Episode 249 – Overcoming Sexual Shame || Embracing You Teaser

sexual shame

I’m excited to share with you a teaser for my new subscription podcast, Embracing You. In this Embracing You episode, I talk to Emily about how shame is affecting her sex life. We discuss where this shame comes from and some ways to get over it. Sexual shame is something I see a lot in my clients, especially in our conservative Christian culture, even though we don’t always see it as shame. Listen in as I teach Emily what she can do to stop letting the shame keep her from getting what she truly wants.


If you like what you hear, join me in the Embracing You podcast by going to amandalouder.com/embracingyoupod

sexual shame

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Show Summary:

I am really excited about today’s episode. This is another teaser from my new Embracing You podcast, which is a subscription-based podcast where you get to hear me actually coaching clients.


The Embracing You Podcast is $99 for a year. You get three episodes a month and you get to hear me actually coach my clients, which is so much fun. So this is a really great episode where we talk about sexual shame and we talk about how to overcome it in this episode. A lot of people have sexual shame.


I have found that it’s very, very prevalent in our culture, but we don’t always identify it as shame. We think we’re private. We think, you know, a lot of other things. And what it comes down to is sexual shame. And so this is a really great episode to help you identify your sexual shame and work to overcome it.


And of course, if you want some help with that, I would absolutely love to coach you on it. My membership is open for enrollment. I’ve decided to just kind of leave it open so it’s just $49 a month or $499 a year, and there are lots of opportunities to be coached. And if you don’t feel comfortable coming onto group coaching and being coached, you can always purchase private coaching for an additional fee of just $99 a session, which is a really great deal.


You can purchase as many of those as you want, so we can work privately through it if you’re not comfortable getting coached in front of the group. It’s a really great opportunity. 


So I’m really excited to share this episode with you. And if you are wanting to subscribe to The Embracing You Podcast, go to amandalouder.com/embracingyoupod to subscribe for just $99 for an entire year. 


I know that you love interacting with me in the privacy of your own headphones or car or wherever, just like you do here. And so the Embracing You Podcast is another way for you to interact with me and to learn and to grow in a podcast. So thank you so much for being here.


And here is our episode. 


The women and couples being coached are clients of certified Sex and Marriage Coach Amanda Louder, and have given express permission for their session to be aired. For the purpose of maintaining anonymity, names, voices, and some identifiable characteristics have been changed.


Join me and gain valuable insight into your own marriage and sexual relationship by listening to Embracing You.


Amanda: Welcome to episode five. Sexual shame is very prevalent in the work that I do with most of my clients, but it’s not always obvious. Many don’t realize that they have sexual shame, but it shows up in their life nonetheless. Listen, as I coach Emily on her sexual shame and how you can use the same tools I teach her in your own life.


Welcome to the podcast, Emily. Tell me how I can help you today. 


Emily: I would like to want to want sex. 


Amanda: Okay, tell me more about that. 


Emily: Um, when I thought about it, pretty much my whole upbringing, I was taught to suppress, ignore, run away from sexual anything and that became my identity. I was a virtuous, chaste person and I was very proud of that.


So that was the same as not thinking or doing anything in a sexual way. So to erase that and change that perspective is not working great. So, yeah, so I, I don’t really know how to now desire it when I know there’s a piece of me that does, because while dating, there was definitely a drive there.


And then we got married and then *poof*.


Amanda: Which is a very common story that I hear from many, many clients. Like, you know, we could barely keep our hands off of each other, and it was hard to wait and then we get married and like, hmm. It’s like a switch just flipped and it’s just no longer there, right?


Emily: Yep. 


Amanda: Yes. Okay. So tell me what do you think it would look like to want sex?


Emily: Um, I feel like there would be anticipation throughout the day. Excitement. Um, having sexual thoughts or just like, oh, I can’t wait to do that. Um, and then kind of being giddy about it. And then when I’m with my husband, then I’m excited because then we get to try out whatever I’ve been anticipating. So eagerness.


Amanda: Okay. I like that word. Tell me, when you’re with your husband, once you start to get aroused, or do you get aroused? 


Emily: Yes, but he has to, it comes later. 


Amanda: Okay. Which is normal. But once you start to get aroused, does that desire kick in? 


Emily: Yes. 


Amanda: Okay. So that’s very normal for women. That desire actually kicks in after arousal.


Emily: It’s always a gamble if the arousal’s going to work.


Amanda: Okay. Tell me more about that then. 


Emily: So, um, if my husband makes some kind of advance, sometimes if I allow it, I’m like, oh, okay. Like, that can feel good or it’ll like spark something in me if it’s long enough, then it can go down that route of arousal and the desire, and then great.


But I avoid and block most of his sexual advances, and I would say physical attention advances. So it’s like I’m not even going to entertain the idea. So it’s really just like a luck of the draw if the one time he touches me that one place, that one time, because that happened once and now he always tries that spot hoping that this will come back and work again.


Amanda: Yes. Like if we could only just have that button, right? 


Emily: So sometimes the button works, but …


Amanda: Sometimes it doesn’t, huh? Yeah. Okay. Why do you block his advances?


Emily: So that is the big question. Um, some thoughts that could potentially be part of it is, one, it’s a power play. Um, I’d be giving in to him, whatever that means. It’s kind of my way of holding the cards, which is a whole. Think of why I want to holding all the cards. 


Um, then there’s the logistics. Like I’m very much in my head of like, no, because the kids are awake. I just think of all the reasons why it wouldn’t work, but I’m also making the advance equal, “This will lead to sex”, instead of letting it just be a playful moment of time. 


Amanda: Okay, so I want to break all of these down a little bit more. Let’s talk about the power play. You’d be giving in, you’re going to hold all the cards. Tell me what that means for you. Why do you feel like you need to hold all the cards and be in control of this?


Emily: I am just kind of guessing that while we were dating, well pretty much all my dating relationships, I just kind of gave in and just kind of melted into the guy. I never really stood up for myself. Um, there was one time that I did and like, I’m like, okay, see I can, um, so I think when I look back at our dating, I’m really mad at myself that I didn’t stand up for what I actually wanted or didn’t want, and I didn’t have a voice. Um, and it was pretty much all me not giving myself a voice. None of this was on him. 


Um, so then when we were married, I guess none of this was conscious. I was like, Okay. Well, I guess apparently maybe unconsciously thinking, he’s stuck, we’re safe now. And now I can finally assert myself. I can finally have a voice. I can finally decide to act on how I actually think and feel. So it’s just kind of making up for lost time. 


Amanda: Okay. So you said that like a lot of this wasn’t conscious, but now you’re bringing it into consciousness. And that’s a really important part, is having this awareness that this is actually what is happening here. And so now that you’re in awareness around all this, when it comes up, you can make different decisions.


This is like noticing, oh, here I am wanting to struggle with that power play again. Is that what I actually want to be doing right now?


Emily: But right now it’s, yes. 


Amanda: Why? 


Emily: I think I’m trying to get back at him for the hurt he caused, indirectly or directly, I don’t even know if he is even fully aware, and until that’s resolved, then I don’t want to give him anything. 


Amanda: What hurt did he cause?


Emily: I feel like my boundaries were not respected and there hasn’t been accountability for that. And he has shared his side and his side obviously, you know, makes sense to him. So I know a lot of it’s within myself, but I’m still like punishing him until he has the same view of it as I do. 


Amanda: Okay. So I want you to think about this a little bit differently. You’re saying he pushed your boundaries or your boundaries weren’t respected, but people don’t do that. We either allow them or we don’t allow them to respect our boundaries because it’s about us respecting the boundary, not about them respecting the boundary. 


Emily: Yeah. And I think that’s part of it is I’m mad at myself and so now it’s like…


Amanda: Okay, but you were said that you were mad at him, but what I want you to understand is it’s actually about you and you think you’re punishing him by not giving in to your sexuality when he makes advances, but what if you’re actually punishing yourself?  


Emily: I am. 


Amanda: Why?


Emily: I feel like I did that a lot the first few years of my marriage and I met with the bishop and kind of like confessed to my side of the things and he’s like, I think you’ve punished yourself enough. 


Amanda: Yeah. 


Emily: So I feel like I let go of a good portion of it, but I don’t know if it’s like, that’s all I’ve got of, like, I feel like that might be, I don’t know if I’m strong in any area and I was strong in this one area, so I had to hold onto it for all I have. So I was really strong at resisting, you know, unchaste thoughts and actions. 


Amanda: No, but you’re being strong, resisting something that you actually want.


Emily: Right. That’s the problem. 


Amanda: So we want to gain awareness around it, that you’re actually keeping yourself from what you want and you need to maybe even work on just forgiving yourself so that you can actually have what you want. Like you’re making it about your spouse when it’s really not about him, it’s about you. 


Emily: Yes. And I am aware of that. It’s just I don’t want to blame me. So even though I know it’s me…


Amanda: But what if you don’t need to blame you or him?


Emily: Then I have no control over anything. 


Amanda: Right. 


Emily: I don’t want to let go of that. 


Amanda: Right. But by not letting go of it, you’re continuing to punish yourself.


Emily: Right. I just thought maybe that might be easier than letting go.


Amanda: Is it?


Emily: I don’t know, I haven’t let go. I don’t know what the other side looks like.


Amanda: So when you have that urge to hold onto that power play, I want you to talk yourself through like, I don’t need to do this because I’ve already punished myself enough and I want to be good to myself and I can be good to myself by allowing myself to be sexual with my spouse because that’s actually what I want.


Emily: I can see myself doing that part, but then it goes into insecurity and lack of confidence, like acting in a sexual way. I feel that’s so new or unknown that I hate role play. I hate acting. 


Amanda: That’s fine. You don’t have to role play or act.


Emily: But I feel like when I’m putting on a sexual role and I’m just like, I’m playing a part.


Amanda: You don’t have to do that, you can just be you.


Emily: But what if me being me isn’t, I’m not going to say good enough because it’s not the right phrase. What if the being me doesn’t know what to do or is scared, or …


Amanda: That’s ok.


Emily: Yeah. I don’t know. 


Amanda: That’s okay. You’re not going to be good at this yet because you haven’t put the effort in to being you and being okay with that in a sexual way. So it’s not a role. You don’t need to be someone you’re not. It’s about you tapping into who you already are. Who that person was that was so good at it when you were dating.


Emily: Right?


Amanda: You have been her. You just have to release all of this other stuff and get back to her.


Emily: And I’m trying to figure out why, and that’s why I’m really grateful for the experience I did have. Because I know it’s there. 


Amanda: Yep. 


Emily: But I think it’s surrounded by like, I wasn’t supposed to do that. 


Amanda: What if you were though? 


Emily: I know you’ve been talking about that. Oh, was it just a couple? Over the last few months there’s been something in the different podcast, yours and some others that have been thinking about, and I’m like, what if that was okay?


Oh, it was your law of chastity, like the doctrine and the guidelines, this is going to help you have a, you know, keep your standards. And that I had this whole like, devil angel thing, where I was like, oh my gosh, because that really lifted a lot. 


Amanda: Good. 


Emily: I thought, oh, like maybe it was okay that I did those things, but because I, you know, I’m a do this or don’t do that. Yeah. And so it’s like you gave me permission to have done that, but then my other one’s like, no, that’s justification. That’s rationalization. You weren’t supposed to do that. 


Amanda: What if that’s the devil?


Emily: Well, then I don’t know who to trust and what to believe. So I just go back to this little, I can’t trust anyone. 


Amanda: What if the devil on your shoulder is actually the one telling you that all of that was wrong?


Emily: Yeah. Um…


Amanda: And the angel was the one saying this was actually for your benefit. 


Emily: I think it’s risky. Now that I’m past that stage it’s easy to say, oh, that’s okay that I did that because I passed the test. 


Amanda: Wait, there’s no test to pass. That’s what I’m saying is like Heavenly Father knows that we’re going to do that. He gave you those feelings, those urges for a good purpose. And it’s the conditioning that we’ve had, other people’s thoughts and beliefs that have been placed on us that actually make us feel bad for things that are actually really normal and okay.


Emily: I believe that, and that’s where there’s like, like I feel and think differently than I did a year ago about these things. It’s just really hard because if I let go of that then comes all the possibilities and options. But if you keep this rule. It’s very concrete. It’s very easy. Not easy, but…


Amanda: Sex is about fun and creativity. 


Emily: I’m not creative. 


Amanda: Yes, you are. You absolutely are because you are a child of God. We are all creative in different ways. We are creators just like our Heavenly Parents. So you may not be creative in the sense of artistic or musical or whatever that is, but you absolutely are creative because you are a creator.


And what if in the sexual realm you can be creative? That doesn’t mean role play, that doesn’t mean being someone that you’re not. That means creating yourself in this space in a way that is beautiful and wonderful and connecting and intimate. Creating a sexual relationship with yourself and your spouse that works for you.


And that doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s because it’s you and your spouse creating it together. 


Emily: So I can visualize that. I can see that it’s beautiful, it’s what I want, but the hangup. The only hangup I’m sure is, I feel like you have to have confidence to be in that way. And like there’s a lot of things that I don’t like to do in front of my husband. Like, little things that aren’t vulnerable.


Like I don’t like working out in front of him. 


Amanda: Why?


Emily: Well, we’ll get there. 


Amanda: Okay.  


Emily: I don’t talk on the phone when he’s in the room and this is all me. He has never done anything.


Like if I’m Marco Polo-ing, I turn it off when he comes in and I’m not talking about anything wrong or bad. It’s just like the performance thing, like someone is hearing me. 


And then driving. I’m fine driving, I’m confident driving but when he’s in the passenger seat. All of a sudden it’s like a performance.


Amanda: So that’s what you have to pay attention to in all of those different instances when he walks in, what are the thoughts going through your head that stop it and it’s your own self-judgment. And so when you start to notice that judgment of yourself, we stop, we have compassion, we have love, and we start talking to ourself better.


Emily: Yeah. 


Amanda: That’s where the confidence comes in. That’s where we start to build that confidence.


Emily: Because the thought that comes in is, again, I don’t think he is like, I even asked him like, I think this is all me. I don’t think you’ve ever done anything. Well, cause that’s not true. Um, like I don’t want to give him a reason to judge, which I know I can’t do that, but I don’t want to give him a reason to kind of get mad.


Like in the, in the workout and the phone thing that does, that’s separate because that’s, you’re not going to get mad about working out a different way, but driving. Okay, he’s going to see what I just did and get mad or feel unsafe. 


Amanda: What’s the problem if he gets mad?


Emily: Well then it just sets the whole, I know I don’t need to mirror his mood, I’m working on that…


Amanda: Yes!


Emily: That is a big thing that I have recognized and I have started to shift, which is freeing. 


Amanda: But when you get stronger in yourself, when you start developing that better relationship with yourself and the dialogue that goes on in your head about you, you won’t worry so much about those things.


Emily: Yeah. The thought I just had was the second someone else is like in the realm, all the confidence goes away.


Amanda: Because of how you’re talking to yourself when they are.  


Emily: Because I’m seeing me through their eyes and what would I be thinking about what I’m witnessing.


Amanda: Right, which is where the judgment comes in. Instead of staying in your own body and just going, how can I show up as my best self right now? You’re so worried about what other people are thinking about you that you’re not just showing up as your best self. So the thoughts need to be like, how do I show up as my best self in this moment? Who do I want to be right now? And stop referencing everyone else. And only reference yourself. 


Emily: Yeah. I’m referencing everyone else for everything. 


Amanda: Right. And that’s just a habit that needs to be tweaked. That when you start to notice, you’re referencing other people, come back to yourself.


Emily: So where’s the line? And maybe this is like nothing I need to worry about yet. I need to worry just about this first stage, of like there’s feedback from other people’s, is it referencing them? I can gauge by how they’re reacting, of what I could do differently or like following social cues or improving yourself.


Amanda: Well, if someone’s giving you feedback, totally up to you whether you want to take it or not, but it’s not like, oh, now I have to do all these things. It’s, Okay. If I were to do that, does that feel good and right, and help me become the person that I want to be or not? 


Emily: Yeah. I think I’m trying to prevent everyone who seems to be around me from possibly having a negative thought about me.


Amanda: You can’t control that. 


Emily: Well, that’s what I’m trying to do. 


Amanda: You could think that you’re behaving perfectly and people could not like it, or you could be behaving what you think is terrible and people don’t have a problem with it because you are trying to control everyone else around you instead of controlling you..


We ban it, we try to manage everyone else instead of managing ourself, and you need to turn it inward and just focus on managing you. Who am I being? How am I showing up? Is this what I want for myself? Is this who I want to be? Am I showing up as my best self? 


Emily: So why do I do that? I mean, I can think of some ideas, but why do I do that?


Amanda: Because you never grew up emotionally in that way. That kind of behavior is very normal for children. Children have what we call a reflected sense of self. They get who they are based on everyone else around them, but as we mature, we have to move out of that reflected sense of self and get an internal sense of self.


You’re still referencing everyone else, which is like, we all do it in some ways, but you’re stuck in that more immature way of behaving instead of maturing out of that. And frankly, a lot of adults do this. A lot. Like I would say the majority of adults don’t reference internally, they reference externally, but really moving into emotional maturity means that you reference internal rather than external. It’s an internal locus of control rather than an external locus of control. 


Emily: It’s so funny because that’s all very, very true. Everything that you just said, but I always just thought I was very emotionally mature. 


Amanda: Yeah. And so do most 10 year olds.


Emily: I’m very much in that realm. I know what all that means. I’m very in tune with my emotions. I’m very in tune. 


Amanda: Well, and you can be mature in a lot of ways and immature in a lot of ways. And just in this area, you’re very immature. And that’s not to say that you’re not a mature person, but in this way, you are immature and it’s time to grow up and start referencing internally rather than externally.


Emily: Okay, so this all comes back to trusting myself.


Amanda: And that takes time and it takes exercising that muscle.


Emily: Because I’m starting from zero. 


Amanda: Well, I wouldn’t say year zero. You have to start making those decisions and following through with them and start looking internally and referencing there, and you’re going to mess up along the way. You just will. And the sign of maturity will then be, instead of beating the crap out of yourself, to have compassion and love and empathy for yourself as you move through this process.


Emily: I kind of think that I am, and this went to something that I was, another thought I wanted to be coached on, like in a future time, is I think I am scared to make any of these changes because then I don’t have something to play the victim or the martyr with. I’m like queen of the martyrdom. And so if I fix myself or mature, then I don’t have that anymore. And so I think I’m scared to lose that role. 


Amanda: Yes. And I get that, and that’s a very normal reaction. But most of the time we’re scared to do that because we don’t treat ourselves well when it happens. 


Emily: When what happens? 


Amanda: If we mess up and we have to blame ourselves instead of being the martyr or the victim and we can blame others. 


When we blame ourselves and we treat ourselves badly, that’s a horrible place to be. So, I don’t know if you remember where we talked about when something goes wrong, we tend to either reference internally and go shame or externally and blame.


And often we go through a cycle where we’re like, well, the shame feels terrible, so we’re going to go to blame because that feels better than shame does. But blame feels terrible too.


Emily: Does it?


Amanda: It feels better than shame, but blaming other people and being a victim doesn’t feel good.


What actually feels good is being empowered and being like, yes, something went wrong and I still choose to love me anyway. Like, yep, I made a mistake and I’m going to make different choices in the future. I love me anyway instead of beating the crap out of yourself.


Emily: So that might be connected to criticizing others?


Amanda: Yes.


Emily: And like being a bully pretty much. Because I know I made a mistake, I can maybe like own that, but you also did…


Amanda: Right. 


Emily: So it’s like I can’t be here alone. Here’s your role in it. 


Amanda: Right. Yes. 


Emily: You’re not good, or you know, I’m not the only one. 


Amanda: Yes. That is that shame, blame cycle just playing itself out.


And what we can do is say, either nothing has gone wrong or yes, something went wrong and I still love me anyway. I’m human. I make mistakes as we all do, and I’m going to work to correct them in the future. But making sure that you’re being kind and compassionate towards yourself in that process, because we all make mistakes. We’re human. That’s part of this process. That’s part of learning and growing and progressing, which is what this whole life is about. 


And like if we were supposed to be perfect at everything, we wouldn’t have a Savior. We wouldn’t have the Atonement. So the Atonement and the Savior aren’t just for these big, huge mistakes, they’re for all of the little human things that we do too.


In the scripture, um, can’t remember where it is, but it talks about, um, I think it’s in Ether, maybe, it says, I give men weakness that they may be humble. Okay. It doesn’t say weaknesses. We all have plenty of weaknesses, but we are weak. We have weakness because we are human, and that was part of what Heavenly Father gave us, is our humanness, our weakness to be humble and turn to Him and our Savior instead of beating the crap out of ourself or blaming others. 


Emily: It’s so fascinating because I know a lot of people who, like, they have all that negative self-talk and I’m trying to figure out, like, I think I just skip the internal process part.


Amanda: Yeah, you do. You skip the internal process and you project outwards. 


Emily: Like I don’t talk negatively about myself in my head. 


Amanda: No. You just talk negatively about everybody else.


Emily: Right. 


Amanda: Because of shame. If you were to internalize this…


Emily: I’d be a terrible, terrible person.


Amanda: Then that’s where the shame is. And that feels terrible. And you don’t want to do that. So you project outwards. Not consciously. 


Emily: I have to justify like, yeah, well I was a terrible person because…


Amanda: Yeah, but you’re not doing it consciously. You’re not saying, well, I can’t feel this, so I have to do that. It’s just happening for you. And what I want you to start gaining awareness around is you don’t have to do any of that. 


You don’t have to project it outwards and judge other people and criticize other people and blame other people, and you don’t have to go into shame.


Emily: Is this where you say have compassion for yourself? 


Amanda: Yes. 


Emily: Which means I have to sit with it in my head.


Amanda: Or write it out. 


Emily: Yeah, I don’t write out because when I did for one of those assignments, I had terrible, terrible things when I actually wrote it down. 


Amanda: Yeah. And then you judge yourself and that feels terrible. And so you’re like, well I’m just not going to do that because I don’t want to feel terrible. Instead of saying, oh yeah, this is what my brain is coming up with. And I get, my brain comes up with these crazy things sometimes and I love me anyway.


It’s not that my brain doesn’t do these things, it absolutely does. I just don’t make it mean terrible things about me or others. 


Emily: Yeah. I just really want the justification.


Amanda: Because you don’t want the shame. 


Okay. When we have shame, this is from the work of Brene Brown. She talks about shame shields. To shield ourself from the shame, we either go towards someone which is more like people pleasing behavior. 


We hide away. We don’t want to be seen or we go against, we get attack, we get aggressive, which is what you do. So it’s the criticism, it’s the judgment, it’s the blame, that is our shield so that we don’t have to feel shame.


Emily: So I guess maybe to answer the question is if I think about what I’m doing, just thinking about what is my intention? Is it, am I running away from something? And that might be the answer of that.


Amanda: Yeah. And the way that we combat shame, not put up the shields so that we don’t have to feel it, but to actually combat the shame is we, this is again from the work of Brene Brown, we have connection with people. We tell our story to people who’ve earned the right to hear it and respond with empathy. We have compassion for self and for others, and the courage to do these things and to stand back up again. That is how we combat the shame.


And you’ve been trying to combat it by putting up a shield and attacking others instead of connecting with yourself and others, having compassion for yourself and others and having the courage to put yourself out there. 


And I think that courage is a big piece when it comes to your sexuality. That you’re so busy shielding yourself from what might happen if you were to give into this part of yourself and connect with your spouse in this way that you’re not having the courage to do it. 


Emily: Yeah. There’s no courage there. 


Amanda: And so the way to get through this is to build that connection with him to have compassion when things don’t go right, because things often don’t go right in our sex lives and the courage to keep trying.


Emily: This is going to be very uncomfortable. 


Amanda: It is. It absolutely is. 


Emily: Okay. Yep. It’s like my brain still tries to look for justification of everything that I’ve done. 


Amanda: Of course it does, because if you have to say everything that’s gone wrong so far is my fault and I feel terrible about that, then you are going back into shame.


Emily: I just want us to share it. Like, if I’m going to feel bad about this, you need to feel bad about your part in it.


Amanda: Misery loves company.


Emily: Yeah. 


Amanda: But, but I want you to understand, he can share that with you when you talk about it with him which actually creates more intimacy. 


Emily: Right. 


Amanda: Without blaming him. Without making him culpable in it. 


Emily: I just need to stop that last part.


Amanda: Yeah.


Emily: Okay. That’s simple enough. {laughing}


Amanda: Yeah. It’s so simple, right?


Okay now, so that’s what happens when you want to go to the power play. 


Emily: Yeah, that’s where it started. The power play. That’s the power play for you.


Amanda: Okay. 


Emily: A lot going on there. 


Amanda: So wrapping up that section. Okay. Logistics.


Emily: It’s an excuse.


Amanda: It totally is. And you have to call it out for what it is. So when you start noticing your brain going to logistics, you’re like, oh, look at all the excuses my brain is trying to come up with so that I don’t have to be open and vulnerable and be courageous.


Emily: And I have a good reason for it.


Amanda: Justification, right? We really just want to start building awareness and calling these things out for what they actually.


Also notice that like the logistics are brakes. So when we talk about accelerators and brakes, like, oh, well, you know, we can’t do this because the kids and blah blah.


Like all these things, you’re like slamming on your brakes. 


Emily: I’m looking for the brakes. 


Amanda: Yes. You’re like, where’s that break? I need to push it because I don’t want it to advance, because that takes courage, because I feel shame in those situations instead of, wait, this is actually what I want.


This is actually what I want. My brain’s coming up with all of these ways to try and keep me safe and it’s actually preventing me from getting what I want. 


Because you said, I want to want sex, but if you keep listening to what your brain is doing, you’re never going to want it. Because you don’t allow yourself to want it.


Emily: Yes, that is very true. 


Amanda: So you have no hope of having anticipation and excitement and eagerness and giddiness because you’re slamming on those breaks before it can even start. 


Emily: Yes, it’s like a protection mode. 


Amanda: It totally is. Your brain is trying so hard to keep you safe because it knows that if you move into there and something goes wrong, you’re not going to feel safe, you’re going to feel shame. And it doesn’t want that. So it’s trying to protect you. Good job, brain. 


Emily: It’s fantastic.


Amanda: But I’m not getting what I actually want, which is to feel all of these wonderful things  and to connect with my eternal companion in a way that I can’t connect with anyone else.


Emily: So I’m assuming that any thoughts that I have when it comes to talking about or initiating sex in any way, I’m just looking for an out. 


Amanda: Your brain is. I don’t know that you’re consciously doing it, but your brain is. A hundred percent, and this is where you have to use your agency and your higher brain to make decisions that move you towards what you want instead of away from it so that you can let it advance and move forward.


So you can actually start to get aroused and feel these things so that the desire can kick in.


Emily: Yeah, because I just feel this huge wall within me. And I know in order to truly be aroused and sexual, and I know to have an intimate experience there can’t be that and I can feel the difference. 


Amanda: Yep. 


Emily: And so I feel the whole wall and I’ve told my husband that I know there’s a huge wall there and I’m trying to figure out how to break it down. So I think I’m building my own wall as I say I’m breaking it down, but maybe…


Amanda: Well, you’re going to break it down by working on these ways to actually combat the shame with connection, compassion, and courage and then moving forward.


Emily: Okay, so what I am doing is, and you mentioned this in a previous podcast or something, that, like a type six does..


Amanda: Yes. You’re an Enneagram type six . 


Emily: Yes. If I think something, I am therefore doing something. So I do this coaching program, I read these books, I am it. Oh, it was the goals and being successful or something where thinking is not actually creating anything.


Amanda: No. 


Emily: So I don’t want to work on the actual stuff, so I’m just going to do a lot of reading and consuming and call that progress. 


Amanda: Right. Which it’s not. 


Emily: Apparently it’s not. 


Amanda: And so, Dr. David Schnarch says that you don’t think your way into being, you act your way into being. When we talk about our thought model, there’s the thoughts, then the feelings and the actions. And our actions come from thoughts. 


But sometimes we have to act and let the thoughts come along. You have to act your way into a new way of being, which takes courage. 


Emily: Yes. I think saying that word empowered and courage is, I see that being the answer. 


Amanda: Yeah.


Emily: Or part of it. 


Amanda: So find thoughts that help you feel empowered and courageous so that you can act in a way that brings you closer to what you want and who you want to be and how you want to show up.


Emily: Okay. 


Amanda: Okay, so we are about out of time. I would love for you to just recap for yourself and for those who are listening, what you got out of this session. 


Emily: Okay. So me always, the reflected sense of self, so I’m always facing myself on others, keeps me stuck and immature and in order to mature and release the brakes, I need to, this is good because it helps me figure out what I learned…


Amanda: Which is why I have you do it.


Emily: I learned a lot of things. They’re all written down somewhere.


Combating the shame and doing that through courage. And I’m just going to have to not block, but pass over the thoughts that aren’t working and add in thoughts that help me feel courageous. And I think in the process of that, I’m going to have a more internal reflective set of self, because you have to, to like actively change your thoughts.


And I think that the puzzle pieces will all…


Amanda: They’ll start to fall into place.


Emily: They’re all intertwined. So in working on any little piece is going to greatly impact the other. So I need to love me anyway. Have courage and just truly learn who I am and be okay with that.


Amanda: Yeah, because I think you’re pretty amazing. 


Emily: Well, thank you. I think I am too, but that’s why I’m like, I can’t be all these bad things. I’m amazing. 


Amanda: We’re not all just one thing though. 


Emily: Uh, yeah, I know. 


Amanda: We all have light and dark.


Thank you so much, Emily, for being here with me today. 


Emily: No problem. Thank you. 


Amanda: All right, so I hope you can see now some different ways the sexual shame can show up. There’s of course many more and I’m sure we will be talking about it in more episodes of the podcast. So thank you so much for being here with me today, and we’ll see you next week.



This Post Has One Comment

  1. Paula

    Wow! I heard myself in Emily’s voice. Thank you so much for this episode. I’m pretty sure I will revisit this episode again.

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