When I was a practicing gynecologist, a huge proportion of my patients admitted to feeling sexually unsatisfied when I gave them permission to express their authentic feelings. Now that Iíve transitioned from seeing gynecology patients to working with coaching clients, Iím seeing the same thing. So many of us feel a restlessness, a sense of yearning, a longing for something perhaps we feel we donít quite deserve. We may love our partners and enjoy the intimacy we do have, and yet we have long suppressed the wild pony that bucks and kicks within us.
When I went to Sheila Kelleyís S Factor retreat last fall, I had the privilege of personally experiencing and witnessing in other women what happens when you invite your erotic creature to come out and dance. Within every women lies an authentic sexual being, but many of us donít know this part of ourselves at all. What we do know of this woman may terrify us. We may shame her into silence and banish her to the back recesses of our mind. We may fear her. And yet, sheís there. And the more we ignore her, the more restless we feel.
My new friend Pamela Madsen was feeling just like this when she began a journey of sexual awakening. She was a virgin when she married her husband, and they had been together for twenty-something years when the restlessness grew intense enough to spur her into action. Her friends were all having affairs in order to burn off some of their unbridled sexual energy, but Pamela didnít want to cheat on her husband, whom she adores. Then a friend told her about a way she might have another manís hands on her without having an affair, and Pamela stepped off the cliff into a sexual journey that changed her life.
Her journey of sensual self-discovery is beautifully and masterfully chronicled in her new memoir Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure, and Somehow Got Home In Time To Cook Dinner, which I just devoured cover to cover in four days like I was licking the plate after eating every mouthful of double chocolate delight. In her courageous book, Pamela bravely steps into her own desires like a miner with a headlamp treads into a dark cave. What she discovers in her shameless pursuit for sexual authenticity shocks, delights, confuses, and ultimately, heals her.
By facing the truth about her sexual desires, Pamela overcomes a lifetime struggle with her weight and body issues, finally believes that she is beautiful and desirable, reclaims the spring in her step, and gets her mojo back. And the best part — not only does she stay married to her lifelong sweetheart, but they grow together as the result of her independent sexual exploration.
When I work with patients or clients who feel sexually restless, I prescribe this exercise.
An Exercise In Awakening Your Authentic Sexual Self
Own Your Desires
As Pamela tells us in Shameless, she was fortunate that her sexual awakening led to a deepening in her marriage, but this isnít always the case. Sometimes, my clients fear being honest about their sexual desires because they suspect that pursuing their desires may threaten their relationship, possibly even leading to a break up.
But whatís the alternative? Pretending to be something youíre not?† Withholding the truth about your authentic sensual self? Sucking it up and living with the restlessness? Lying to yourself?
No thanks. If you read the reviews, some are judging Pamela for the journey she chose to make. Yes, itís true that she veered off the traditional path in her journey back to herself, and she did it very publicly by telling her story. But I admire her. I think sheís not just shameless, but fearless. I want to celebrate how powerfully she let her freak flag fly and high five her for doing what she needed to do to get her mojo back.
I want to meet her in person and give her a hug.
What about you? What does your sensual self desire? How might you get one step closer to bringing that desire into your life? Can you set aside judgment and let yourself feel sensual in whatever way turns you on? Even if you canít tell us the truth, can you tell yourself?
Oh yeah, baby. Thatís the ticket.
Read more: Alternative Therapies, Guidance, Health, Inspiration, Love, Relationships, Spirit, Women's Health, authentic sexual self, awakening, erotic creature, Lissa Rankin, Owning Pink, Pamela Madsen, s-factor, Shameless
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