Avoiding Sexual Shame
In my Transformational Novel, Sex From the Man’s Point of View, Matt gets off to a bad start in his love life, and then discovers a college teacher who explains how sexual shame interferes with the loving use of sex. In this excerpt the men’s therapy group discusses sexual shame, and how “dirty sex” functions to avoid experiencing it.
“Dr. Harrison,” I said at the beginning of the next men’s group, “Why don’t parents and their kids talk about sex? My dad and his partner told me a lot about their sexual activity, and I was so embarrassed. But I get that I need to know.”
Dr. Harrison nodded several times. “Great question, Matt. I’m so glad you’re getting to hear about your dad’s experiences.”
He went into a short lecture about how people usually find that their parent had the same arousal pattern they do.”
Charles said, “Well, don’t expect me to ask my dad about what he does with my mom. Or anyone else.” He spit out the wordss.
“You don’t have to do anything, Charles, of course,” Dr. Harrison said. “But you might take a look at why you don’t want to. Is it embarrassment, which is a form of shame? Or are you afraid of what you might learn?
“No,” Charles said quickly. “My parents are normal. I’m sure they would tell me that they do it once in a while. Probably the missionary position.”
I had to suppress a laugh. I knew that his parents had oral sex and more just because they were a man and a woman who lived in the United States. I didn’t have to know any more than that. I wondered if the other men thought their parents didn’t do much either. There’s the standing joke about how they had to have done it two times because they had two kids.
“Why do people think their parents don’t do much sexually?” I asked Dr. Harrison. “What Charles said is what everyone thinks about their dad and mom. Especially their mom, right?”
“Why do you think this is so, Matt,” he asked me.
“Well I know that when Dad told me that he had made Mom have oral sex, it made me really uncomfortable. And when his girl friend told me that she liked to have him pretend to orally rape her it was arousing.”
My god, I said these things right out loud to a group of people I was just getting to know.
“That was hard to say, you guys,” I said. “I felt like I was going to throw up. Now isn’t that strange when I can watch those same images in porn and I don’t have any trouble with it.”
Andrew took a turn. “It was odd to hear you say that about what your folks do, Matt, and I got a little turned on. But they’re your folks, not mine. I wouldn’t want to know that mine did anything like that. I’m sure they haven’t.”
We all laughed.
Dr. Harrison took over. “We’re making it clear that people have difficulty talking about sex in open, truly communicative ways. Yet most people would say that sex is talked about all the time. In movies, TV shows, commercials because sex sells, and between friends. Yet you are uncomfortable talking here in open ways.”
“So let me demonstrate the difference. I’m going to use the media version of talking about what Matt’s parents did. See how you feel when you hear it.
“‘I fucked this girl last night, and you know what got her off? Having me shove my dick into her mouth, yes her mouth, and I mean shove. She made me hold her head like I was making her do it, like she didn’t want it. But she set it up. And she came right in the middle of it. She came, man. She liked it.’”
The six of us were silent. I don’t think any of us were even breathing.
Dr. Harrison continued. “I imagine that you found that arousing to some extent. Even if not, you could connect with the experience of this friend. You get that he had a great time sexually.
“Now here’s the thing. You aren’t comfortable hearing it because you didn’t get completely past the shame because we’re sitting in a room doing group, and I’m the leader.
“To completely avoid shame you would have to be in the dorm or apartment, or in a bar. My tone would have to include some humor, a sort of ‘shit, man, can you believe what this chick did?’ Right? Then you would feel no discomfort.”
“Well, yeah,” Bruce said. “That would turn me on, hearing like that. I felt a little something when you told it, but I was uncomfortable hearing it from my teacher.”
He shook his head. “This sexual shame shit is right on. Imagine that we actually use it to get aroused.”
Charles chimed in. “If we get rid of the shame, how will we get aroused?”
What a great question. “I have one answer,” I said. “Love. When Katherine and I are feeling close, kissing can feel deeply connecting. The arousal that comes from that is really different from how I feel when watching porn. When we aren’t really close, but want sex, then it’s harder to do it naturally.”
“Matt has the ability to have sex without shame. Or much shame, anyway. Some people haven’t gotten there yet, and need specific arousers to do it. Dr. Hastings’ book, Reclaiming Healthy Sexual Energy: Revised gives couples ways to go about discovering the shame-free kind. You might want to read that.”
“I liked that my future step mom could tell me that she and my dad do both,” I said. “I had thought that the shame free kind was the only right way to do it. But shame doesn’t just go away because we will it to. I like having the freedom to explore the intense turn ons without judgment.”
Matt goes on to study his sexuality, as he and Katherine practice together how to uncover the healthy use of it. You can join them in their discovers in the Kindle book, Sex From The Man’s Point of View. They uncover how to release shame, and discover the incredible benefits.