10 Lessons to Help You Embrace Your True Sexual Self

10 Lessons to Help You Embrace Your True Sexual Self

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A day-long session called “Mapping Our Desires” at Creating Change, a national conference for LGBT equality, encouraged those present to explore their individual sexual histories and the empowerment that can come from expressing our sexual desire in the larger world.

It was a great session, with a lot to take away.

Here are 10 of the most thought-provoking lessons that are worth sharing. Enjoy, you sexy beasts:

1. “Ultimately, having great sex requires staying true to your desire, an idea that sounds simple but is often complicated inside of a simultaneously sex-obsessed and sex-phobic society.”

2. Great sex is sold as a measure of our beauty, success and worth, cheapening the true value of sexual connection in our lives when we don’t measure up to a Hollywood ideal.

3. “Mostly we’re sold a vision of commercial sexuality that stifles our deepest desires — and makes us question — via heterosexism, sexism, able-ism, racism and ageism — if we have a right to even contemplate what we want.”

4. Media teaches us that talking about our sexual desires is always an invitation for sex or harm, but it’s possible to do it without soliciting either. Truth is, “the opportunity to explore, discover and discuss our authentic sexuality is very much forbidden.” And as a result, we often express our desires in socially acceptable ways, only to discover our true desires are far different.

5. You can be kinky and sexual not have it just be about trauma or reacting to previous pain. You can also enjoy sex without having completely worked through all your previous hurts, but you’ll have to acknowledge that those hurts exist.

6. Don’t despair! Openly acknowledging your sexual desires and challenges can make you more attractive to others including those who share them, people who’ve never heard of them and other sincere folks who’d like to help you explore and grow through them.

7. Sex can bring significant, life-changing impacts (both creative and courageous) even when it’s fleeting or superficial. A really great sexual experience can save you thousands in therapy.

8. There’s a difference between intellectually knowing that you’re sexy and physically embodying your sexiness in day-to-day life. You can narrow that gap by living the experience of your sexual self: ie. acknowledging your history, knowing what’s really turned you on in the past and understanding what you’d like to try, why you haven’t yet, and what that keeps you from learning.

9. When you desire someone, think about whether you want to DO them or BE them — it’s often both or not the one that you expect.

10. We can create a hook-up culture that doesn’t treat people as disposable.

This article was originally published in January 2016. It has since been updated.

Featured image at top: Jakob Owens / Unsplash

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