This Is the One Constant in Life

Why not start with ourselves? It takes guts to look into our soul and not run away screaming. We all have great potential for good and evil. Maybe there are changes we need to make within. It takes…


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Embrace the Work of Breaking Through Sexual Shame

Understanding what holds you back and committing to working through issues has wonderful benefits

Playboy magazine was all the rage when I was in sixth grade. Penthouse was making inroads, too, as men placed their fascination with women on the glossy pages of magazines and sold them behind convenience store counters.

On occasion, one of my friends would get his hands on a copy of Playboy and we’d look it over, giggling and not knowing what to do with what we saw. But we knew one thing: we didn’t want to get caught by our parents or teachers. That would have been awful. So we hid our discoveries.

But you can’t hide forever.

My friend Charlie found his dad’s copy of Playboy, handed it to me, and I took it home. I thumbed through the pages and figured I’d toss it into the trash, but before I got rid of it forever, I stuffed in under my mattress where no one would see it and I could get one last look, or two or three last looks.

This was during Christmas and somehow my parents decided I needed a new mattress or something related to my room. How embarrassing. My dad found it.

My grandparents were visiting, and my grandfather chuckled while my dad talked to me. He didn’t make it awkward, though, which I appreciated. It was brief but still the whole situation was downright shameful.

The memory still makes me cringe and is one of those wanting-to-crawl-under-a-rock moments. But, as I’ve discovered, I’m not alone.

The magazines at the time were new and breaking through social constructs. The nudity was piercing boundaries that had been set by our families, churches and other elements of society that have been necessary for keeping order.

“Therapists are humans swimming in sexual shame too,” claims Gleim, “and, just like our clients, are…

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