Claiming Your Sexual Power
By Jen Martin, EdD
Like too many women, as a young girl sex was forced upon me. This messed me up for a long time. My identity was: ‘I am a victim of sexual abuse.’
That label dictated my behavior. I withdrew from people, did my best to keep everyone around me happy and lived with a ton of fear and anxiety each day. I didn’t see the connection at the time between how I acted and what happened to me as a kid.
When I met a guy I really wanted to have consensual sex with, I found out how much the past still haunted me. Even though I was totally into this guy, my body wouldn’t cooperate. My body betrayed me. It shut down. It felt numb.
And my reaction to all this? I didn’t think of myself. I thought of him. My first thought was, who wants to have sex with someone who is just going through the motions?
I was in love with my partner. I didn’t want him to disappear. I wanted him to have a better, more passionate experience with me during sex. Sad to say, but the truth is that I wasn’t motivated to transform my relationship with my sexuality for myself, I did it for him.
Here’s what I decided – that I needed to think of myself as someone other than as a person who was a victim of sex abuse.
I needed to find access to my hidden sexual power.
You may be thinking that I found my way through countless visits to a therapist’s office but that’s not my story (despite the fact that I have a graduate degree in Psychology).
This sounds odd, but the transformation began to happen in the library of my university. While doing research for a comparative religions class I found this book – When God was a Woman. A whole new world revealed itself to me. I discovered a time when women’s sexuality was known to be powerfully connected to the unseen, mystical realm.
I was hooked and kept on reading other works by feminist scholars. Who knew that there was a time when ‘pornography’ was all about women being worshiped as a force of nature.
These writings weren’t just words to me. I felt like these words showed me a living, breathing reality of what women could claim for themselves today.
It didn’t stop there. On a visit to Greece I had a visceral sense of being connected to these ancient women. During a vacation to Santorini, I woke up one morning to a sense that I was no longer in the world as we know it through our five senses. I felt transported to another time. I didn’t see anything as much as felt it. I felt the presence of ancient spirits. I felt their sense of urgency about reclaiming this lost sexual power that women once knew. It was an experience I will never forget and changed me.
Back to my story about sex with my partner. Without having to consciously think about doing or being anything different, the fact that I was immersing myself in an ancient view of women and sex, things started to organically change.
I didn’t have to try to be different with my partner. I just was different.
Over time, the meek, passive, non-sexual person that I was completely dropped away. I became empowered to ask for what I wanted. I found a new confidence – a sense of joy and playfulness in bed. I knew I was beautiful, alluring, desirable and deserved pleasure. The grip of my past was no longer there. And I could be totally into pleasing him – not because I felt I had to so that he would stay but because it brings me joy to see him totally into it.
That’s not all. My confidence in my ability to ask for what I wanted outside of sex changed radically too. I just felt that I deserved more, and I asked for it. I got a raise and I found better work opportunities. It no longer suited my identity to stay small and hidden.
I am not unique. Any woman can claim her sexual power, regardless of whether it was taken from her at one time. It is never too late to flip the script of your sexual story and claim a new ending.
You can find me on Twitter @drjenradio or join me over at https://ReThinkSex.org