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Intimacy Intervention: “Sex Embarrasses Me, But I’m No Prude!”

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Shy Woman Covering Face
Woman pictured is a model and not the author of this letter.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Passionate Living Coach Abiola Abrams gives love, dating and self-esteem advice on the CW's Bill Cunningham Show and all over the web through her hit web series AbiolaTV. Now she wants to help you keep things spicy and fresh between the sheets. Are you in need of an intimacy intervention? Just ask Abiola!

Dear Abiola,

I am not having the sex life I want to have because I don’t want people to think I’m a ho. I didn’t grow up in some weird church or something. I have my own spirituality so it’s not about that. People already assume Black girls are fast and even as a Black woman I still feel that.

I‘m not comfortable when my clothes are revealing even if I like them because I bought it. I am 36, and I live in Brooklyn. I just got out of an eight yearlong relationship and so the whole dating thing is new for me again. I don’t have sex with the men I go out with even though I want to, but then it seems expected because everybody else is. I feel like something is wrong with me.  Every man I meet wants to go straight to bed, and I’m not feeling that either.

My friends and everybody I see on TV is having a great sex life and I just feel uncomfortable even talking about it. I don’t want to catch a bunch of diseases, but then I don’t want to be a grown woman buying condoms like a silly teen boy. My friends call me a prude, but that’s not the case.

It would be easier if there were some kind of formula. I know some people talk about the 90-day rule. How often should a single woman be having sex? Is it ok for me to be having sex with new guys?

Signed,

Conflicted

Dearest Brooklyn Girl,

Sex is one of the areas where we are most likely to judge ourselves and other people. For this reason, many women (and men) have deep shame and repression in this area. Your letter is full of shame and judgment.

The reason you are conflicted is that you are focused on everyone else. You don’t know what you want. Of course it’s confusing to make personal decisions based on the shifting values and behaviors of others.

Your letter is not about you. Yes, it can feel like everyone is having some rocking-rolling sex life. Don’t let their over-sexed presentations fool you. Your friends, or the people you see on TV, may be having sex to cover up low self-esteem. Then again, they could be having fun—or, honestly, not having the sex they claim. Who knows? Who cares? Don’t compare your inside life to someone else’s outside life. Okay?

You, and only you, can decide how much or how little, sex you should be having. Good sexual self-esteem is knowing and loving your body, respecting yourself and enjoying your sexuality. Whether that means one steady partner or multiple is your decision.

There is something called “the burden of representation.” In this case, it is the burden we feel because we grew up being warned about and experiencing harsh societal judgment as black girl children. This is real. However, and I mean this with all respect, do not let these issues get into bed with you. I relate to several things in your letter but right now you are limiting your life because of historical burdens.

Some may say it’s just sex, but how you do anything is how you do everything. If you said I am not having sex and I feel great about that, then I would too. However, you are unhappy so this is an issue. I would bet a million dollars that you are shrinking, playing small and holding back on living full out in other areas of your life as well.

Get clear about yourself and your own needs: mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and sexually. Then you’ll have a foundation from which to make better decisions.

Complete these sentences in a journal:

1) Healthy sex is…
2) The kind of sex life I want is…
3) As a sexual person I am …
4) My favorite part of sex is
5) When I have sex I want to feel…
6) I want a sexual partner who…
7) The best sex is…
8) I feel turned on by…
9) I deserve to feel…
10) I am worthy of...

Find a good coach or therapist. You have a right to feel good in your own skin when wearing clothes you bought. You have a right to feel vibrant and sexy as a woman. You have a right to feel good about having any sort of conversation you choose. When you buy condoms as an adult woman you are acting like a 36-year-old who loves herself, not a “silly teen.”

As for when you should have sex, the truth is, you know. Ask your body. Trust your intuition. Choose what is most healthy and hot for you and select only a deserving partner or partners with positive, fun and nurturing energy. Allow yourself to heal from the completion of your past relationship and then move forward with exuberance!

Passionately yours,

Abiola

Abiola Abrams

Abiola Abrams is the founder of The Bombshell Academy blog, online school and web series over at AbiolaTV. Follow her on Twitter to continue the discussion about this week's hot topic, and then email her your burning questions now. Anything you send will be posted anonymously, promise.

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