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  • Writer's pictureSherri Elliott-Yeary

Born This Way: Nature or Nurture?

Your sexual identity is an inseparable part of you. It was with you well before you were aware of it. When it comes to sexual identity, you often hear people say, “I was born this way,” or “This is just how God made me.”

Those statements may be true. I believe your sexual identity is part of you just as much as any other aspect of your personality. You should love your sexual identity as much as you love your ability to converse at a party or your creativity. But your brain soaks up messages around you, and so does your vagina.

It can be hard to separate what your actual sexual identity is from learned behaviors, especially if you’ve ever been through a negative sexual experience like abuse or a toxic relationship. (When I say this I don’t mean sexual orientation. I have full confidence you know if you're gay, straight, bi, queer, or anywhere else on the spectrum. Sexual identity is more than just sexual orientation. I mean your whole sexual self–your sexual fantasies, what you enjoy, things that turn you off. I’m talking about your entire sexual composition, not just your orientation.)

What Is My Sexual Identity?

That’s a good question, right? Many women start coaching with me not even sure what an orgasm feels like much less if they’ve ever had one. Some women come to me after they’ve spent years faking orgasms.

This is where your sexual identity really matters. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin as a sexual being, you’ll have a hard time communicating what feels good and what doesn’t to your partner.

If you’re not sure what your sexual identity is, or the kind of touches and activities that really turns you on, start with journaling. Turn to a blank page in your journal or notebook and in the center of the page write, “My Sexual Identity,” then draw a circle around it. In bubbles around write your most memorable experiences and how they felt. Did they leave you satisfied? Is there anything that left you feeling embarrassed or ashamed? Sex isn’t something to be embarrassed about, but you don’t have to do things you don’t like and this is a good opportunity to take stock of that.

After you’ve listed your experiences and how they felt, you can start to get an idea of your sexual identity.

What Do I Want My Sexual Identity To Be?

I want my sexual identity to be sexy and sassy, confident without having to make a show of it. What do you want yours to be? You have some data from the exercise above to guide you.

As I’ve said, your sexual identity is part of your personality. Drastic changes usually aren’t necessary, but if reflecting on your experiences showed you you’re taking care of your partner’s needs but not your own, you’re faking satiety, or you’ve never had an experience that felt really amazing, it might be time to make some changes.

What do you want for your sexual identity and your sex life? If that question bewilders you, it’s probably time for some coaching. If you’re not ready to move forward with a coach, at least start exploring what really turns you on.

Embracing Your Zensual™ Goddess

Once you’ve done the work of figuring out what turn-ons and turn-offs, you should have a good idea of who the sexual side of yourself really is. Then it’s time to embrace your inner zensual™ goddess.

A zensual™ goddess is a woman who is comfortable and confident in her sexuality. She knows what she wants, and what she doesn’t, and she can communicate it to her partner. But the life of a zensual™ goddess will look different for every one of us.

Why? Because being confident and comfortable with who you are is going to be different for each of us. There are as many kinds of zensual™ goddesses as there are personalities in the world, and as long as you’re being authentic to your true self, there’s no wrong way to do it.

A zensual™ goddess doesn’t fake orgasms to boost a man’s self-esteem. She doesn’t meet other people’s needs at the expense of her own. She can be generous and gracious, but she holds her boundaries firm.

Everyone’s A Mentor

Remember earlier I said your brain and vagina soak up messages without even knowing it? It’s possible to think you should like things you really don’t, and some people will try hard to do what they think they should. It’s also possible to avoid doing things you would love because you think you shouldn’t like them. This makes defining your sexual identity even harder.

Taking the time to do the exercise earlier in this post can be eye-opening for this reason, and these messages your body picks up on can come from anywhere. Maybe when you were a child two women passionately kissed on a television show, and your grandmother turned it off after complaining about filth. A young child probably wouldn’t even pick up on it, but analyzing it as an adult, the message is clear. Or maybe your parents policed your clothing choices as a teen because only “bad girls” dress like that.

Working through this can be hard, but we live in an interconnected world. This has always been true to some extent. You’ve always been an influencer for the people who know and care about you, but with social media, each of us has a bigger reach than we realize. One awesome advantage of working through our own sexual identity is we can carefully choose the words and messages we choose to put out into the universe. We can be the reason a young woman can wear a short skirt and not feel guilty.

Where are you on your journey? Have you embraced your sexual identity? If you’re still floundering trying to figure it out, reach out. I want to help you work through this!

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