Do You “Come” As You Are? The book entitled “Come As You Are” by Emily Nagoski is a New York bestseller that sheds new science that transforms women’s sex lives. It gives us all a newfound awareness about and respect for everyone’s sexual autonomy. What works to maximize a woman’s sexual well-being is not the same for no two people. Emily Nagoski wrote the book because she was taught all the wrong things about sex while growing up. We all pretty much received bad if any information at all about sex. I for one was told I’m not supposed to have sex before getting married. Explicit messages included shame-based discussions to discourage sex from happening among teens and implicit messages that said you weren’t even supposed to enjoy sex when you were engaging in it as it was exercised to procreate.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, women of all ages come to talk about their lackluster sex lives or their lack of or low libido. Some come because they have a high sex drive and think there is something wrong with them. When it comes to sex and sexuality, I believe there is no right or wrong way to have an orgasm. What feels good, feels good. Nagoski states, “what you want, what you like, what you need to find” is to look inside or within yourself. That each and every one of us is perfectly okay in our unique ways.
I had my first sexual experience as a teenager with my high school sweetheart who I eventually married after a seven-year dating period. As I was still in high school it was not a pleasant or sexually freeing experience as I had those negative messages ingrained in my mind that sex was not appropriate until marriage. Of course, I didn’t adhere to that message as I always knew I was a free spirit and an individual of free choice and wanted to trust those choices. Regardless, I felt some guilt which in hindsight undermined my sexual process for embracing my sexuality. Needless to say, the “first time” wasn’t good. It hurt and I bled. It was on my bed and I kept nervously waiting, thinking my parents would walk in on us. Not being in the moment can totally kill any orgasm. But, then, who knew what an orgasm felt like? It wasn’t until years later, through masturbation did I get to know what pleasure felt like. And even with masturbation, I felt guilty pleasuring myself because of the messages I received about masturbating. Growing up with Catholic parents, and Asian, to boot, they weren’t messages that said embrace your sexuality.
As a seasoned Marriage and Family Therapist and Relationship expert, I understand and appreciate what is needed to have a healthy and fantastic sex life. It starts with how you view yourself and how you feel about your own sexuality. Developing a greater sense of self-includes incorporating an awareness of your sensuality and what you want your Erotic Life to look like. Removing any shame you might carry with you from your childhood about sex and pleasuring yourself is a must. Embrace who you are and what feels good to you. When you feel good you add to your self-actualizing process. Becoming more differentiated (more you than other) helps you know what you like and don’t like in bed. Sex becomes something you know how to give and receive, but more importantly, sex becomes something you allow yourself to enjoy.
For more information on developing an erotic life that works for you please contact me at (858) 735-1139.