Get Comfortable with Your Sexuality
Odds are, that word inspires a lot of emotions. Sexuality holds a prominent place in our society, but it also occupies a weird place in the cultural consciousness. Sexuality is both celebrated and demonized. Depending on where you live and who you grow up around, it can be difficult to find a place to express and interact with your sexuality in a non-judgemental way. The way you grew up probably affects the way you first encountered and began exploring that part of yourself.
Female and LGBTQ+ sexual identities usually bear the most scrutiny. This can make it difficult for women and LGBTQ+ people to learn to embrace their bodies and learn to enjoy themselves sexually. All genders can struggle with identity and sexuality, so it is important that well all learn about ourselves and what we like to best support our wellbeing.
Fortunately, you can heal and change your relationship with your sexuality. It’s never too late to embrace every part of yourself: mind, body, desires, sexuality.
Sexuality is innate, but it’s also a learned practice. If you want to nurture this part of yourself, you have to make a decision to make your sexuality a part of your life. If that’s something you’re interested in working toward, keep reading to learn new ways to embrace and nurture this part of yourself.
Don’t Pressure Yourself
Everyone’s timeline is different. If you haven’t totally unpacked your sexuality yet or you’re still not at a place where you’re comfortable with your sexuality, that’s fine. That’s normal.
You don’t have to have everything figured out now. And bullying yourself is only going to make matters worse. Be gentle with yourself and take some time to figure out who you are and what you want.
Sexuality is complicated. Trauma, body image, and the environment you grew up in or currently live in might have all had a negative effect on your ability to perceive your own sexuality as something positive. It will take time to unlearn your negative views of sexuality. But it can be done.
Getting comfortable with your sexuality can also mean giving yourself permission to leave it ambiguous. In today’s world, we’ve had more terms than ever before to describe different sexualities. There’s a lot of pressure to put a label on how you feel. With all the different points on the spectrum, it might feel overwhelming to find just the right thing to align yourself with. But that’s the beauty of the spectrum of sexuality—you don’t have to choose just one thing. Sexuality is fluid and deeply personal. If you can’t find the right word that makes you feel at home, don’t force something that doesn’t feel natural.
Sometimes, it takes time to find the right words that describe how you feel. And sometimes, there is not a perfect word. You don’t have to prove your sexuality to anyone, and you should never feel pressured to disclose your sexuality on anyone’s terms but your own.
Get Comfortable With Yourself
Your mind and body are some of the only things that are uniquely your own. They’re just as much tools for your own enjoyment as your mind and body are meant to be purely functional.
Pleasure is an art—a skill you can learn and perfect. And the best part is that you can have a good time with or without a partner. If you want to begin to familiarize yourself with your body and what you like, you can start any time you like. But as a starting place, we’d like to suggest checking yourself out in a mirror. It’s not fair if everyone else gets to see your body, especially considering that it’s yours. Get to know yourself visually, and get comfortable with yourself visually, and then start working toward familiarizing yourself physically.
Although certainly not required, a vibrator or lube, or both, are great tools to help you experience your sexuality in a whole new way. We’ve got an entire post here on buying your first vibrator if that’s something you’re interested in. There’s something out there for everybody no matter your experience or comfort level.
But you don’t have to limit yourself to just your body. Try indulging in your fantasies via erotica or porn. Adult entertainment is a great way to get in touch with your own sexuality and figure out what it is you actually enjoy.
Understand that porn and erotica are meant to be an inspiration and not manuals. You are allowed to enjoy reading about or watching something you’d never want to try in real life. There is no shame in fantasy. Let yourself enjoy things.
There are a ton of books on the market (and at Lion’s Den) written just for people who want to improve their relationship with their sexuality. If you need a book about connecting with your pleasure or a book about overcoming your shyness, there’s something out there for you.
Books like UnFuck Your Intimacy and Carnal Knowledge are all about assessing your relationship with yourself and your sexuality. They’re easy to read and full of valuable intel that feels more like having a conversation with a very knowledgeable friend rather than just reading a book.
Considering Seeing Someone
Therapists can be a huge help in unpacking any negative feelings we harbor about ourselves, especially trauma or poor body image. However, there are therapists who specialize specifically in sexual health and wellness.
The Mayo Clinic defines sex therapy as “a specialized type of psychotherapy. . . address[ing] concerns about sexual function, sexual feelings and intimacy, either in individual therapy or couples or family therapy.”
Anyone who wants to improve their relationship with their sexuality can benefit from sex therapy. While a doctor can best address physical sexual dysfunctions, a sex therapist will be best equipped to help treat mental sexual dysfunctions. If you have trouble getting into a headspace where you can enjoy sex or your body, a sex therapist will be able to address and assess the cause of your particular dilemma and help you overcome it.
You can interrogate your feelings on your own, but it might help to have some assistance from someone who has an in-depth knowledge of sexual health and wellness. Just bear in mind that for it to be effective, you have to be open and honest with your sex therapist and be willing to get out of your comfort zone.