Changing your beliefs about sex and sexuality - The Ohture: Encourage Sexual Health & Wellness

Changing your beliefs about sex and sexuality in 4 steps

Before I even get into this topic with it’s worth clarifying what a belief system is and how this relates to sex and sexuality. Belief systems are how you perceive the world, they are an ideology or a set of principals that drive your behaviour and what many people don’t know is that your belief system was being developed from the day you were born, carefully moulded by all the interactions you had. Your family system, school environment, neighbourhood, cultural background, and other communities all played a role in the development of your belief systems. And yes it includes how you perceive sex and sexually. So if I personally planned on changing, revamping, re-igniting my sexuality I first needed to address my pre-existing belief systems and understand what they were and how they were impacting my life. You see I had come to the conclusion that at the age of 34 I needed to find myself again in relation to how I saw myself sexually as I know this played a large part in how my sex life with my husband played out. Having done plenty of work around addressing and changing belief systems through my line of work I knew it was possible. It would just be a matter of making the process more geared towards well sex.

  1. Identify the beliefs/ thoughts – So what was the first step I needed to take in this process? Well, I needed to know what thoughts already existed for me. This mostly involved asking myself numerous questions about sex and sexuality. For me, I carried this out by drawing a mind map. This consisted of writing the word sex in the middle of the page with associated words extending from it. I carried this out until I had filled an entire A4 sheet. Then, I looked over the sheet and looked for themes or anything really powerful that stood out. For me it was that sex was not really something you speak about, it’s always kept behind closed doors. I’ve only ever known it to be between married couples and that it doesn’t really exceed past 2 people. Next I looked at how and when I developed these beliefs. What were the influencing or contributing factors that helped shape these beliefs? Here I found that having Catholic parents, and growing up in the community and decade that I did played a large part.
  2. Evaluate the beliefs/ thoughts – After this, I had to really evaluate the truth behind these thoughts. Why did I believe that sex was such a big secret and not to be discussed with other people? Why did I feel embarrassed about the thought of sex toys? Why was the thought of talking to family about sex so cringe-worthy? These weren’t truths. There wasn’t factual evidence to support them. They were merely subjective perceptions I had developed because that is what I was exposed to through my upbringing. That’s all they were ‘thoughts’, thoughts that I have control over as to whether they direct my behaviour or not. So now that that was established, what next?
  3. Replace the beliefs/ thoughts – So If I was choosing to no longer entertain those old beliefs about sex and sexuality, what belief system did I want to have? This next step I have to admit was a lot of fun for me. This is where I got to choose what new belief system I wanted to adopt from here on out. I gave myself adequate time and space to think about this first. To help myself in the process I utilised the miracle question activity from Solution Focused Brief Therapy which involves imagining that a miracle occurred overnight and you wake up to the life you’ve always dreamed of. So I asked myself what is my ideal life in terms of sex and sexuality? I visualised how I acted, who I spoke to about it, how I felt about it, how I was with my husband, what mine and my my husbands relationship looked like, how I spoke about it, what I looked like, everything. Once I had that it was simply a matter of manifesting these beliefs and thoughts into reality.
  4. Showing up – So I had identified, evaluated, and replaced my pre-existing and limiting belief systems surrounding sex and sexuality but how do I actualise it? Well, an important step that I had to take was to begin showing up in life with this new belief system. I had to show up in order to bring it into reality. For me, there wasn’t any point in creating a new belief system and not living by it. The belief system had to be reinforced and supported through tangible action. Now I will admit felt uncomfortable at first. There were even times when I felt anxious, which makes sense, I was removing myself from my comfort zone, from what I had known and believed in for years. But I gave myself time and space. I allowed myself to make mistakes and went easy on myself when I had bad days. But most importantly I showed myself love and support through this process, what I was doing was huge for me and I acknowledged that. I also encourage you to do the same should you make the decision to challenge yourself, step out of your comfort zone, and reach a new level of living.

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