Learning to Embrace My Sexuality, One Selfie at a Time
Most of us know that women tend to be shamed for their sexuality, no matter what their orientation is. Let’s face it; women of all colors, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds are shamed for almost anything they do, and some more than others. I am one of many who have unconsciously allowed our cultures restrictions to sink in, causing insecurity and much self-doubt.
This insecurity is the opposite of self-love, because loving yourself means embracing all that you are and focusing on your inner and outer beauty. It’s a conscious effort, but I’ve worked to break these barriers within my society-ridden brain. It’s everyday work but as women it is important for our self-love and healthy well-being.
I have gone through most of my brief adult life focusing so much on loving other people I forgot to love myself. I thought, “What does it mean to love myself?” There are many parts to it. From eating right, to sleeping enough, exercising, taking mental breaks from the world, and many more. Not all aspects of loving yourself are difficult. Ask yourself which aspect of loving yourself that you feel you need to nurture most, and then nurture the hell out of it. Once you’re past the first obstacle, nurture your whole self all the time!
Part of my journey to loving myself better is large in part with embracing my sexuality, which is a very conscious effort. That’s the part I needed to nurture the most. It took me some time to realize that embracing my sexuality is a part of loving my entire self. After all, it is a part of me. An important part!
Sex can be so taboo in our sometimes-uptight American society. And while I’m growing up, I’ve found that at times it’s hard to see my own sexiness. I am haunted by echoes of my family telling me what a lovely “girl” I am that I forget I am no longer that little girl, but a strong young woman with her own life path.
Here are the 5 ways I’ve begun to embrace my sexuality:
1. Accepting my flaws and loving the way I look
I read a blog on Tumblr once from this girl giving tips on how to love yourself. I clicked right away because I had already had the epiphany that that’s what I needed to do, but I wasn’t sure where to start. She gave tips like, “stay in your underwear while getting ready.” It sounded so simple but I tried it and it worked. I admired the way my body looked in my bralette and underwear. I liked my underwear and finally somebody was seeing even the sexy ones: me!
Another tip was to masturbate, but we’ll get to that.
Look, we all have our insecure days, no doubt. I don’t run around thinking I’m prettier than everyone else or the prettiest fish in the sea. But I do like what I see in the mirror. Not just because I sat in lingerie as I did my makeup every morning, but also because I stopped focusing on what I didn’t like and started to think about what I did like. I forgave my imperfections because I recognized my critical eye and did my best to tame it. Always remember, you are your harshest critic. And while sometimes we need to check ourselves, you’re the only one who’s allowed to be.
2. Actually looking forward to touching myself
Okay, so obviously I have been masturbating for a long time, like most women. But it wasn’t until maybe the past year that I stopped feeling guilty about it and started truly enjoying it and most importantly, enjoying myself. If I don’t feel comfortable fucking myself, how am I going to feel comfortable fucking anyone else? RuPaul’s, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?!” motto goes for this too. I relaxed. I stopped thinking about the “fact” that I was the only person doing this when I realized I wasn’t, and that a lot of my friends do too. Stop feeling guilty and love your vagina. It wants you to. While you’re at it, buy a vibrator, because that’s REALLY what it wants.
3. Empowering music
You know what got me through college singledom? Beyoncé, Madonna, and Gaga: the queens of my world when I was 20. Whether it was Gaga singing that no boy was gonna reach her telephone, or Beyoncé telling us to bust out our freakum dress, or Madonna telling us not to settle for any guy who wouldn’t express himself – I was on a mission to be a bad ass bitch walkin’ the streets of Southern California.
Now I listen to all sorts of music that makes me feel good. My queen inspiration library has only grown. When you’re feeling low or insecure on those down days, listen to something upbeat. Something that makes you feel good or like you can take on the world one breath at a time. Like Ru always says, “Cover girl, put that bass in your walk!” It works every time, even if you’re not a drag queen. Trust me. Go find that song right now.
4. Dating men, not boys, and learning how to tell the difference
This is a blog post in ITSELF, but I’ll keep it short. Obviously the definition of a man is unique to every individual’s beliefs. The first step is figuring out what a man is to you, and making sure the guys you date have the qualities you want in a lover/boyfriend/whatever. It took reflection for me, and some dating around, to figure out what I liked in guys and what I didn’t.
And when it comes to sleeping with them, make sure they’re there for your orgasm too, not just their own. There are few things as disappointing as a selfish lover, especially when they just don’t know what they’re doing. This goes for women too, if you’re of the queer persuasion.
Most importantly, find someone you’re comfortable with. Someone who accepts you and doesn’t judge you. That’s what makes the intimate times fun: comfort. That way you’re free to feel more comfortable in bed doing what you like with and to each other. Which leads me to…
5. Knowing what I like and want in bed, and being vocal about it
I have always been semi-shy, but I can be especially shy in bed. In my head I was always like, “Yeah sure go for it. Do whatever you want. I’ll be good anything feels nice usually!” But no. No, no, no. Sometimes men (and women) really have no idea what they’re doing, especially with the opposite sex. If something doesn’t feel right, SAY SOMETHING. I’ve done this to myself many times, and usually I was less upset about what didn’t feel right and more upset at myself for not speaking up.
This is NOT to victim blame, but more of advice for those shy ones out there. First off, don’t be so shy, or just be comfortable with being shy. Accept it, embrace it, and move on. If they didn’t like how you looked or like what’s in your brain, they wouldn’t be fuckin’ you in the first place.
So get that smile on and relax, have fun, and tell ‘em what you want, what you really really want! Never assume, especially that they can read your mind. And if they’re uncomfortable with your shyness, or do nothing to relax you, girl you better drop it like it’s hot. You want someone who will nurture your feelings, validate that they’re real because they’re yours, and go through the experience with you.
@baddiesam on IG
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