Any sexuality professional knows that one of the most common emotions that women face is shame. Whether it comes from a childhood immersed in purity culture, messaging baked into cultural media, or a general lack of proper sex education—shame is at the root of so many sexual problems that women face. Sexual shame is such a common topic in the work of sex coaching, especially for clients who are women. And it can manifest in so many different ways. Women might feel shame for their sexual desires, for asking too much of their partners, for not wanting sex often enough, the list could go on.
This article will serve as an overview of addressing sexual shame in women.
Empowerment Through Self Pleasure
Masturbation and self pleasure is an important tool when it comes to women’s empowerment. As sex coaches, we address masturbation with our clients often. But shame impacts this area of a woman’s sexuality in many ways. Women often feel that it’s selfish to self-pleasure, that their pleasure is less of a priority than their partners’, or even that masturbation is unnecessary or dirty.
In this article, SCU Graduate Mary Awudi writes about how self pleasure is related to a woman’s empowerment. Women often experience blocks related to self pleasure—and in sex coaching, the first step is identifying those blocks. Mary writes about using MEBES™ (the clinical approach taught at Sex Coach U) as a holistic approach to discovering those roadblocks. She also talks about addressing body image concerns, and the many benefits of practicing self pleasure (some may surprise you!)
The Socialization of Sexual Shame in Women
Shame and sex often go hand in hand, no matter your gender. But it seems to disproportionately affect women, and sex coaches see this all the time. What makes shame such an issue for women specifically?
In this article, Certified Sex Coach Lucy Rowett writes about the nuances of sexual shame in women and how to work with it in a sex coaching container. This info-packed article contains discourse about the impact that our society and culture has on women’s sexuality, such as the concept of prudishness, sexual laws and policies, and partriarichal attitudes toward women. This article also addresses how sexual shame manifests in the experiences of women, how sex-negative culture contributes to it, and how to directly work with it as a sex coach.
It’s a wonderful deep(er) dive into the specific issue of women’s’ sexual shame. Read the full article here.
Shame and Pleasure
Shame can have a hugely negative affect on a woman’s experience of sexual pleasure. It can often be a “pleasure killer” or largely inhibit a woman’s ability to access her own body’s pleasure. Learning about your body, and prioritizing the experience of pleasure can be a massive part of overcoming sexual shame.
In this article, SCU Student Kasia Żółtak discusses an educational and inspirational episode of Goop Lab titled “The Pleasure is Ours.” Based on the contents of this episode, Kasia Żółtak discusses the link between an abundance of sexual shame and a lack of understanding surrounding female sexual anatomy. She discusses this lack of education leading to a widespread disconnection of women from their bodies. She also touches on the famous workshops by pioneer Betty Dodson and how they are transformative for women struggling with shame. Finally, she discusses her overarching thoughts on the episode and how it can be used in practice by sex coaches.
Sexual shame is a highly nuanced and broad topic when it comes to our sexual experiences. Depending on your client’s background, body, relationship, and lifestyle—they may deal with varying degrees of shame. But it’s no secret that it is a huge contributor to a wide array of sexual concerns that our clients face. As a sex coach, you can empower your clients and guide them through this barrier. Sex coaching is a wonderful modality to work through sexual shame so our clients can experience their full sexual potential.
Curious about training to become a Certified Sex Coach™? Join the next live Info Session to meet the SCU team and participate in a live Q&A!