October 23rd, 2012

Throughout life, we are constantly “downloading” messages- from our parents, peers, media, school, teachers and so on. As we develop and mature emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually- we are then given this silent “growing up” task, to dive in and see which messages ACTUALLY work for us.

In our childhood, we are like sponges, just soaking up what’s around us. We are not yet able to determine for ourselves what we believe and feel. As we grow up, we are more capable of deciphering the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that are truly ourselves- regardless of outside influence. It becomes our developmental task then, as we age, to see which messages feel healthy and right for our true self. This can be tricky- to decide what is “us” without the outside world telling us their opinions. Tricky or not. I find it to be essential in living a life that is healthy and authentic to our true Self. Sex is one of these downloaded messages that often gets loaded with taboo, shame, guilt, and some funky stuff that is not so psychologically savvy or healthy. We must then do some work and redefine what doesn’t work for us to keep what does.

Most of us have have received messages from members of our family. These messages can be sent in two ways:

Covert (hidden) Messages: ex: parents never discuss sex at all, and when a child asks a question about it at the dinner table, the conversation is quickly changed to how the weather is or another topic to avoid confronting the message.

Overt (obvious) Messages: ex: A father tells his daughter “girls that dress with short skirts are not taken seriously. They are slutty, and boys won’t respect you if you dress like that.” Or maybe, “sex is wrong and sinful unless you are married.”

In both cases, messages and stories around sex are being told to children. These stories and messages will become the children’s psychological and emotional sexual blueprint, from which they pull their data and information throughout their developing life. So let’s be sure that these messages work because chances are some won’t- and trust me they will wreak havoc if they are not re-framed.

Now, before I go further, let me be clear. Not all families are ashamed of sex. Some families are extremely sexual, and some even embrace and celebrate the healthy conversation around sex with their children. Either way- there is a message and a sexual blueprint that is being downloaded into our psyche and spirit. These messages become like the screen play of your subconscious, so you might not even realize it until you dive a little deeper and do some emotional archaeological work.

So let’s dive deep and explore your sexual blueprint. Here are some questions to guide you on your journey.

What were the messages sent to you about sex?

Was the message around sex and sexuality one of celebration or shame?

What are some memories that come up for you around sex?

Do you remember talking about sex as a child or teen in your household?

Can you recall a memory that really stuck in your mind about what sex means for you?

Fill in the Blank.

Growing up Sex and Sexuality was… ____________________________ (insert your experience during childhood around sex. Ex: sex was never talked about. It only discusses around marriage, etc.)

My Sex and Sexuality is now…. _______________________________ (insert your experience now with sex and your sexuality. Ex: I now feel empowered around sex, but still feel shameful receiving too much pleasure, etc.)

Some patterns I have noticed in my sexual life are…_______________________ (insert some patterns you have noticed in your sexual life. Ex: you have long term committed partnerships, you are extremely monogamous, you are promiscuous, etc.)

Continue to notice and explore your patterns. Be sure to do this exercise with kindness and without judgement. The purpose is for you to curiously explore and learn from these patterns. Ask yourself: which of these messages and sexual blueprints help me feel empowered and healthy? Which induce fear and shame? Keep the ones that bring you closer to your healthy sexual you. Dump the rest. And lastly, every time an old shameful thought comes up- say “I am going to choose a more sexually empowering and positive thought.”

So get to work and have fun discovering your sexual emotional blueprint.

Your psyche and vagina will thank you.

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