D’Bunked: Embracing Your Sexuality and Blowing Off Some Shame



Todd Baratz is a licensed personal and couples psychotherapist, podcast host, and writer who specializes in relationships and sex.

D’bunked strips down the myths surrounding gay sex, intimacy, relationships and love and is brought to you by The GLUE.

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No singular person is immune to sexual shame. If you think you are – think again. We all are because we grow up in a culture that is not just sex-negative but entirely sex-phobic. Your sexual shame might not be conscious – meaning you may not be actually thinking or feeling shame. A lot of shame is unconscious and expressed through avoidance, emotional withholding, withholding of sexual information, or requests. So when your partner says, “what do you want?” And you say, “nothing this is good” when you really want them to touch you in a certain way you can be sure that you’re experiencing unconscious sexual shame. 


A little work goes a long way – start practicing each of these slides.


What happens after an orgasm is just as important as what comes before. Sex isn’t just some natural biological experience. It’s a psychological, emotional and relational exchange – even if you don’t know the other persons name. Sometimes it is the events leading up to sex that can make it incredibly erotic and arousing. 

If it doesn’t hurt anyone else, whatever and whomever turns you on is great! There is nothing inherently shameful or bad about any type of sexual expression. Yet everyone to some extent learns to experience shame with their sexual expression and preferences. This is culture, religion, and more. If you want more pleasure and fun it’s important to learn the story behind your sexual shame.


Sex is messy – like really messy. It’s not how you see it in the movies or on porn so stop trying to emulate that. It’s common for farts, unpleasant odours or liquids, sweat, and for lube to go everywhere. 


Sex is not penetration, you don’t have to prefer it, and you definitely don’t need to force an orgasm through penetration if it’s not happening. The centrality of penetrative sex is to a cartoonish level – and why? It’s an outdated sexual script that revolves around procreation. Let sex and orgasms be whatever you want it to be – whether that includes penetration or mutual masturbation. Diversify your sexual expression to include a variety of sexual acts. 


Sexual challenges are normal and should be expected. Whether you have low desire, struggle getting hard, wet, can’t cum, or are generally anxious everyone will at some point in their life experience sexual challenges. Our body is not a machine and will therefore experience difficulties depending on a variety of issues from stress and exhaustion to relational anxiety. The minute you start getting mad at your body for not performing (this is performance anxiety) is the minute your body will short circuit, your arousal will decrease and pleasure will be reduced. Most sexual challenges are psychological, emotional and relational. 


Sex isn’t inherently pleasurable nor is it an automatic reflex. It is an interaction that happens in response to an environment and in the context of a relationship.  Therefore, you have to work at it and cultivate a sense of safety and connectedness to something pleasurable. 


Sexual selfishness is important to being able to experience arousal, pleasure, and orgasms. Keep in mind sexual selfishness doesn’t have to be at the expense of your partner’s pleasure. Instead, think about prioritizing your pleasure through an interaction that shifts focus from on to the other and back again. If you’re not assertive with your pleasure you won’t experience all the delicious pleasures of your body.  


Understanding what turns you on is just as important as what turns you off. Its extremely important to communicate your desires (e.g. preference for language, types of touch, kinks, fetishes, etc). It’s also just as if not more important to communicate the things that turn you off (e.g. words, types of touch, smells, environmental cues, timing of the day etc). 


Orgasms can be tricky. Instead of trying to force yourself to cum in the way you think you’re supposed to cum (e.g. through penetration or with your partner’s touch) do whatever you need to get off. You don’t have to shooot buckets of cum, squirt, or scream. Recreate whatever it is you do during masturbation during partnered sex. If you need to fantasize – fantasize. if you need to touch yourself or get a toy out – go for it. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
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