I'll stop you right there--it's not some racy manual with positions and tricks--it's more about how our views towards sexuality and sensuality are shaped, and how we/our mannerisms are perceived. The very first exercise that sex therapist Barbara Keesling has you do is to think back into your past and think about all the times you had a sexual or sensual thought/feeling and someone told you that what you thought/felt (something natural) was bad (something loaded with judgment, and no context/explanation).
I was thinking about this a few days ago as it relates to food and even our own growing bodies. How many times growing up did I hear other people trying to edit what I was eating: Are you sure you want to eat that slice of pizza? Is that ice cream worth it? Wouldn't you rather have a salad? Worse off was when people tried to warp how I viewed my own body. (What? I'm not all va va va voom like Jessica Rabbit?)
Instead of listening to the wisdom of my hunger and satiety, I learned to let the external voices dictate the relationship between me and my body/mind and my relationship with food. Instead of being kind to my body, I let other people tell that I should be ashamed of my body and how it was metamorphosing. Somehow, they were the experts on what it meant to be Robby and I should listen them. Yeah, it sounds silly now, but I let them steer me off course.
The whole point of the book's exercise isn't to blame, but to note, forgive, and move on. How do you move on? You learn how to turn up the volume on your inner voice and listen to it. You learn to honor your body at all times. To go for that run, to wear the shirt that makes you feel sexy, to surround yourself with positive friends/family, etc. To not go for that run, to wear the shirt that makes you feel warm, to be alone if you need to be, etc.
It's not like flipping a switch, it's a process that's going to be easy at times and hard others. But it's worthwhile. You are worthwhile. That's what The Epiphany is. When we're young, it's easy to suffer the outside influences. As we're older, we need to be able to honor our bodies for the wondrous gifts that they are.
And yes, the ice cream is worth it.
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