If the primary purpose of sex is connectedness, why is it that individuals often feel ashamed to vocalize their wants, needs, and desires? It has been discovered that often avoidance and silence is rooted in the fear of shame. Many individuals relate sexual experiences to shame, which creates a space of disconnection. Shame is pervasive and removes the ability to connect with others. When shame creeps into our lives, it is often reflected through negative criticism and a fear of vulnerability. Human beings are hard wired to connect and the primary mechanism for doings so is touch. Therefore, when there is a barrier in our sexual relationships, such as rejection or shame, touch dissipates from the relationship.
Therefore, how do we learn to integrate reconnection and expel shame? Brene Brown writes, “We all have shame. We all have good and bad, dark and light, inside of us. But if we don’t come to terms with our shame, our struggles, we start believing that there’s something wrong with us – that we’re bad, flawed, not good enough – and even worse, we start acting on those beliefs” (Daring Greatly, p. 61). Conquering shame requires intentionality, insight, and courage. Unfortunately, the mechanisms that shield people from shame also prevent meaningful interpersonal connection. Therefore, the following three lessons are essential for learning to conquer shame -
- Practice courage and reach out.
- Self love - Talk to yourself the way they would talk to someone you care for
- Own your story