Sexual esteem, part 5 – sharing your sexual shame

Imagine that you had a list of everything about your sexual history that you’re ashamed of. Would you ever share it with anyone?

My name is Jean Franzblau with “Sexual Esteem with Jean” and we’re deep into a process called “The Sexual Shame Inventory.” The Sexual Shame Inventory can include things that have happened to you, things that you have done and even things that you have thought.

The next step is the find a safe person with whom to share this list. Why would you share this list with anyone? There’s a great saying in 12-step recovery programs: You’re only as sick as your secrets.

Who in your life is a great listener? Who can handle hearing specifics about your sex life? Who can you trust to hold this information sacred and confidential?

Let’s say you’ve asked the right person and that person has said yes – what next?

Set aside some time for the experience and give yourselves some privacy and quiet. Coach your listening buddy not to give you advice about what you’re sharing – their one important function is to listen. Ask the person to simply say “thank you” after each item on the list.

I encourage you to be really gentle with yourself. You could share items on your list for just five minutes and check in with how you are feeling. Breathe. Take breaks. Do what you need to do to respect that fact that this can be a life changing process.

Good luck sharing your Sexual Shame Inventory. The next video in this series will explain the final step in the process.

How Can You Explore Kink Confidentially?

There’s a whole population of curious people who are intrigued by kink but are afraid to be “found out.” This post offers four tips for those who’d like to keep their perverted sides private.

  1. Don’t Do Your Kinky Research at Work or on a School Computer

Most companies have computer policies where they reserve the right to track any website you visit. To keep your peace of mind, enjoy your online explorations on your own computer, tablet or phone.

  1. Create a New Email Address

Chances are your research will begin online – you’ll find books, videos, social websites and blogs. Start a fresh email address that’s for your sexy explorations only. Use a pseudonym that has nothing to do with your name, where you live or where you work or go to school – have fun creating a new identity:

BootyLover

GreyEyedSub

HoodedRaven

This is the email address that you’ll use for your online communities like FetLife or your online subscriptions – to KinkAcademy for instance.

  1. Use Anonymous Photos

Make your profile photos anonymous by not including your face.

One friend – Ruby Ryder – posts a photo that shows off just her sexy shoes. Another friend flaunts only her bodiced body below the neck.

This can be a fun and creative way for you to express yourself.

Another point about photos, if you’re at a kinky event, don’t pose for photos. It would be very easy for someone to accidentally tag you on Facebook – which you probably don’t want.

  1. Be Very Selective About Giving Out Your Phone Number

Does your phone number reveal your identity? Try entering it into Google to check. And only give your number away to people that you have a reason to trust.

 

Go forth my private and perverted ones, and good luck in your explorations!

Sexual Esteem, Part 4 Sexual Shame Inventory

What if everything you’ve ever felt ashamed of in your sexual past could be in some way released? In this series about increasing sexual esteem, its important to pay attention to all the areas where you might feel badly about yourself.

Exploring the parts of our sexual histories that are uncomfortable, embarrassing or traumatic can bring up painful emotions and memories. That’s why its important to consider if you might need the support of a mental health professional a therapist before doing an inventory like this.

Imagine three zones the comfort zone, the stretch zone and the danger zone. Activities in the comfort zone feel easy to do. Activities in the stretch zone are challenging yet manageable. And activities in the danger zone are overwhelming to even think about. Proceed with the Sexual Shame Inventory as long as you are in either the comfort or stretch zones.

The Sexual Shame Inventory is a thorough list of everything that has occurred in your sexual life for which you feel ashamed. It could be events that have happened to you, things you have done or even things that you have thought or fantasized about that bring up shame.

It doesn’t need to make sense why you feel shame about these things. If you feel negative or icky about an experience, just put it on the list.

One way to go about this inventory is to go in 5-year increments from the beginning of your life. This can help organize your thoughts and jog your memory.

After you’ve completed your list, the next phase is to share it with a trusted, safe person. Please watch the video on that which will be posted soon.

Good luck with your inventory; this is brave work.

Oh no! Herpes on vacation

I was minutes away from our rendezvous point Penny’s All American Café in Pismo Beach. The word rendezvous has never in my life been as appropriate as this moment.

My lover well call him Alphonse as he has an equally delicious French name was coming from the San Francisco area. I was driving from Los Angeles. This would be our final few days together before he completes his three-month United States road trip and heads back to his life in Canada. I represented one of the many great things that happened to Alphonse in California. I felt just as lucky to meet him.

Alphonse and I have fantastic chemistry and many things in common. If were not making love, we are talking. I haven’t seen him in weeks. And in just two minutes, we will embrace on the sidewalk like in a romantic movie and begin our lovers holiday.

Until. My GPS says one more minute. At a stoplight I adjust my rearview mirror to put on some lipstick. And then I noticed something I really didn’t want to notice: a sore spot in my mouth. Im a sex-positive woman. I know what I know and I cant un-know what I know. That sore spot is probably a cold sore. A cold sore is a polite way of saying herpes the pesky virus that Ive had since I was a kid. A cold sore means that Im capable of spreading herpes to others by sharing utensils or a glass or kissing. Fuck.

Alphonse and I have had our talk about STDs. Each of us has been tested in the past six months. I as I typically do shared with him that I have oral herpes. What I cant remember in this moment is if he has oral herpes, too.

I am two blocks from the café and I park. I call Alphonse on his cell. He says, I’m here! Where are you?

Can you remind me do you have oral herpes?

What? Where are you?

I’m a minute away; just answer – do you have oral herpes?

No. Whats going on?

I have a cold sore. When we see each other, I cant kiss you.

Pause.

We’ll work around it; now will you get your tiny butt to this café right now?

We had our sidewalk moment awkwardly kissing each other on the neck rather than the lips.

I had a wonderful time with Alphonse hanging out on the beach, long talks, hours of intimacy and big breakfasts in the morning. We worked around my cold sore – no problem.

We hung out on the benches overlooking the sea at this park.

I’m proud of myself for handling this herpes thing with clarity and integrity. If I chose to forget that the cold sore meant what it meant, I may have given Alphonse oral herpes. If I went down on him, I could have given him genital herpes as well. A horrible thought.

Herpes is common and nothing to be ashamed of. What helps is to understand it and communicate with ones sexual partner about it. Through our Pismo Beach experience, I learned that Alphonse was adaptable and compassionate. I also learned that my vulnerability was in good hands.