Personal style and sexuality go hand in hand. Even if you’re not into fashion, or you don’t think twice about the clothes in your closet — what you wear and how you wear it says a lot about how you feel about yourself — and how you feel about yourself indicates exactly how you express your sexuality.
Meet Mary.** A financially savvy, fun-loving, highly intelligent, and deeply caring woman who has dedicated her life to higher learning and education. Mary married her best friend, and has two beautiful children. One day, her husband came home from a business trip with a gift for her. She opened the gift and unwrapped an athletic, boxy t-shirt, and a pair of sneakers. As she was opening the gift her husband said, I like to get you things that you’ll actually wear. Later that week, Mary had a doctor’s appointment and left the house all dolled up with full on make-up and hair done, wearing a flowy top, necklace, earrings, dress pants and nice shoes. A few days later, she went on a date night with her husband wearing the new sneakers and t-shirt he bought her. Five years into her marriage, Mary asked me for sex and relationship advice and said, “what can I do to make sure I’m giving my husband what he needs?” She already has the answer inside of her own heart, but I said, you’re already doing it. You’re putting yourself first. You’re exercising and eating clean organic foods, and you completed LifeSpa’s Short Home Cleanse to take control of your health while dealing with a family illness. You expanded your social circle to include people that you can talk to about spirituality, and you’ve followed your curiosity with around reiki and becoming an energy healer. I said, keep doing what makes you happy, and when it comes to you and your husband, my one piece of advice is: don’t ever stop dating him. Courting keeps the romance and sexual tension alive. It’s not only about where you go, or what you do, but also what you wear for the ride. And what you wear is determined by how you feel about yourself.
There are so many women like Mary. Who get dressed up for special events, and keep the clothes they wore when they first started dating their husbands in the spare room closet. They get home from work and change into t-shirts and sweat pants to be comfortable. It’s an old pattern of getting dressed on auto-pilot, and wearing emotions that reflect a personal sense of style that says I only come out to play for special events and the occasional date night.
I wanted to understand what it takes for women to feel free and confident to express their sexuality, and discovered this short, four-minute video by brilliant relationship expert, Esther Perel, who talks about the different psychological and sexual internal experiences that both men and women need to experience pleasure. Turns out, the answer is in letting go. So, how do we do that? Watch the video to see what resonates with you personally, but here are some of the key takeaways that I found super relevant and on point:
“In a straight narrative you will hear a man say, nothing turns me on more than for her to be turned on. Because if she’s turned on, then he knows he’s not hurting her, she’s into it. He can bypass the main frame obstacle for men, which is the predatory fear. If she’s into it, if she likes it, then he doesn’t have to worry. This is actually what he gets on screen. The woman on screen always likes it, never has a headache, always says me too, always says more more more, and he never has to feel neither inadequate, nor afraid of rejection, nor worried if she likes it. Which are the 3 most important internal experiences for men psychologically sexually.”
Esther defines the obstacle in sexuality as the opposite of the social role. Let that sink in for a second. Seriously, how BRILLIANT is that?! And so true. For example, “if you were raised to be a social protector, then the obstacle has to be that you have to free yourself from the role of being a protector in order to be able to enjoy it, to play, to have fun. Which is the case in men.”
Now, what does it take for women to let go and experience their sexuality?
Esther says, “For her, it’s the parenting, the nurturer, the “taking care” part of a woman. What turns her on is to be the turn on. That’s the big secret of female sexuality is that it is massively narcissistic. It’s the opposite of the caring for others and feeling responsible for others. If she can think about herself then she can be into it. And in order to think about herself, she then needs to like herself, hence she can’t be in a critical voice.”
And THIS is where Esther Perel hit a grand slam (like she always does!):
“If she starts to think about everything about her that is not good enough, that she doesn’t like, she will shut herself off. Before you ask a woman if she would make love to man, or another woman, first ask a woman if she would make love to herself. If she doesn’t want to make love to herself, she won’t let anybody else do it either.”
When I shared this with Mary she said, “OMG. That’s exactly how I feel.”
There you have it. The secret to expressing female sexuality — both in and out of the bedroom — along with your personal sense of style is liking yourself.
So, how can you make the shift? What can you do to like yourself more? The answer is simple: do more of what you love and dress up for the love of your life. Adding more things into your daily schedule that make you happy is what brings your sexy back. Whether you’re married or single, it’s doing things like getting all dressed up and taking yourself to dinner and a movie on Christmas Eve when you “should” be spending time with your family, it’s buying yourself roses, putting them on your bedside table, and smelling them when you wake up. It’s handwriting love letters and sending them by surprise in the mail. It’s signing up for dance classes that you’ve been wanting to take for forever. It’s getting back on your yoga mat even just for 10 minutes. It’s putting on a dress when you could easily wear yoga pants and a hoodie to the farmers market. In essence, to like yourself more — date yourself more, and get dressed like you’re meeting the love of your life — because the love of your life is YOU.
Get into your closet and start letting go of the clothes that are no longer a true reflection of you. Sign up for my email newsletter here, and get my free guide on how to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. Yes, any occasion.