G-0LV06DT3SY Let's Talk About Sexual Shame - Breaking Free Authentically: The Sex Positive Relationship Podcast

Episode 4

Published on:

3rd Aug 2022

Let's Talk About Sexual Shame

Episode4: Let's Talk About Sexual Shame


What is Sexual Shame?

“Sexual shame refers to the feeling of profound responsibility and deep remorse associated with participation in and/or thoughts and fantasies about sexual activity.”  - Dr. Kelifern Pomeranz, Psy.D., CST (Clinical Psychologist, Certified Sex Therapist, Coach, and Relationship Expert)

"A high level of sexual shame can place an individual at risk for sexual dysfunction, impaired relationships, and sexual acting out.” - Dr. Kelifern Pomeranz


What do people feel shame about?

  • Body acceptance
  • Pleasure
  • Intimacy
  • Desire
  • Lust
  • Intercourse
  • Masturbation
  • Orgasm 
  • Arousal
  • Felling Sexy

Where does it come from?

  • Religion
  • Sex only in marriage
  • Only for procreation in some cases
  • Pleasure is not a reason in itself
  • Sinful
  • Conversion Therapy
  • Family
  • Reaction to child masturbation
  • How sex was talked about in the home
  • Values/morals
  • Society/Culture
  • school sex education (sex positive vs abstinence)
  • Nursing in public
  • The Media
  • Idealized versions of sex
  • Slut shaming
  • Social media constantly blocking posts including words like sex, erotic, vulva….
  • Trauma
  • Sexual abuse
  • Rape or attempted rape

Why do sex and shame often go together?

  • Sex historically has been connected to value and virtue
  • Patriarchal
  • Virginity/Purity is equated with value
  • Men as a conquest
  • Women have been taught that their sexuality should be hidden
  • Slut-shaming vs conquest
  • Modesty - women are often taught that they are responsible for the thoughts and actions of men
  • Sexual deviance was often considered a mental health disorder
  • Sexual identity
  • Gender identity
  • Religious Control
  • It’s the one thing that most people universally desire and therefore need to keep coming back for forgiveness or conform
  • Make it sinful and shameful
  • Make pleasure selfish and sinful

How does it affect us?

  • I clearly remember that when I got married, my husband tried to call me “sexy” and I was so uncomfortable with that term
  • I didn’t want to be seen as a sex object
  • It aided to shut down an erotic side of our relationship
  • We end up struggling to talk about sex
  • It’s bad
  • We don’t enjoy it
  • We have an aversion to it
  • Bad feelings about it
  • Judge ourselves and others
  • Struggle to orgasm
  • Feel stuck
  • Feel trapped
  • No intimacy
  • Embarrassed about our bodies (body shame)
  • Struggle with nudity
  • Judge Sex
  • Feel guilty about wanting sex, or having fantasies and desires
  • Hide away
  • Can cause mental health issues like anxiety and depression
  • Don’t feel like they fit in

Types of Sexual Shame

  • Thinking your body doesn’t work right and shaming yourself for lack of erection or pain instead of realizing everyone is different and we can talk about these things
  • Shame about Desire and Fantasies going against one’s personal values or moral character (programming)
  • Internalized Homophobia
  • Slut shaming
  • Trauma survivors unable to be authentic and honest about parts of their experience (eg. experiencing pleasure)
  • Feeling Responsible for Someone else’s pleasure
  • Underlying questions and guilt about kinks
  • Sexual health - anything from periods to STI’s

What can we do to kick guilt and shame to the curb?

  • Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • CBT
  • Sex Therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Breathwork
  • Meditation
  • Somatic Body Work and Healing
  • Connect to our bodies and learn to be present
  • Breath Work
  • Energy release
  • Sex Positive Relationship Coach
  • Shift the Societal and Religious Programming
  • Creating Safety
  • Learning to communicate your truth to yourself and others/partner
  • Inner Child work
  • Self-Love
  • How we talk to ourselves
  • Sex Positive Education
  • Open Minded Thinking
  • Build a community
  • Journal

Sexual Shame — Dr. Kelifern Pomeranz, Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist/Sex Therapist-Palo Alto - Great resource if you are trying to understand sexual shame.

How to Overcome Shame Around Sex | Psych Central by Taneasha White

Breaking Free Authentically: The Sex Positive Relationship Podcast website

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About the Podcast

Breaking Free Authentically: The Sex Positive Relationship Podcast
The Sex Positive Relationship Podcast
Learning how to Break Free from religious and social programming to truly live a life of authenticity and pleasure. We look at how shifting our mindset about Sex and Sexuality can radically change our relationships and allow them to be more fun, honest, safe, connected, ethical and authentic. We delve into Sex Positivity and what that is while also looking at things like Love Languages, Attachment Styles, and Boundaries to help us Break Free from relationship myths that are keeping us stuck in a world that isn't quite the right fit. We long for true authentic connections and the ability to completely be ourselves. Let's start living!
Follow me on Instagram @karinebedardcoaching

About your host

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Karine Bedard

You've heard, “Sex is wrong! Relationships are supposed to be hard work!”

What you probably didn’t learn is that sex is empowering and that relationships can be free, and fun, and empowered all at the same time! Karine kicks shame and guilt to the curb so that you can live your most authentic life the way that you want to.

She never in her wildest dreams imagined living the Empowered, Sexy, and Authentic life that she lives right now. Discovering Sex Positivity was the catalyst that allowed her to step out and explore a whole new world of possibilities! She is a Bible School Graduate turned Playboy Enthusiast! While studying the “worst of the worst”, she found her people.

Life is not always what we’ve been taught. Karine uses her magnetism, deep love of people and intuition to release her clients from the societal and religious boxes that they have been programmed into. She wants to inspire people to live their truth and discover their often deeply buried sexual desires and bring them to life in a safe and ethical way that empowers them and their relationships.

She is normalizing Ethical Non-Monogamy. She wants couples to step out and discover the beauty and power of true honesty, authenticity, and confidence in relationships. Looking at the world through a Sex Positive lens will absolutely shift how you understand relationships.

She uses her magnetism and transparency to make you feel safe and seen. Her intuition allows her to see exactly what is holding you back in life and her ability to really see you makes you feel accepted and safe with her. Through her openness and vulnerability she is able to transform your fears into joy and excitement. She is the best at bringing you safely into this Sex Positive world without fear or regret. She guides you every step of the way.

She wants more for you than the script you’ve been fed, “Find your soulmate, marry them, and be monogamous forever!” There is so much more than this in life. Step out and finally Break Free!