I Will Help You Shed Your Shame

a skin a snake has shed on the grass
Image by Keri Leaman / CC BY

“You’re into that?” I say. “That’s pretty neat.”

“Really?” she replies, her eyes wide.

“Yeah, it’s kind of a cool fetish.”

“Huh,” she says.


“I’ve just never had anybody react that way before. When I told them that I was into that,” she says.

“How do they normally act?” I ask.

“Like it’s weird. Or gross,” she says.

“Well, it’s not.”

A look of total and utter relief washes across her face.

It’s one I’ve seen many times before. But one I never get sick of seeing.

Shedding Your Shame

I’ve been on the kink scene for many years now. You can pick the newbies out from a mile away, for a very simple reason: Because they’re nervous.

They walk into the community with a heavy heart. They’re into something. Something they’ve been hiding for a long time. From anyone who would judge them. Family and friends, sure. But oftentimes, even their lovers, after they open up about those desires and are met with ridicule.

But even as they hold those desires secret, they can’t quite escape that shame. That anxiety. Because most of them? Are judging themselves.

And so they enter the kink community, expecting to find much what they find in the outside world: A lack of understanding. And yes, judgement.

After all, they’re hanging with other kinksters, but surely their desire is darker. Crazier. More taboo.

And okay, maybe your kink is not my kink. But odds are? I’ve heard of it. Known a person or two who has been into that same exact thing. And if not, I’ve known people who were into stuff that was just as edgy. Edgier even.

So unless shame is your kink (and granted, that’s where it’s at for some folks), you can leave it at the door.

Like a snake sheds its skin so it can grow beyond its current limits.


My book is out!

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory

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  1. I love this post. I write a lot about sex and shame. One of the reasons I write and try to be truthful about my experience is to hopefully help others who struggle with fear and shame.

    Your post, where the example involves kink, could also apply to so many aspects of sexuality… gods, we humans feel so much shame! And later, when we accept that once shameful thing (eek) we often look back and realize that our *thing* wasn’t that big of a deal.

    I love how you point out the universality of this experience and that you offer since an such a supportive voice of encouragement. I often have to remind myself that concerns re sexuality are not as big of a deal
    as we make them out to be.

    Nice post!!!

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