Funny - I was talking to my partner this week about the shyness I have around discussing sex with him (not just him - it has existed with other partners).
I know where it comes from - partly society norms and partly personal experiences (sadly some of it came from a long term partner - a man I loved wholeheartedly and who I considered my best friend). Understanding where it comes from helps because I don't feel badly toward myself for it.
My partner tells me that he believes I think it's much worse than it is. Possibly he's right but it annoys me. I'm not used to feeling awkwardness in social situations and feeling it at all annoys me. If there is time and space this year, there are a few things I could do that will probably help.
The point of this post is to talk a bit about the damage I think it causes to people in general and myself specifically. I went through a long number of years feeling like people should be ashamed of sex. I didn't like to see people kiss. I was annoyed by sexual scenes on TV. I had fully bought into the idea of sex as something to be hidden and not discussed. During those years I didn't particularly like having sex for myself either and I kept it to a bare minimum.
I know I'm not alone in this. I have a number of friends who I know feel that way.
I also see how women are picked on for being sexual and I understand why lots of women would avoid that sort of bullying by just not being sexual.
I see the damage done to men through it too. I have one or two male friends who struggle to form relationships and their struggle is partly to do with this sort of thing. They like sex and want to have a partner who does too. But then when they do, they feel badly toward their partner because they also hold in their head the notion that women who like sex are not good people. Not surprisingly, their relationships break down frequently.
There is so much damage done by this sort of thing and I hate to see those attitudes perpetuated on these boards.
I'm quite lucky. I was able to take the time and space I needed to resolve my discomfort about sex. I am confident and self contained and solvent enough that I could spend plenty of time on my own. I spent much of that time building a life I love and some of it dealing with my negative attitude toward sex.
I have some excellent friends who have a tendency to be affectionate with their partners in public. One or two who talk happily about their own sex lives. Being around people like that was helpful.
Gradually my bad feeling toward sex disappeared. I confirmed for myself that I felt better when an old friend of mine asked me if I would have sex with him when I was visiting his home town a few years ago. I said an enthusiastic yes to his idea.
Very glad I did - I had a wonderful time.
All I'm left with now is a slight shyness which I'd imagine will go too in time so I consider myself lucky.
Shame around sex causes so much damage and I'd much rather it didn't happen.