How to Work Through Religious Guilt and Shame About Sex

How to Work Through Religious Guilt and Shame About Sex

For those of us who grew up in religion, it can be challenging to integrate the spiritual aspect of ourselves with our sexual aspect.

From the days of infancy, we are taught to be ashamed of being curious about our bodies and over time, as a result, we end up repressing that curiosity and feel guilt and shame when those feelings arise. 

This feeling of shame contaminates our self-perception and our relationships with others.

It is perfectly understandable to feel like this if this is how we were brought up. Our minds have internalized this idea of sex being sinful and these emotions may come up without us knowing. 

Here are 4 ways that can help process those negative emotions about sex due to a religious upbringing:

1. Write down what was ever said to you about sex

Write down the things that you were told about sex as you were growing up. 

An example of this would be: "My mom told me to never have sex until I get married."

Here is another example: "The preacher at my church said that we will go to hell if we fornicate."

Writing down these thoughts can have a therapeutic affect  and help you sort through your thoughts and feelings.

2. Educate yourself on the science of sex

What is its function of sex? How does it work? What is the anatomy and physiology of sex? How is sex in relation to the animal kingdom?

Learning the scientific aspect of sex can help you detach the religious views from those negative feelings of sex and allow you to understand that sex is an important function of the body just like other physical things that we do, such as eating and sleeping.

3. Talk about it

Find a therapist or someone that you trust to share how you have been feeling. Talking about shameful feelings can be difficult and can feel almost unbearable, but bringing them to surface may help in the healing process. 

As in anything in life, the only way out of things is through them. It's easy to try to numb these type of emotions, but they won't go away and can become stronger if we keep burying them inside. 

4. Explore your body

Whether it is masturbation or sex with a partner, with or without a toy, discovering the sensations that your body gives is your human right.

Just like a massage feels great and we don't usually feel any shame about that, so should touching our erogenous areas be just as important to our sense of pleasure and relaxation.

You see it in children, who are just as sexual beings as we adults are, who are scolded at for touching their genitals. For many of us, childhood is when these negative emotions were born.

We hope that these ways can help in dealing with difficult emotions. It is undoing what was taught to us and that can be difficult, but it is necessary of we want to grow and have a great relationship with ourselves and our bodies.

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Thanks for reading. :)

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