Sunday, February 23, 2014

What you've been learning about "me"



I've asked some people to share what they have been learning this month as they make themselves the focus.  The Sexuary group encompasses about 100 people.  They are all participating in various ways.  Here are what some of them have to say.

"I have become more aware of the pieces of myself that I am still not loving. I didn't even realize how much of myself I still have hang-ups over until trying to complete the daily self-gratitudes.  I thought I was pretty self-accepting but have realized during this month that I have so much farther to go yet. (Further? It seems like it should be further.) I have been challenged, reassured, intrigued, and at times even a little shocked--not by you, but by my own lack of comfortability in thinking about and discussing sex. Thank you for the opportunity to take a loooong...hard (pun intended) look inside for these few weeks. I look forward to the continued conversations with you and with myself."

*************************************

"This theme hit me right when I needed it the most. SO far I have learned/am learning: my language affects my children. My complaints about my body are training them to self-loathe. I'm using different language that promotes appreciation, not disgust for who I am. I've always been happy- dependent on the acceptance of others and i'm learning that I don't need others to tell me i'm good/right/a Christian/beautiful. I am learning that I make those perceptions myself and then they are MY reality. Their perceptions cannot affect my reality, and that's a hard one. I've always had a fear of being alone in many capacities and this group has shown me that I am not. We all have the same fears/desires/wants/needs just on different levels.  But, in the end we are all so very much the same. It has been thought provoking, inspiring and life changing to me (and opened up a lot of new dialogue with my husband and I)."

*************************************

"There were moments early this month because of the nature of the Sexuary group (such a variety of people and types of relationships) when I thought 'how can I be focusing on the ME theme when I am constantly pondering other people's experiences?' Then it hit me that this context IS EXACTLY how. Thanks to you amazing people I have spent everyday this month examining my own freedoms and limitations, my triggers and my turn ons. You all have unwittingly challenged the areas in which I've remained cautious and have exuberantly applauded when I am badass and brave. And in practicing grace, gentleness, acceptance, excitement, and pride for all of you - it has become easier to extend the same grace, gentleness, acceptance, etc to myself.

I needed to get to know all of YOU so that I could get to know all of ME! ("Circle of Life" soundtrack begins now :-))"

*************************************

"Participating in Sexuary was the final piece to the puzzle to bring me to the point where I can say that I love my body. I don't hate my body anymore. I even took a full frontal nudie pic of myself. And liked it. And kept it (courtesy of an app that lets you password protect photos). There is no way I could have done that a month ago. Or ... well any time in the past."

*************************************

"Probably the best thing has been putting faces to the whole spectrum of sexual behaviors. In Christian circles people who have sexual practices other than a lifelong monogamous marriage relationships tend to get demonized. We're afraid of the unknown. So thank you for being brave and out there and honest and sharing a small part of your lives with this Sexuary community. It doesn't change my own preferences but I'm not offended or afraid of the differences anymore."

*************************************

"While I do enjoy porn, I would also say it's had a negative impact on me. Because I started checking out porn as completely unexperienced virgin, and I do not recall one conversation with my parents about sex or the body, I took those falsified videos as the norm. That's what my body should look like. That's how I should shave. That's what sex always looks like.

However, I don't hold it against porn. And it's not JUST porn, it's media. Even if someone never touches porn, it's not like they don't still get images of what they 'should' look like. But through life and experience, we learn. We learn what's realistic and what's faked. We can learn to accept and love who we are. We realize that every body (literally- body) is different and that it's okay.

Again, though through porn videos, I did develop a false idea of sex/body... I think that can happen regardless. Fact is, it is easy to feel insecure. It's easy to feel like you don't measure up. It's easy to feel like you're not beautiful enough, smart enough, sexy enough. But it's our thoughts that need adjusted, not necessarily our actions.

I had to adjust my thoughts and my beliefs about who I should be. For me, porn wasn't the enemy... I was my own enemy. And I had to make friends with myself. Still working on it, but we're getting there."

*************************************

"I have not only found that my sexuality is not shameful, it is natural and loving. I have learned that it is okay to ask for what you want and that it is okay to admit you want to be loved. For me I was not worthy of love from anyone else. I picked men that were unavailable to me. They were married, here in the same state because of school but are leaving. I have always set myself up to be left. I have now come to understand that its my fault and mine alone. I have learned that I can love myself, ask for what I want and not be ashamed of it. The result is a long term loving relationship with no shame attached. In being brave comes true inner peace because my bravery helps me get my needs meet. I also learned a lot about anal play. LOL. I am a bad a** mother f*****."

*************************************

"I love what [she] just wrote about the symbolic meaning behind the ways we modify our bodies all the time--claiming it as ours, using it to make statements to the world about who we are. So much of what I find I am sharing in all these threads is not really about sex at all. Or about preferred pubic hair length. Or back door or front or toys or none. All my reflections & comments are really about me wanting to be real with myself, be completely vulnerable with *somebody*, to be true to me, to figure out how to come to terms with all these different areas of sexual expression and what they make me think and feel about me. I want to figure out who I really am sexually and then empower her. Boy, I am so dense. In other words, I am learning about my innermost self through all this. Which was the whole point."

*************************************

"I had no clue that I had a crazy amount of shame issues. This Sexuary I has opened me up to be more honest and much more exciting in my (almost) 10 year marriage. Honestly I was scared to communicate what I wanted or what I liked."

*************************************

"One of the biggest things I’m learning, and this community has majorly helped with, is simply that it is okay. Who I am, things I’ve done— it is okay. As far as I can think, outside of intentionally harming yourself or others, anything is okay. It might be something different for all of us, but we all have struggled with something that we feel is unacceptable. Whether in regards to our appearance (tattoos, breast size, weight, how we dress, etc), our sexuality (gay, polyamorous, open marriage, queer, etc), or another part of who we are, a person or group tells us that who we are is not okay. And that sticks with us. It’s hard to shake. If we’re not careful, we can easily let fear and shame and guilt and feeling inadequate drown us. And we start to believe these people. That we are not okay. This is bull***t. And you don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve it. We are okay. And not “okay” meaning simply satisfactory, but acceptable. Lovable. Decent. Beautiful. Permissible. Who you are is okay. What you’ve done is okay. That does not mean everything is good and right… sometimes we need to correct a wrong. Sometimes we need to apologize. Make a change, adjust an attitude. But what it does mean is this— there is no part of you or I that is completely unacceptable. We should never, ever feel bad or shame about who we are. Even making a mistake is acceptable. Learn from it. Then move on. Do not carry guilt with you. There might always be that person or group that tells you that you’re not okay, they are wrong. Love them anyway. But let them carry the burden that their judgement creates. It’s their burden, not yours. I accept you. With your pubes sticking out of your panties, your naked smooth vag, your chest hair (hopefully just the men?), your love for porn, your “vanilla” sex, your polyamorous relationship, your sex toys, your beer belly, your flat chest, your penis that doesn’t always cooperate, your lack of libido, your insane fantasies, your wavering faith, your monogamous marriage— yeah, you. You are okay."

No comments: