What did they teach you about desire?

That it was bad? That some desires were ok, but others were dirty and wrong? That you were bad for having them?

Was desire paired with guilt and shame?

Were you told it must be transcended? That you must master and suppress it? That you must deny and hide it? That it must be kept secret?

That desire could only look a certain way?

That because you’re married now, you shouldn’t have it?

That because you’re not in a committed relationship, you shouldn’t have it?

Did they teach you that boys always want sex, it’s the only thing they want?

Did they teach you that girls don’t like sex, and must be coaxed or coerced into giving it up? Or that good girls only have sex when they’re in love, and that bad girls have sex just for fun?

Did you learn that desire for touch and connection must always be sexual? That sexual always means orgasm? That if there was sex and no orgasm you’re doing it wrong, or that there’s something wrong with you? That sex had to be a certain way all the time?

Here are some things I know.

Men and women have been shamed for their sexual desires for a very long time. We learn early to hide or suppress, to avoid punishment and to be “good” and accepted by society.

Touch, connection, and expression of sexual desire does not always have to lead to sex or orgasm to be satisfying and fun.

There are many paths to orgasm. Sometimes it’s a sprint, and other times an extended, languid exploration. It can all feel good, be fun, and a path of self-learning.

I have been orgasmic since forever. I remember being a kid and touching myself because it felt good. Even before there was orgasm, there was feeling good. And I also remember being found out and getting in trouble. I think my parents were horrified or at least very confused and uncomfortable. I learned to hide that part of myself.

(If you are a parent and have experienced this — discovering your toddler or child pleasuring themselves — I’d love to know how you handled it and what emotions came up for you. I recall reading a post on Medium about this, it was in a parenting blog I think, but can’t find it now and just can’t bring myself to search for “toddler” and “masturbation” because I’m so afraid of what other content would be surfaced.)

As I’ve come to learn that many women have not yet had orgasms in life, I feel very blessed to have always been easily orgasmic, and even to just feel good when touching myself or being touched by another. I’ve been blessed with amazing people with whom I’ve explored touch, feeling, sexuality — and all with kindness, love, and friendship.

Here is something else I know:

You are a human.

That means you have desires. This includes a desire for touch, emotional connection, sexual experience. Sometimes you want all of these together, but not always.

Desire can feel scary. It’s very powerful.

And that is why, as you become more familiar and allowing of your desire, you become more powerful within your own life.

Desire doesn’t pull the invisible strings from behind the curtain anymore.

It needn’t trigger your guilt or shame or pain or fear.

Your relationship with Desire becomes your path to Liberation and Joy.

But first, there’s a lot of work to do within, learning to see those beliefs and understand that the voices in your head were inherited — and can be released.

Feel good today, dear Reader, in that exquisite and beautiful body of yours.