A million thanks goes to my very good friend, who shall remain nameless (unless she chooses to reveal her identity), for coining the term "sex-esteem."
We all have heard of self-esteem and we know how we value self, but how do we value sex and our relationship with the act? How do you truly feel about your sex life? Is it good, bad, or indifferent? Rockin' awesome or just adequate? Have you ever considered your sex-esteem?
I'm far from being a sexpert and I don't usually think sex is all that difficult, but it really is a complicated thing, isn't it? I mean, really, it is the most intimate expression possible between humans. The physical joining of separate people can be deeply moving, to the point that tears of joy are shed over the wondrous experience. Or it can be profoundly disappointing to the point that you don't even see the point. I can say that I've experienced both situations and, even though crying during or after sex is generally discouraged, the former is far preferred over the latter!
Sex is odd, right? It can be an expression of the highest and purest form of love, freely giving everything you can offer to someone else. . .so wonderful and so touching. Yet it can also be a base and animalistic response, completely detached from our higher thinking and any sense of reason. . .so wonderful and so hedonistic.
Sexual compatibility is important in a relationship. I think so anyway. That's not to say that I think simultaneous orgasms are necessary to have compatibility. It's very nice, of course, but certainly not necessary. I think it's more important to clearly communicate desires and reach an understanding of sexual expectations.
I'm sure this shocks no one reading this, but I like to do it a lot. And, if that's not happening, I have no problem taking matters into my own hands - if you catch my meaning. But I damn sure would have a problem if my husband wasn't willing to at least try to accommodate me or be respectful of my desires. It would hurt my sex-esteem!
I'd begin to feel unloved, unwanted, and undesirable if my partner's actions (or, more accurately, lack of action) were injuring my sex-esteem. Even more detrimental to the relationship, I'd begin to feel judged. Nothing kills the glorious blossom of true intimacy more completely than harshly judging your partner's desires. Nothing!
You know, I basically just described how I felt throughout my first marriage and that was a sad, sad chapter in my life. My self-esteem was wounded and, more painfully, my sex-esteem was battered. His rejection and ambivalence damn near did me in. Just when I was dejectedly sprawled out at the brink, the smoldering rebellion that never was fully snuffed out somehow reached full flame and I burned that marriage, that entire relationship, to the ground.
I walked away and never looked back. In doing so, I rediscovered who I am and I found that I really like myself. I am a bit of a horn-dog, but that's okay. I'd wager that my husband thinks that's more than just okay - ha! I learned a lot from that dark time, most notably that a person is a complex tapestry of feelings, moods, and emotions. And that self-esteem and sex-esteem are often fully intertwined.
As I relearned to value myself, I learned to value my pleasure. I realized that my sex drive is as much a part of me as my kindness, loyalty, or generosity. All of those things are good and so is knowing who I am from a sexual standpoint. My sex-esteem was built up and restored through my relationship with my husband and my self-esteem naturally rose with my joy and personal satisfaction.
Have you ever considered your sex-esteem? Is your partner respectful of your desires? Are you happy with your relationship from a sexual standpoint? If you've answered "no" to the immediately previous two questions, you really should have a heart to heart talk with your partner.
Are you shying away from having that potentially dangerous conversation? I can understand that it may be uncomfortable and possibly lead to an argument or even a dissolution of the relationship. But please realize that honesty is always the best foundation for any relationship. It's like faking orgasms - you should never do it because then you are always compelled to fake it. And, at some point, we always will tire of faking it and we'll want to feel something genuine.
We were all meant to live a real life and it's my hope that you're living yours to the fullest. Leave pretending to actors and be real in every aspect of your life!