼♀️
(Statistically, it’s almost half of women and that’s just what’s reported.)
These things are so common and so many of us were raised this way, yet we wonder why we have issues with intimacy or have sexual preference awakenings suddenly in midlife.
We are shocked that our society traditionally doesn’t protect or even believe women, but this culture was curated by design for centuries to protect and empower the patriarchy.
In therapy early this year, I was unpacking some complex sexual trauma from my early life and in closing I nodded matter of factly and said “Exactly. I am not here to be sexual!”
My therapist stopped me and said “No, Katie, you ARE. You are a human who is built for sensuality and sex and there is a medium here. You should be consenting and controlling those experiences but you should not at all avoid your sexual desire. Sex/sensuality is NOT innately dark or dirty.”
What a concept. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to fully embrace the freedom and autonomy I should feel over my own body and sexuality, but I can tell you that every single step towards deconstructing embedded beliefs around sex, shame, and “purity” has been 100% worth the emotional labor.
So here’s another picture of me in my underwear, because it’s just a body.
That I have full jurisdiction over.
And it’s allowed to be sexy in any way I deem safe, comfortable, and enjoyable.
No one else gets to decide that for me ever again. (And that’s on psychological breakthroughs and taking back your power.) 🤗