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Q&A: I Feel Ashamed About Wanting Sex

Q&A:  I Feel Ashamed About Wanting Sex

"Hi Sh! I have a kind of deep problem. I can never feel totally comfortable while having sex with my partner, or myself. So I'm 20 and I've been with my partner for 3 years. I don't know what it is, but I almost never initiate sex. Ever. Only a few times. I have never achieved orgasm through sex.

I used to masturbate a lot with a massager as a teen, but my mom put two and two together and made me feel just awful about it. It was never okay for me to ask questions about sex. I feel just awful for my boyfriend because he is horny all. the. time. and I can't satisfy him.

Since the incidents with my mom, I feel ashamed of myself. This is why I don't masturbate anymore. If I do, it's like once every couple of months just to release the tension. I feel bad for touching myself without the massager. How do I get over this sense of shame? Thanks!"


We are so sorry you have had such a bad experience.

Sex, pleasure & shame

You should never be ashamed of something as normal and healthy as a bit of exploration or masturbation. We know it’s not much help saying that; it’s great that you know, intellectually, that there’s nothing you need to feel ashamed of.

There are a few issues at work here.

First off is the fact that you don’t initiate sex. It sounds like that’s because you don’t feel comfortable voicing your desires. That’s something you can work on! Try telling your partner what feels good during sex. This can help you get more comfortable acknowledging your desires. It might help with orgasming during sex.

Most women will not orgasm from penetrative sex alone, so a lack of clitoral stimulation might be a part of the reason you are struggling to orgasm. Take some time to slow things down, set a relaxing mood, light some candles, take a bath and warm up with lots and lots of foreplay and lube.

If you used to use a vibrating massager, go get yourself a new one! Try letting your partner use it on you as well as exploring on your own.

A hand holing a black Oscar wand vibrator

Becoming Orgasmic online sex course

We recommend taking a look at our Becoming Orgasmic online sex course. This course is for women and vulva-owners who want to learn more about their potential for incredible pleasure, this course is designed to encourage self-pleasure and exploration and will help you gain a better understanding of how your body works. These skills are essential for building great sexual experiences, with or without a partner.

Sex & intimacy with a partner

It’s worth noting that you seem as concerned by the fact that you don’t feel like you’re satisfying your partner as you do by your own lack of enjoyment. It’s worth talking to your partner about how they feel but don’t feel like you must have sex just because your partner wants to.

Try giving each other massages or close non-sexual touching to help you feel connected to your partner without the pressure of looming sex. You might also be interested in some arousal oil. This enhancing oil is our favourite. It boosts the sensitivity of the clitoris; it helps get you in the mood and works as a way of giving yourself ‘permission’ to be aroused.

If you are able to, it might be worth trying to speak with a psychosexual therapist about some of your feelings of shame and the negative attitudes to sex you have been exposed to.

We hope that helps and that you get to a place where you can enjoy a wonderful sex life <3

Love, Team Sh! xx

If you’d like any tailored advice or recommendations, please feel free to drop us a line at and we’ll answer you privately. We may also share Q&A’s so others may benefit, but if we do it will always be anonymous, with nothing left in to identify you.

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