If you are to become sexually empowered, you must tell your story. We ALL have a sexual story to tell.

Your story might include your experience of your own body from very early in your life up to now. It might include feelings of desire or crushes or past relationships and sexual experiences. It includes shame and rejection, ignorance and trauma or other difficult parts of your sexual experience—the parts you rarely, if ever, share. It includes your relationship to your own sexual identity and how you came to know and name your sexuality. It includes your experience of your gender and of all the expectations and messages you received from your culture. It includes so much—your rich unique experience of sexuality.

Many of us never tell our sexual story—in part or in whole because we learn that sexuality is taboo and we shouldn’t talk about or acknowledge sex. Many of us have had difficult experiences that we’d rather not remember so we repress them and do not speak of them. Some things make us feel so much shame that we stay quiet and keep them to ourselves.

When you stay quiet about your sexuality, you limit it—you can only grow it so much in silence. When you keep the shamed parts to yourself, you maintain your own shame instead of releasing it.

I think this is why the Vagina Monologues have been so popular and have had such a long vibrant life of opening up the world of storytelling about our genitals and the private things that relate to our genitals. The production has helped thousands of people break the silence they have about sexuality and about their vulvas/vaginas. It’s also why Take Back the Night and other events are where women can offer testimonials about their traumatic experiences are so valuable. They help us not to be alone with it. I travel a lot teaching workshops at colleges, conferences, and in community spaces. One of the workshops I teach relating to the Vagina Monologues is “My Own Vagina’s Monologue.” I love teaching this workshop because it helps women to open up about their stories relating to their body.

Telling your story is the first step of releasing the painful parts and embracing the delicious parts.

Telling your story also helps you let go of the parts of it that do not serve you anymore.

Telling your story helps you to expand, to enrich and continue to make the story you want.

Telling your own sexual story is the first step in my Sexually Empowered Life Program. I work with people to examine their story—and give them a place to tell it, release it and to grow it to a new place, the one of their choosing…which is much more empowering than feeling like we are simply a recipient or victim in a story. We create the story and that can start right now.

Author's Bio: 

Amy Jo Goddard, M.A. came to the sexuality field wanting to help empower women and girls. She has since worked with a wide range of people and has come full circle to birth her work on sexual empowerment and erotic authenticity for women. A sexuality educator, trainer, author, performing artist and activist, she travels to colleges, universities, communities and conferences teaching workshops and speaking about sexuality. She has taught workshops at such schools as Barnard College, Princeton University, Vassar College, NYU, & Gallaudet University. A professional trainer of sexuality professionals, medical students, college students and youth for fifteen years, she has taught courses at the City University of New York and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Amy Jo is co-author of Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men and contributing Author of All About Sex, among other writings. She has worked in various women's and queer communities as an activist and advocate. Amy Jo maintains a private sex coaching practice and facilitates her six month sexuality program for women, The Sexually Empowered Life, in New York City.