The modern single woman represents empowerment and self-expression. Yet when it comes to sex, the weakest parts of us often rule the show. Here are some ways to interrupt disempowering patterns and put yourself back in the driver’s seat of your own life.
Make sure you feel your best
Many women use getting attention and even sex as a form of self-validation; “If someone wants to have sex with me, it must mean I’m good enough.” In essence this means we are allowing the most insecure part of us to guide our choices. Instead, focus on the opposite. Are you feeling good about yourself? If not, don’t look to sex to make you feel better. Go to the gym. Take a walk. Get a massage. Take time to make yourself feel beautiful not for them, but for you. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself first. If you are going out with your girlfriends for a night on the town, make sure you are in a centered frame of mind where you know your worth and are not driven by needing to fill that insecure part of you. If you go out feeling bad about yourself you will tend to make bad choices. Feel good and you will make good choices.
When you go out, radiate. If you start to feel the old insecure voices coming in telling you your body isn’t right or that your make up is not good enough or that your outfit isn’t appropriate, or that your friend is getting more attention than you, do not feed the thought. Starve it. Put your attention on who and what is in front of you. Consciously draw on the best, most radiant part of you and let it grow. Talk to everyone. Be open to everyone. Be your charming, fun, engaging self whether there is a man around or not. Create your own fulfilling moment by filling the space around you, and you will become a beacon in the room.
Learn to develop your inner divining rod
Being driven by our insecurity can set stage for what I call being incongruent with ourselves. In the name of getting that attention or validation, we are willing to override our own instincts and even compromise what internally feels right to us. Sex that comes from this place leaves a subtle impression. Though we may feel initially excited, happy and temporarily buoyed by the attentions of another, underneath we have also subtly compromised ourselves. Once we’ve done it, it becomes easy to do it over and over again. In essence, we are giving ourselves up piece by piece –which only lowers our self worth more and leads us to seek it all the more outside.
To break this cycle, learn to impeccably listen to what your body is telling you. Throughout your time with the other person, periodically check in with yourself. If there is true attraction after a short or long time of knowing someone, your body will tell you. You will feel openness, and ease within. If you feel tightness, tension, constriction in your belly, chest or throat, something is not right. Those feelings mean caution – proceed slowly or not at all. Do not act if there is any part of you that doesn’t feel right. If you don’t want to close the door completely while you figure out, just say in a smiling way, “Hmm. That’s something to think about. I’ll get back to you on that.” Holding off will only increase your estimation in another’s eyes and communicates your self-respect.
Of course, it is not wise to listen to the signals of your body alone either. Common sense and practicality need to factor in too. You might feel an instant attraction and opening with someone, but that still means you need to determine how far you want to go how quickly. Often the rate at which you want to progress is inversely proportionate to how serious you are looking for the relationship to be. In other words the general rule is the more quickly you have sex the less likely it is to last.
Be clear on your intention
Many of us let our impulses and the excitement of the moment get the best of us. The clearer we are on exactly what we want out of any encounter, the more likely we are to get what we want and avoid what we don’t want. Ask yourself honestly, “Am I really looking for a relationship here? Or would I really be okay with just sex?” Or is it something in between: “I want to have closeness and some intimacy with someone, but it doesn’t need to be a full-blown commitment.” Once you are clear about what you want, you have a compass. You are not at the effect of whoever happens to show up. You have a way to sift through the choices you have and set aside those that don’t fit what you are looking for. Now you are not in the position of letting others decide if you are good enough, you are deciding if they are good enough for you.
Originally published in Healthy Living Magazine 2012