This just in: I’m a woman in my late twenties who is relatively successful in most aspects of life. I spend my day’s providing therapy, teaching and writing. I have blonde hair; blue eyes, a few tattoos and a curvaceous figure. At the best of times I snort when I laugh. I try to run most day’s (except over bridges). I hate my knees being touched or touching marshmallows. I can sink a Gin and Tonic in the time it took you to read my intro.
So, what’s missing? The same thing I imagine that’s missing in other self descriptions.
I am a self-pity addict.
Now, is it just me or does self-pity sound like a dirty word? Whilst I don’t partake in self-pity talk on a daily basis, I am partial to whip it out every now and then for a good lashing. In fact, it’s something I’ve recently indulged in after a few relationship fail’s. Hence, like most writers, my desire to publicly debate it.‘Outing myself’ as someone who tends to dabble in self-pity, makes me also wonder if I sound like I’m entertaining the idea of a naval gazing pity party.
Being a Sexologist, or as I like to say ‘Sexy Therapist’, I know self-pity can be felt as a real emotion, and carry with it some pretty heavy thoughts. I know over the years I’ve spent many a night inviting in self-pity in an attempt to dis-invite self realization. And you know what; it’s actually pretty healthy at times and owns its place in an emotional upheaval. To be honest, I’m getting a kick out of writing this as I’m hoping others may relate to what I’m talking about.
So what made me think about self pity in relation to sex?
Simple: self-pity ain’t that sexy.
When I’ve shared any doubt around sex and dating, it’s been received by baffled reactions that generally question how this can be when I’m a sexologist. Sometimes in my head I might run with this idea, and envision myself donning a cape with ‘Sex Goddess’ displayed over my breasts. Most of the time however, I simply remember that like many sexually active people, I can have a sexual hang up every now and then and lose my nerve.
Today I decided I don’t want to be okay with the self pity that might rear its ugly head in my world of sex and dating. It’s affecting my confidence and I’m becoming quite bored by it. Like it or lump it: a crippling attack or lack of confidence is akin to flight/flight response. It’s up to me to decide how I wish to play it out. Whilst I cannot change my past, I can defiantly choose my future and how I wish to view it.
I need to be realistic when it comes to what I view, read and conceptualize. I live in a world where I am constantly trapped in a media vortex of unrealistic sexual imagery in advertisements,pornography and social culture.
I need to remember that my sexuality will most likely be influenced by these incessant sexual distortions and at the same time accept and own my sexuality for what it is, curves and all.
Am I okay with not being 100% confident in my sexuality at all times? Absolutely. At the end of the day, the only person responsible for making me feel sexy is myself. No matter what shape, age or size I am. If I’m not feeling my own sexy vibes, chances are, I won’t be feeling the positive feedback or sexy vibes I’m receiving.
Statistics consistently show, when we are in touch with our own sexuality, have moderate to high sexual self esteem or put simply, know we’re pretty awesome; we have a higher chance of enjoying a healthy relationship and even healthier sex life.
And if I have another knock back, rejection, or just meet a tosser, as hard as it may be: I’ll swing the shoulders back, hold my head high, and keep on walking. Before I know it, something or someone will remind me I’m a catch.
Here’s hoping that this time that someone is, in fact, myself.
Amanda Joy Robb lives in Sydney Australia where she works as a Sexologist/Sex Therapist and Media Commentator. Feeding her passion in supporting women, Amanda also works for a feminist organization where she is able to empower and support survivors of sexual trauma. Amanda easily gets excited over quality music, yoga, boxing, cats and putting pen to paper about anything and everything she can to do with the wonderful world of sexology.
Editor: Carolyn Gilligan