MEET VANESSA MARIN
Vanessa Marin is a licensed psychotherapist, coach, and writer who helps people stop feeling embarrassed and start having more fun in the bedroom. She studied human sexuality at Brown University and has been featured in publications like The New York Times, Real Simple, CNN, O, The Oprah Magazine, and The Times of London.
Whether in her work coaching clients one-on-one over email and video chat, or through her online sex education programs like The Modern Man’s Guide To Conquering Performance Pressure and Finishing School: Learn How To Orgasm, she finds immense joy in helping people discover (or rediscover!) their spark.
IN THIS PODCAST
- Building sexual confidence after divorce
- Reclaiming your sexuality as your own
- Sexuality can exist in many forms
- Misconceptions to be mindful of
BUILDING SEXUAL CONFIDENCE AFTER DIVORCE
Too often we tend to tie our sex lives to being with a partner and we don’t really take that much time to examine our sexuality when we’re on our own … this transition time can be a great opportunity to really get familiar with your sexuality. (Vanessa Marin)
The period after a divorce can be stressful and feel particularly unsexual, especially if someone has tied their pleasure and sense of sexuality to their partner.
Remember that your sexuality belongs to you. You can use this transition period to become acquainted with – for the first or second time – what you enjoy, what makes you feel good, and how you want to feel.
This transition period can become something personal and intimate with yourself, instead of feeling disconnected or discouraged.
Take this time to explore your own needs and reclaim your sexuality. Ask yourself:
- What do I want in my next relationship?
- What is important for me when it comes to relationships and my sex life?
- How do I want to experience my relationship with my body and sexuality when I am on my own and not with a partner?
- What sorts of desires, curiosity, or interests do I have that I want to explore?
- What are my non-negotiable boundaries around my sexuality and pleasure?
RECLAIMING YOUR SEXUALITY AS YOUR OWN
You may feel shy or awkward initially, and that is okay. Everyone, even a sex therapist, is working on their sense of enjoyment and sexuality.
It is important to realize that “hey, we are all struggling in one way or another.” There is no such thing as having an absolutely perfect, 100% confident relationship with your sexuality. (Vanessa Marin)
There is no comparison and no external expectation or goal that you have to fulfill. The most important thing is that you know that your sexuality belongs to you, not someone else, and you can fill that relationship with yourself with love, curiosity, and confidence.
There will be difficult times now and then. The goal is not perfection, but the aim is to achieve a sense of peace, wholeness, and appreciation.
- Take some time to journal and answer some of the questions that were mentioned above.
- Use Google as a base to read resources.
- If you’d like, put the incognito filter on your browser to safeguard your privacy and research without limits.
SEXUALITY CAN EXIST IN MANY FORMS
There is no correct way for your sexuality to look or be. It is entirely up to what feels right for you. Some people’s sexualities are quite unsexual, and that is also fine.
My central belief is that we all get to decide what kind of sex life feels right for us. I don’t think there is any one way for us to define healthy or normal. It’s really so individual-dependent. (Vanessa Marin)
There are people in the world that are simply not interested in sex, and if that feels natural and normal to them, that is completely okay.
On the other hand, some people have had challenging experiences with sex, and that causes them to have a knee-jerk reaction against sex to protect them from having a similarly negative experience again.
Sometimes we try to cut ourselves off from our sexuality in an attempt to protect ourselves to not have to go back to that place again, but if you’re someone and sex is an important part of your life … then maybe you can shut down your sex life for a short period of time, but just like any other part of who you are as a human being, you can’t fully cut ourselves off from that. (Vanessa Marin)
If you find yourself shutting down your sexuality even though you know that sex is an enjoyable and important part of your life, it may be a good idea to explore that for a while. Ask yourself:
- Why do I feel the need to shut down this part of myself?
- Does it feel authentic to me, or is it a fear-based reaction?
MISCONCEPTIONS TO BE MINDFUL OF
- “Great sex should happen naturally”: Chemistry can happen on its own, however great chemistry takes work. The same is true with sex.
It takes time of working through issues, both personal and relating to the relationship, and honest and sincere communication. Great sex requires great effort.
In a new relationship, be willing to communicate with your partner and jump over the hurdles together.
- “Universally good in bed”: No one is universally good in bed, so the sex that you will have with a new partner will be different from the sex that you had in the past with someone else.
Find positive ways to share with your partner what it is that you like and do not like. Consider starting off giving positive feedback after having been intimate, because it can help you both to become comfortable with communicating, before diving into giving them some bedroom constructive criticism.