Deconstructing Sexual Shame

February 26, 2011

I was on a radio show this week with my business partner Jaiya - covering the subject of freeing yourself from sexual shame. In preparing for the show Jaiya asked me to consider the origins of sexual shame. I wanted to share some of those thoughts.

It seems to me that sexual shame is informed by the moral teachings of culture. Through our inherited cultures and religions, we are taught rules of female sexual conduct. Our learned morals act as a regulator upon our sexual behavior.

It’s a script that every culture and religion has - especially around women, sex, and reproduction.

Divinely inspired religions are the backbone of America, and nearly all of them deny female sexual access and unbridled female sexual pleasure in some form or another. Many exert an extreme control over female sexual conduct.

It seems to me that culture and religion are the origins of sexual shame.

All cultures, religious or otherwise, are made up of behaviors, symbols, and ideals that, when fully wired into our brains, are taken to be universal truths - things we believe in absolutely. When it comes to female sexuality, we believe in absolutes.

Everyday, around the world, people fight, live, and die for the symbols and ideals they believe in.

Simply put, a symbol is something that stands for something else, condensing emotion and meaning into a very potent form. Female sexuality is potently symbolic - representing far more than genitalia, orientation, or sex.

On one hand, female sexuality represents the continuation of life, maternal certainty, the passing on of specific genes, and possibility of controlled blood lines. On the other hand, it represents the call to life, abandon, passion, and total freedom.

But abandon and freedom is dangerous to paternal certainty, so female sexuality became highly regulated by ancient cultures in attempt to ensure bloodlines and paternity.

The rules and laws of ancient cultures, regarding female sexual conduct, continue to grab a fierce hold onto the modern female mind - in the form of sexual shame.

However, sex, science, and the Internet are continuing to dramatically change our cultural landscape. In spite of the best attempts by fanatics to constrict culture and move it back to “the good old days” - the reality is that culture is in a constant state of flux, and so is female sexuality.

Though our brains are slow to adapt to the sweeping cultural changes occurring right now, I assert it is our duty to update our own beliefs around female sexual conduct. We have to free ourselves of cultural and religious sexual shame - and stop the suppression of female sexuality within our own psychology, and bring that change into our society at large.

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