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Jewish Journal

Strictly Sexual

by  Merissa Nathan Gerson

February 25, 2010 | 6:21 pm

Don't forget the glove when making love to a strange new friend!

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Dear Yenta,

Recently I started sleeping with my professional dance partner. The sexual chemistry is incredible and I am really enjoying myself. The only problem, I feel twinges of guilt and indignity for letting go so wildly.

What advice do you have for a young woman exploring her sexuality and loving it, but simultaneously feeling like if many of the people close to her knew what she was doing, she would be shamed?

Thanks, Yenta!

Horizontal

Dear Horizontal,

One nice thing about sex, for most people, is that it happens in private. The intimacy of the practice has a purpose in and of itself: sex is between you and your partner(s). Are you hurting your lover in a way that is damaging to his or her health? Are they damaging you? It sounds pretty innocent to me, lovemaking with a trusted partner.

Who are these people that might “shame” you? Are they friends and family and do they share your beliefs and outlooks in life? Are they bound by religious or communal doctrine that might suggest that expressing your feelings for a dear one physically is sinful? Be sure their shame is theirs, and not yours. If their beliefs penetrate your private affairs, it is up to you to build a stronger interior.

The other question is whether you are imagining and projecting their shame because in fact you feel dirty for your own behavior. Sometimes shame comes up as a way to limit oneself. It can be a way of expressing fear or doubt at deserving such sweet things in life. For example: you find a hot and sensitive sex partner and wonder if you deserve such pleasure, and quickly smear the experience in shame so as to limit your enjoyment.

Check in with yourself and make sure you are enjoying this new physical step in your relationship. Do you feel safe? Cared for? Loved? Do you need there to be love, or can you enjoy sex without it? And does this kind of no strings attached sex make you feel good, or are you someone who needs more commitment? Explore your sexuality but do so on YOUR terms. The judgmental puritans in the rafters can worry about their own orgasms.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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With more than 10 years of talk therapy under her belt, Merissa has waded through life’s dilemmas with a constant reflective therapeutic bird on her shoulder. Add a few...

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