Being empowered and feeling self-confident are some of the many benefits that go along with taking back your body. However, even in today's society, we're taught from a young age that our bodies and sexuality is taboo, but why?
Sexual Empowerment, Confidence Coach and host of the Taking Back Slut Podcast, Jenniffer Doan is calling out the BS when it comes to these "taboo" topics. Jenn believes virginity and gender are social constructs, that sexuality is as fluid as her iced coffee and that everyone deserves to feel empowered by sex.
Watch on YouTube!
Jenn has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Bustle, Slutty Girl Problems and Tinder. She helps women and non-binary folk all over the world connect with their bodies, find confidence and have great sex — so of course, you know, I had to have this fabulous woman on the podcast!
Find Jenn below
— Instagram: @jenn_doan
— Website: jenniferdoanconsulting.com
— Podcast: Taking Back Slut
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I want people to feel normal when it comes to their sex lives and their sexuality. I want to reduce the shame around it and I want people to feel comfortable with that part of themselves.
There is so much stigma and mystery around sexuality but it is apart of you and who you are. Without embodying that part of yourself you're neglecting a really important part of who you could potentially be.
I don't think you can be a whole person when you have this darkness and mysterious energy around a significant part of yourself and you're just drifting through life ignoring this part of your being.
It's about normalising sexuality because I don't think people should feel embarrassed or like the sex that they're having is weird or wrong or that they're not having enough because we all experience sex in our own ways and I think that is beautiful.
I just want people to feel comfortable.
How to normalise your sexuality
I don't work with people who are in relationships unless they are ready to work on themselves solo because you have to work on your relationship with yourself first.
It really comes down to figuring out what your boundaries are, figuring out the things that you want and being able to express that in your relationships.
It's about YOU, your relationship with sex, your sexuality and what you want that to look like.
Ask yourself, "in an ideal world, what does someone fully embodying their sexuality look like to you and what would that relationship with yourself look like?"
It looks different for everyone and not everyone will have the same idea of what sexuality is and how it looks, that's why it's so important to work on what it looks like for YOU. It can be really beneficial when being in or entering into a relationship and even just for yourself!
How to take ownership & power back of your body
Taking power back over your body starts with unlearning. Unlearning the shit that we're told and show in the media growing up that says we have to look and act a certain way to be considered loveable.
It's about breaking down the things that society and the media tells us and realising that you don't have to stick to their "rules" or way of living and deciding that it's ok to create your own path.
It can be really difficult to shut that out especially if there are people around you who believe that skinny is beautiful and the negativity surrounds you. Especially when it's coming from the people around you that you love and care about, and they're mirroring societies message back to you it can be tough to overcome.
There are some tools that can help you start to overcome societies standards and one amazing one is mirror work.
How to practise Mirror Work
Mirror work is a simple yet very powerful tool that was originally developed by inspirational teacher Louise Hay as a way of getting in touch with your inner self.
Looking into a mirror and complimenting yourself on a daily basis is a really great place to start for beginners. The process is as simple as waking up every day and finding a new part of yourself to compliment.
Eventually, when you get to the parts of yourself that you don't like as much it's going to be a lot harder but that's when the real works starts to happen and it's about working to rewire your brain.
By simply looking into the mirror for a certain amount of time each day and gently talking to yourself, you can foster a more compassionate and forgiving connection with yourself.
Why it's important to set boundaries
Establishing boundaries can seem really difficult but it doesn't have to be.
It's important to have boundaries to protect your energy and maintain healthy relationships with not only others but most importantly, yourself.
Personal boundaries are important because they set the basic guidelines of how you want to be treated. Without them, people may take advantage of you and your good nature leaving your drained and somewhat empty; you have to take care of YOU.
You need to let people know when something is bothering you and it can be as simple as sending them a text message or if you're confident letting them know in person how you're feeling. For example, "when you say XYZ, it makes me feel insecure and that's not how I receive love".
You might get push back but if you're being upfront we can hopefully change a pattern but make your boundaries clear and stick to them so that people know not to cross them.
Trauma is tough, as women almost 100% of us are coming to the table with some form of trauma. Whether is a smaller form of street harassment that's we've internalised or it's larger more intense trauma.
There are a lot of tools for people to utilise when working through trauma, I use somatic training but it really comes down to being really gentle with yourself and knowing yourself.
It's important to know what you can handle and when it's going to be too much. When it comes to your sexuality and wanting to overcome past trauma I recommend creating a list of three things.
Things I'm totally ok with
Grey areas: things I could be interested in
Hardline things I cannot do because they're triggering to me in some way or I'm not interested.
This way you can communicate these things with your partner so that you're both feeling comfortable and safe. Creating a safe word is fantastic!
Again, be super aware of where those lines and boundaries are at different times in your life. And they will change as you go through life and overcome parts of your trauma, it's just important to always work to communicate that with your partner.
If you're struggling with overcoming severe trauma it's important to work with someone who has a background in trauma who is going to be able to help coach you which will be essential to your growth.
What to do when your partner is watching porn
Finding out your husband has been watching porn can be triggering for a lot of women but is it such a big deal or should we normalise it?
The first thing I would be doing is going inward and asking yourself "why"? Is it because society is telling you that you should be triggered or do you have a belief that your partner doesn't find you attractive because he's watching pornography?
Ask yourself where is the line for your partner and why? Is it ok if your partner watches two people making out or feeling each other up over clothes? Where is that line for you and why?
If you're in a relationship with someone and they give you a hard line boundary eg. "you can't watch porn" your partner should probably be following that boundary but that doesn't necessarily mean it's ok to ask them that. It can lead to resentment, doing things behind your back and personally I think it's unreasonable to ask someone not to watch porn.
Porn can be an amazing tool to discover what you do and don't like sexually.
Men often have a better idea of their sexual interests because they have consumed more pornography overall and seem to have more power and agency over themselves which gives them more confidence.
It often makes men very in tune with their sexualities which gives them a lot of power but as women, we're told that it's taboo - we need to take that power back!
Try watching porn with them or watch your own porn and see how that affects you.
Obviously, there is a line and if it's bigger than just watching porn for example if it's happening too regularly there needs to be some conversations around how that's making you feel. There's also some not so great porn that you might want to avoid, again, have those conversations but don’t be condemning; be compassionate.
You can read Jenn's article on ethical porn here: Is It OK to Watch Porn?
Normalising talking about sex
As you explore and learn more about your own sexuality you become more confident and comfortable discussing it when it's appropriate.
Talking about sex is so much more than just talking about sex. Knowing your boundaries, what you like and don't like etc really gives you confidence, power and really allows you to think about what you want out of life.
Sex is this thing we're all obsessed with but for some reason, we can't talk about it.
It doesn't have to be awkward, the more you talk about it and how it's changing you as a person and asking questions it can be fun!
Jenn answers your questions!
What does sexual empowerment even mean?
It has to do with knowing who you are as a sexual being, whether you like a lot of sex or no sex.
You could be Asexual and not like sex at all but it's about knowing yourself and what you want and being able to express that is sexual empowerment.
It's knowledge and being able to convey it to your partner, the world or anyone you want to convey it to!
How do I feel more confident in my body with my partner during sex?
It starts with you.
You have to have a positive relationship with your body first and then with your partner second. You should be picking up any negative language you have with yourself and reframing it.
Ask yourself some questions like when do I feel this way and why? What parts of my body am I uncomfortable with and how can you start to love those parts more (hint: mirror work as mentioned above!)
Movement is a great way to get into your body like dance or yoga and it's not about weight loss, it's about getting in tune with your body. Creating a healthy relationship with your body and seeing how it moves.
Getting a gauge on how other human bodies look and realising that you're just as beautiful - Burlesque shows are great for that! And realising that Instagram is NOT the norm, we are shown a lot of unrealistic images that we should not aspire to be.
Aspire to love the body you have because you have it for life.
If you need to turn the lights off or wear a bra during sex than do that, it's about doing the simple things that are going to make you feel good at the moment, so that you can BE IN THE MOMENT.
How do you model your confidence?
I model my confidence by showing up every day, speaking my truth and loving myself loudly and for everyone to see.
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