Whoa...do you know how to answer this? Exploring Healthy Early Sexual Exploration and Shame

Last week, I had the great honor and privilege of co- facilitating an incredible retreat for 54 women on Sex & Body Image.  It was an incredibly powerful weekend, and I am excited to share the first of many small snippets of the learning, insight and transformation those amazingly brave ladies received, with you!

 

My trusted co-facilitator and founder of the Phoenix Rising Retreats, Kirsty Tate kicked off our weekend with what she does best, tender and expert trauma guidance for the women to explore their sexual time line, from their earliest experiences to current date.  She led with a thought-provoking question…

“You are hosting a play date with a few of your 6 year old’s friends… you hear way too much giggling from the room and open the door to find them sitting in a circle, mostly unclothed, looking at each other’s genitalia…

WHAT DO YOU DO?   

AND, WHAT WOULD YOUR PARENTS HAVE DONE?”

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As we explored the wide range of emotions and responses, a theme began to emerge of anger and shame.

 

The majority of women said they would instinctively do what they’re parents did, which was either shut the door and run OR greet it with anger and shame, by making it very clear that doing THAT was a very, VERY bad, and even deviant.

 

The reality is, that becoming curious, and even engaging with other children (friends or siblings) in exploring our bodies and our sexuality, at young ages, is natural AND normal within the frame of a healthy start to one’s sexual timeline.  In fact, it’s necessary starting point!

 

For many of us, our families and societies response to this very innocuous wonder, begins a lifelong slow, yet terminal, spiral into shame around our bodies and our natural curiosity around sex.

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There were a double handful of women in the room, who had harbored an absolute belief that by engaging in this very innocent and normal curiosity when they were children, they were morally defective and psychologically predisposed to sexually deviant behavior.  Gratefully, we were able to smash those very untrue beliefs and shame right in the face over the course of the weekend!  LIBERATION!

 

For most of these women, it was the very first time they shared with another human being what happened and how it affected them. In the cozy, loving judgement free zone of their small groups, they took the most powerful of first steps against shame.  DISCLOSING.

 

See, here’s the thing.  Shame feeds on the idea that if you tell anyone, then you will be found out, rejected and condemned.  Shame festers in darkness. Shame grows the skeletons in our closets.  We come to believe, that its only us, that this has happened to, or done this thing, or thought these thoughts.

 

When we bravely share with someone else, it’s the ultimate sucker punch to shame.The most recent large-scale evidence we have of that, can be seen in the #metoo movement that exploded in the last 18 months… all from one woman saying ‘THIS IS MY STORY!”.

Photo by  Mihai Surdu  on  Unsplash

Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

 

So today, I ask you…

 

“You are hosting a play date with a few of your 6 year old’s friends… you hear way too much giggling from the room and open the door to find them sitting in a circle, mostly unclothed, looking at each others genitalia…

WHAT DO YOU DO?  

AND, WHAT WOULD YOUR PARENTS HAVE DONE?” 

Let me know your thoughts!

 

 

 

I will be back next week, with another snippet from the incredible Phoenoix Rising 3 Retreat; Sex and Body Image.  Are you ready to start learning how to thank, like and love your body?

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