Sexual Expression is an Act of Bravery

Sexuality for me is a journey and I am exploring it with new eyes. Since recently becoming single after fifteen years, I have an opportunity to create the types of sexual relationships I choose and to express my sexuality in ways that I desire. But it’s scary, because I spent so long keeping it locked tightly away.

As a young girl I knew I was hyper sexual and expressing it came easily. One of my earliest memories is at four years old hiding in the closet with a neighbor friend after a bath. We took off our towels and explored each other’s bodies and it felt very natural to do so.

But quickly I learned that sex—while rampantly (and distortedly) displayed in media—was not something safe for me to express in my life.

I was heavily slut shamed. And the thing about slut shaming or any social conditioning is that after a while, you begin to do it to yourself—only harsher.


When I was thirteen my mother gave me a journal for my birthday. It was pink with white flowers and I filled it with my own erotic poetry. One day I came home after school to find it sitting on top of the kitchen table next to her. I felt that she’d played a trick on me in order to capture the shameful sexual thoughts that went on in my mind so she could scold me and use them against me.

I never wrote in a journal again—at least not for over ten years. If words are never written, they can never be found. As a writer of sex and erotica today, this was deeply scarring.

Maybe it was the conservative town I grew up in, maybe it was the era, but the first time I had sex I was slut shamed by the very boy I shared the experience with. He wasn’t my boyfriend, and I wasn’t in love with him, but I greatly enjoyed that one time we had sex together. However, in the days following I learned again that my sexuality was something I needed to hide.

But that just wasn’t possible.

By the time I reached college my sexuality was thwarted and expressed itself in ways that were manipulative and unhealthy. I was sexually domineering, needy and aggressive—and not in a good way. When femininity is repressed, violence takes its place. And it was the only way I knew how to express myself.

Eventually I just shut down. Completely. I entered into a long term relationship that was mostly sexless. It was a relief. A relief from the burden of my sexuality.

After searching, I realized the problem was within me. I began a years long journey of moving from victim mentality and blaming everyone else and society for my sexual condition, to realizing that I was doing it to myself. My mother had crossed the boundary of reading my journal only once. The boy I gave my virginity to only slut shamed me once. But I continued to do it to myself every day since. This realization was a hard pill to swallow. But ultimately it was the key to my freedom.

To stay in this place, I’m learning to live in the moment—learning to experience each moment completely, then to let each one go. I haven’t completely accomplished this yet, but it’s what I strive for. This is the way I am learning to love and this is the way I am learning to express myself sexually.

I have come to realize that sex is art. Sexuality fuels creativity. And vise versa. My creativity was blocked for many years due to the repressed sexuality stemming from my own self-conditioning. I have made a promise to myself that from now on I will always express my sexuality freely no matter how overwhelming, how scary or offensive it may seem. For me, this is an act of bravery. And I think it’s a good place to start.

Author: Eden Lighthipe

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8 thoughts on “Sexual Expression is an Act of Bravery”

  1. What a brave post! Truly remarkable. It wasn’t until I found my current husband that I realized sex is an art, and it is beautiful when you can connect with someone on so much more than just a physical level. xo

  2. This truly is an act of bravery. ♡ And I thank you for sharing something so deep and personal with us. I can definitely relate to you on this experience as I feel that society’s harsh comments and constant reminders of the enforced double standards have also affected me negativity.
    Don’t be too harsh with yourself ♡ I ‘m sure it wasn’t just those two traumatic experiences that affected you. Like many women, the idea has been enforced every day but our sexually confused society in the U.S.
    We love our gore and violence but sexually has always been a topic if restriction and taboo.
    You are a very courageous woman, simply taking hold of her personal health and happiness again. You aren’t hurting anyone and in fact inspiring others to see their sexuality as a healhty, beautiful and natural part of themselves 🙂

  3. I’ve never thought of sex as art before, but that is a brilliant perspective to take. I appreciate your story and your decision to express yourself freely. Best of luck in this new chapter…

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