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Shame is a debilitating thing.

It stops progression and movement forward.

I was a virgin until my mid twenties, waiting for the one, waiting until I was married. And then one day, sick of waiting, I wasn’t a virgin anymore. Consensually, unromantically and hurriedly I had sex with a man I worked with who I later found out was engaged to another woman. Then over the next few years I had a handful of one night stands – men whose names and faces I do not recall. I put myself in unsafe situations with strangers and I shared intimate parts of myself with men I did not know.

And so for 15 years I have pretended that those experiences never happened and that I did not make those choices. Ashamed and embarrassed, I ignored it, buried it, let it fester without acknowledgment. And I have spent most of my adult life in judgement of myself thinking that I somehow need to be punished for those choices and that I do not deserve a good life.

Today I forgive myself and I accept all the experiences I have had.

I claim those choices as my own, borne out of some curiosity to experience a certain lifestyle that I found out was not for me. So rather than feeling shame and embarrassment I give gratitude to the choices I made in my twenties for they have given me the clarity to see that which I wish to experience.

Today I express my sensuality with grace and I hold in honour the intimate, deep and soulful sexual experience I can choose to have with a man.

There is no longer shame.

February 2018

Image Credit: Nick Fewings

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