"...when we love ourselves in the presence of another, it gives
them permission to love themselves."

HEALING SHAME: Sharing Self-love
By Daniel D. Ziegler

Masturbation is an activity of self-love that most of us privately engage in, but a
topic that publicly remains so taboo that surgeon general Joycelyn Elders was
fired for even suggesting that we teach about it in our schools to curb teen
pregnancy. 'Why,' the question arises, 'why are we so ashamed of
masturbation, of something so natural?' But, more importantly is the question,
'How can we heal ourselves of our shame and embarrassment over it and our
sexuality in general?'

While it's true that most of us masturbate, the fact remains that many of us have
never masturbated in the presence of another person--not even our own sexual
partners--nor in many cases, have we observed another person masturbating.
Even though masturbation is common practice and encouraged by sex
therapists, because of its taboo nature, it remains a very private act, often
confined to the shower and bathroom. Yet, in not sharing this act, we are
depriving ourselves of a great deal of pleasure and joy.

While masturbation--or making love to ourselves--is just one of the many ways
we can show ourselves love, it is perhaps the ultimate physical experience we
can have by ourselves--particularly when achieving orgasm. It provides us with
a healthy expression and release of sexual energy while requiring us to attain
substantial levels of self-acceptance and intimacy with ourselves. It is this high
level of self-acceptance that allows us to completely surrender to the moment,
bringing us intense pleasure and joy. Sharing this experience with another
human being can be an incredibly wonderful and satisfying experience--even

There is no denying that sharing ourselves with another, in this state of
vulnerability often accompanied by shame and embarrassment, requires trust;
but it is in the sharing--that often requires an even greater level of
self-acceptance than when we are by ourselves--that we can experience yet
another level of bliss. When we open ourselves up and make love to ourselves
in the presence of another, we are in effect saying, "I'm okay! My sexuality is
okay! YES, I AM OKAY!." That is therapeutic, that is healing and that is bliss. In
addition, when we love ourselves in the presence of another, it gives them
permission to love themselves. That is perhaps the ultimate gift we can give

Now, to grow requires that we extend ourselves beyond out limiting
boundaries. It often requires a willingness to see things differently and to step
outside of our comfort zones to observe, perhaps, what we have never
observed before. With these words I am writing, I am attempting to extend our
limiting boundaries of self-love beyond the "showers and bathrooms" of our
minds by suggesting to you, the reader, to share a masturbation experience
with your partner, or with another human being. If you have not shared
masturbation with a partner or have never observed another person
masturbating--because of shame and embarrassment, I invite you to give
yourself and your partner the opportunity to observe the beauty of another
human being engaged in the act of self-love. Perhaps through this experience,
you will begin to see the act of self-love differently, and you will begin to heal
yourselves of the burdensome shame and embarrassment that plagues our
society. * * *

Copyright 2008 Daniel D. Ziegler
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Reclaiming Acceptance of our Original State