I had a new client recently, who confessed how she almost turned around on her way over to our first appointment. We had talked initially by email and then a phone interview. She had asked for help in sorting out her secret sexual desires, from the parts of her that felt fear and shame about them.
On the phone, in our first call, she could only hint at what she had held back sexually all her life. In a choked voice, she struggled to say that it had to do with “being taken”. She wanted to be dominated. “This is so embarrassing to talk about.” Some part of her was terrified that she had this desire at all. It totally went against her feminist and religious beliefs. But she was reaching a point, where her erotic desire was overwhelming her fear and shame at revealing it. She knew something had to shift. We scheduled an initial appointment for a talk only session.
But on the way, she had pulled over and parked down the street. She was in a battle with every part of her that wanted her to turn around and run away. She felt like she might throw up. Her body and soul were shaking in fear….just at the thought of telling the truth about the nature of her sexual desire. She had never revealed it to anyone before. She was nearly 50 years old.
But she also knew she was at the point of no return. It was clear after all these years, that her desire was not going away. Eros is a such a relentless part of our being!
When she told me of her struggle just to arrive, I blessed her for her courage to confront and face the deep shame and fear she felt around her sexuality. Her story about the powerful urge to flee instead of show up, brought it home to me once again. exactly how much courage it requires to overcome the deeply embedded fear and shame many of us carry around our sexual truth. I am struck by the high percentage of all my clients who have also told me similar stories about their struggle to not turn around, on the way to their appointment.
How is it that such an integral, natural and vital part of who we are has become so vilified and repressed that we are compelled to hide it so desperately, and be so terrified of others knowing what our sexuality really looks like? Can it be anything but harmful to our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being to live in a culture where we are afraid to speak the truth about our sexuality.
Our culture provides no place where people can go, where they would feel safe, honored and encouraged to speak honestly about their erotic desires. At least ones that were beyond the narrow range deemed appropriate by the mainstream conservative, sexually uptight culture.
It wasn’t my intention to focus my practice on those who have never found a safe place, or someone they felt safe enough with, to reveal their most closely guarded sexual secrets. But somehow that has wound up being a good portion of my clients…those who reveal to me, for the first time ever, whatever sexual secrets they have held so guardedly…often for decades.
That is why I bless them for their amazing courage, just to show up! I am witnessing this Herculean effort by men and women, who despite their paralyzing fear, their overwhelming sense of guilt and shame, their bodies literally plunging into a state of flight…can still show up!
In this regard I am also struck by how deep, tenacious and relentless the soul of Eros is. Despite decades of intense repression, fear shame, and vilification, Eros does not go away. My clients tell stories of how they have tried to forget about what they desire sexually, channeled it into eating, drinking, irritability, frigidity, spirituality. Did not matter! Eros was as strong a part of them as ever. Many had tried to keep their Eros locked in a secret world of fantasy and masturbation. They were all deathly afraid of getting caught, but still took huge risks in some cases to feed their desire in shadowy, unconscious or even dangerous ways.
I know exactly how my clients feel about revealing their sexual secrets. I came from the same place about 15 years ago. I am so grateful to be in a position now, where I can offer the safety and trust that can allow people to open up and speak their desire honestly. They can finally begin the process to learn about and sort through all the things that are tangled up with their erotic desire. Healing is a process of disengaging the fear, shame, harsh judgments, feelings of not being worthy and more, that have gotten embedded in the unconscious and that arise on cue, right along with our Eros. This tangled up expression, leaves us frozen or clumsy or disconnected physically, emotionally and spiritually from the depth and power and exhilaration that is natural to our sexual expression. This is why the path to sexual authenticity is quite often a powerful healing journey as well.
I am happy to say this blog post was chosen for the best blogs of 2012 …Congratulations! “Sexual Honesty – Does it Feel Unsafe to Tell the Truth about Your Kink?” has been accepted into #SexReader Best of 2012.
You can see Sex Reader’s Best of 2012 here: http://theblackleatherbelt.com/sexreader-best-of-2012