Do you know what your sexual preferences, desire, limits, and deal-breakers are?
They make up your sexual boundaries.
Having the courage to speak up and draw clear and concise boundaries about what is and isn’t OK with you when it comes to physical touch and intimacy is essential to your sexual empowerment.
It’s high time we normalize the conversation around sex and sexual boundaries. Communicating our preferences and asserting our limits and non-negotiables when it comes to sex can feel uncomfortable at best and impossible at worst.
So if you struggle to communicate about sex or with even knowing what you want or how to ask for it, I’ve been there, I got you.
Sexual boundaries are a subset of your personal boundaries. Your personal boundaries are unique to you and informed by all of the different experiences you’ve had in your life, your family system, cultural norms and taboos, and many other factors.
When you have healthy sexual boundaries, you decide what level of touch and intimacy is acceptable. You decide the where, the when and with whom being sexual happens.
A violation of your sexual boundaries is someone coercing or forcing you to be sexual. Not limited to physical touch, a sexual violation extends to anyone behaving in a way intended to arouse or gratify their own sexual impulse without your expressed consent. For example, inappropriate or lewd comments are a violation.
Even if you feel confident about expressing what is and what isn’t ok with you in most parts of your life, you might still struggle to do this in a sexual situation. If this is true for you, know, you’re not alone.
Every family has its own culture around sex and sensuality. Modeled behaviors, whether sex was talked about openly or kept behind closed doors, and all of the ways you experienced covert or overt messaging around sex and physicality when you were growing up could still be impacting you in the present.
I grew up in a family system that didn’t talk about sex. Although we never had a direct conversation about what I should or shouldn’t do sexually, the covert message was: don’t do it. I believed my mother would disapprove of me being sexual with even my long-term high school boyfriend so I waited…a long time. Brings to mind Billy Joel singing about the good ole days, “And you didn’t get any unless you went steady and made out for a year.” Or in my case, three.
My parents were high-school sweethearts and when my Dad went off to college on an athletic scholarship, my mom stayed home and worked in the GE factory to save money for her own education. When she had finally saved enough to start college, she became pregnant with my oldest sister over the Thanksgiving break of her first semester.
My parents got married in a back office of a Methodist Church and my mom dropped out of school. That experience is a part of my sexual blueprint (even though it didn’t happen to me). For years I had an unconscious association that sex could mean the end of my dreams.
Growing up, I internalized the message that sex was something someone else wanted from you. And, as a woman, by being sexual I was giving something up and potentially giving someone else control over me. (not very sexy)
Through years of my own therapy, I worked to create a deeper understanding of my sexual blueprint so I could become sexually empowered. Now I am giving you the road map I didn’t have because you deserve to be self-determined when it comes to your sexuality, your pleasure, and your boundaries.
Take a look at the broader culture where you grew up. What was the messaging you received directly or observed from your family of origin, your community, your social circle? How was sex and sensuality portrayed and viewed?
What representations of sex or being sexy in media, advertising, movies, and television did you see while you were young and impressionable? How did they affect the way you saw yourself and your relationship to your sexuality?
Sexual boundaries aren’t just about saying no, they are also about saying yes! You saying yes to your desires, saying yes to sensual experiences, saying yes to self-pleasure, and nurturing those parts of yourself are a foundational element of your sexual boundary discovery process.
What lights you up and turns you on? What do you want to try? There is a world of joy, pleasure, and creativity that opens up when you begin to explore and create healthy sexual boundaries for YOU.
If you grew up in a repressed system, it can be hard to discuss what your preferences are or what feels good to you. The payoff is that sharing your likes and dislikes with your partner can open the door to more pleasure and a deeper connection.
And in order to do this, you need to take the time to think about your preferences and do the work to get to know yourself, sexually. Then you can harness the mind-blowing power of your intention and put your focused energy into building a solid sexual boundary skill set. It is totally doable and worth your effort.
You have the right to be sexually self-determined.
You have the right to have an amazing sexual connection with your partner or with many partners if you so choose.
The point is, YOU get to decide.
To guide you in this discovery process, I’ve created a sex, pleasure, and romance blueprint for you. I invite you to take time, create space for expansion, and get to know your sexual self more intimately.
Let’s normalize this conversation around sex, sexuality, and sexual boundaries because you know what? It’s about friggin’ time. I hope this blueprint exercise adds value to your life and inspires a power pivot in your own sexuality. Leave me a comment here, share on your social and tag me @terricole.
I hope you have an amazing week exploring your desire and prioritizing your pleasure and as always, take care of you.
Here are some more ways I can support you:
PRE-ORDER MY NEW BOOK BABY! Boundary Boss is THE essential guidebook for authentically expressing your desires, setting healthy limits and bringing more satisfaction, joy and peace into all of your personal and professional relationships. There are super JUICY bonuses when you pre-order, so what are you waiting for?
TAKE THE BOUNDARY STYLE QUIZ I always say, you can’t change anything until you become aware of it, so take the quiz and discover your unique boundary style!
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