Sex & Relationship

Do you have any sexual guilt? Let’s Learn, Unlearn & Relearn to have real pleasure in sex

Do you feel bad about feeling good? Signs you may have sexual guilt


Expressing your sexual desires and acting on them is not sexual guilt. In fact, talking about it makes you more liberated. 

Nothing fades the spark in your bedroom quite like getting sucked into your own stupid thoughts.

When you’re indulging in a physical act of love, it is supposed to make you feel good (as in, really good), because having sex or even talking about it is not something to be ashamed of as long as it is consensual and both the individual is comfortable.

Talking about sex is not always easy, especially in the typical society we live in, perhaps that’s why some people struggle to talk about it as they feel a sense of shame or embarrassment.

sexual guilt

What is sexual guilt or sexual shame?

Sexual guilt or sexual shame is a highly unpleasant self-conscious negative emotions with the feeling of anxiety, guilt or shame in relation to sexual activity.  This insidious act ruins your sex life without you even realising sooner or later.

The fact, however, is something different from what society has made us believe.

Feelings of sexual desire aren’t just normal but it is also healthy to talk about it and certainly, there’s nothing to be ashamed about it.

From casual sex to exploring your sexuality with a different or a same-sex partner, every choice lies in your hands only which means it is your body and you’re the only one who has the right to make choices about it.

The funny thing about our society is that most of the times, men and women both experience gender stereotypes where men are encouraged to be “manly” or macho.

Sexual guilt or sexual shame is not limited to a particular gender however, it is commonly seen more among women. When men can sleep around with as many women they want and still manages to showcase their machismo, but if it’s done by a woman, they are judged by “society” for being sexually forward or even talking about sex and are labelled with some of the most derogatory terms.

Such things damage both men and women’s self-esteem and makes it hard for them to feel comfortable just being themselves.

Experts view

According to many sex therapists, some people are grown up in typical religious or conservative backgrounds that teach particularly how sex is sinful, shameful, or something that we should be embarrassed about and that is why many of us have psychological sex-negative beliefs in one way or another.

Sex therapists believe that such ideas can not only get in the way in your special moment, but they can also keep you from having or experiencing a hot and fulfilling sex life.

Sexual shame and guilt leave a person with a constant sense of anxiety which can lead to performance issues like (Erectile Dysfunction) in men and potential blockages for women also known as (Vaginismus or Dyspareunia). Also, it depends on the severity of their anxiety and the guilt you have been feeling.

Negative experiences or beliefs

It is completely fine if you don’t want to have sex until you’re in a committed, and long-term relationship because that’s entirely your decision and you feel good about it.

Some people have an interest in a wide variety of sexual activities which are weird for the rest of the world and its fine. If you’re not comfortable trying things like oral sex, anal sex, BDSM, or sex with multiple partners doesn’t mean you’re repressed because there’s nothing wrong with only wanting one type of sex just remember it’s your desires that matter.

Rita, a 29-year-old from Delhi, often feels negative emotions towards sex. “I first fell for a guy (16 )when I was 17. The guy didn’t give a shit about me and showed many signs of disrespecting my choices. But I still put myself in a position where he had the complete authority to exploit me & I was like, ‘so what if he doesn’t care about me, at least “he is with me” or at least this is what I thought he is what I wanted. And, in the end, I got used and he left,  I felt bad, I felt guilty, and I felt horrible”, says Rita.

sexual guilt

Read More: Forced Sex in Pandemic: How Lockdown became a nightmare for Indian women?

Here are a few signs to help you identify sexual shame or sexual guilt and to overcome

  1. Not asking what you want: Being assertive about your intimate desires with your partner can be awkward and intimidating, especially for women. Even if you think you’re being selfish, that’s fine because your pleasure is just as important as your partner’s. It has been well socialized that women are the caregivers and put others’ needs before their own and men are the dominating ones.  Also, there are many people who feel shy and ashamed to ask even for the most vanilla, little thing. There is a good chance that your partner wants to please you just as much as you want to please him or her, so both of you do yourself a favour and speak the hell up about what drives you wild.

  1. Taking your sweet time: Everybody works differently and everybody’s body works differently too when entangled especially with someone else’s body. There is no shame if you and your partner are performing at different speeds and certainly, there’s no shame in slowing down things or stretching things out so you both can take the time to enjoy yourself and each other. Many women think that (arousal or climax) should just occur naturally and eventually, they will feel guilty asking their partners for attention or taking up a little bit of time.

  2. Insecure about yourself: It almost and always starts with you only thinking about how you look, how you are going to perform, and feeling uncomfortable with the appearance of your genitals. Well, all these are not important when you are in bed with your love. Always feel comfortable in your skin and if it helps, spend some time naked or invest in sexy lingerie, and focus on the pleasure instead of your negative thoughts else you are most likely to shame yourself post-sex, and experience body insecurity during sex.

  1. Hit the RIGHT spot: Do what works for you and hit the right spot to feel. Intercourse, for instance, doesn’t have to be the only sexual pleasure or a default sexual experience. In fact, in a survey, a lot of women revealed that intercourse isn’t the thing that makes them feel most pleasure and connection and according to multiple reports from research,  only about 25 percent of women consistently orgasm during vaginal intercourse. If you are not doing it RIGHT then be open to trying whatever works for you, and not what you think is supposed to work for you.

  1. Sometimes good isn’t good enough: The sexual response matters to a lot of people and it typically reflects sexual energy. Sexual dysfunction or dissatisfaction can be one of the reasons specially.  Sexual shame can make communication with your partners difficult, which can later make sex less pleasure and when your typical response to shame is hiding, the sexual shame doesn’t go away instead it grows and affects your sexual performance, develops anxiety and low libido.

  1. Viewing sex as “negative” thing: People sometimes think that physical act of love is a bad thing no matter how pleasure it gives even if they try masturbation which is the first attempt to connect with our genitals and self-sexual pleasure.  If you think sex is bad and experience feelings of regret right after having sex, then there’s a good chance that you have internalised shame which not only damages your self-confidence but also impacts your romantic relationship.

Some of the ways to make the process of overcoming sexual guilt or shame much simpler:

  1. Confront your fears and shame with pleasure.

  2. Explore your sexuality without guilt

  3. Try and arouse yourself using vibrators

  4. Educate yourself with erotic literature books

  5. Analyse ways in which you might be holding yourself back during sex

  6. Avoid conforming to stereotypes

  7. Try and understand what turns you on

You can also look for a good sex therapist to help you navigate the journey better to release sexual shame. It may feel difficult at first so try not to beat yourself because healing does take time. Also, if you will not express your desires during sex, then there is a good chance that it may affect your relationship sooner or later.

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