Dr J's Sex Facts

Fun sex facts and accurate information from a clinical sexologist for a hotter and more fulfilling sex life.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Halfway to Paradise: Embracing Your Sexual Self

“So we are proud to reclaim the word ‘slut’ as a term of approval, even endearment. To us, a slut is a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you.”
Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt, The Ethical Slut

Our Story So Far

Last week, we explored those nagging little voices in our head that tend to undermine our sexuality. This week, let’s look at some of the things we can do to banish those negative thoughts forever by actively becoming a more positive sexual person and overcoming our deep-seated mistrust of our sexual selves.

The Medium Is Truly the Message

Step one: Turn off the TV! The images it bombards us with about so-called ideal body types are precisely what make us feel inadequate. And don’t forget to turn off those daytime “sob sister” talk shows—the ones with their endless parade of wives and girlfriends victimized by cheating husbands, boyfriends and lovers: “My boyfriend had sex with my sister—AND my mother!” And don’t even get me started about those people confessing their so-called “sex addictions.” All of these kinds of shows conspire to make us feel that sex isn’t just bad—it’s downright dangerous.

Get past that judgmental inner mom voice. For a real eye-opener, check out My Mother Myself by Nancy Friday and let Nancy help you explore aspects of your mom that you value and want to keep; then let go of the destructive ones—those are part of what’s holding you back!

Whether we’re aware of it or not, we tend to distrust ourselves as sexual beings. A big part of that is because so much of what is directed at us is either overtly or subtly meant to sabotage our positive feelings about sex. Think about it: What grabs the headlines more luridly than stories about sexual kidnappings and rapes? If we were to believe the popular media, all of us are at the highest possible threat level from something horrible having to do with sex. If we’re not being kidnapped, we risk an abusive partner, or some new and virulent STD or…well you get the picture.

So how do we deactivate these alarming messages? We can start by realizing that the media overwhelmingly perpetuates negative images of sex because sex sells—and the fear of sex sells even more! When we’re inundated with images of women endlessly portrayed as either “victims” or “survivors,” it makes it that much harder to remain sex-positive.

Just Say No: Something that helps me deal with the constant flow of sexual negativity is to simply avoid those negative messages. I make a point not to watch them, not to read about them and not to listen to them. I refuse to consume sex-negative material, and I don’t miss it at all. In fact, it was incredibly liberating to divest myself of all that negativity.

Just Say Yes: This is something that helps many of my own students and clients: Develop a mantra and repeat it to yourself each day when you wake up: “I am a sexual woman, and it’s a good thing!” You may need to say this to yourself every day for months, but, eventually, you’ll wake up one day and find that you actually believe it. And once you do, you will no longer allow anyone to undermine your own positive feelings about your sexual self. You won’t be bothered by jokes about “sluts” or “whores,” and even wisecracks about your weight or how you dress will have lost their power to hurt you!

Seriously, why should anyone settle for anything less in their life?

In closing, here’s a word to the guys: If you love women, you can help by becoming more aware of these issues and joining us in rejecting anything that may diminish sexual self-esteem.

Open for business, 24 hours a day.

With Pleasure,

Dr. J


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