From a Country Mouse to a Lioness
Written by Susan Jarvis
Many years ago I went on a journey to explore my sexuality, you could say, to find the animal inside and unleash my inner beast. I used to be quite shy in the bedroom and had difficulty speaking up about my needs. I was always focused on pleasing my sexual partner and subsequently was left wanting and not satisfied. My shyness and inability to speak up was also my day to day norm in life and at work. Fast forward fifteen years and now I’m a lioness in the bedroom and a confident, assertive speaker in life. This is how I tapped into my inner beast.
What do you actually want to change?
Every journey, regardless of whether you’re driving your car or driving personal development, there is a starting point and a destination. You will need to devote time to exploring your destination and for this, I recommend doing your research within your comfort zone to identify what needs to change: Talk with friends about your desire for change, seek out a personal development counsellor or coach, keep a journal of your thoughts. You need to document where you want to be in your life. For me, I wanted to have the confidence and courage to speak up in any situation. I didn’t feel that I had the skills or ability to start speaking up in the bedroom so I started to practice this skill in real life by providing feedback when I was grocery shopping.
I decided that whenever I received excellent customer service I would say something right there and then. For example, telling the girl at the checkout that I appreciated her genuine smile.
I tell you, it’s a great feeling when you pass a compliment to someone, you see them lift.
I continued to focus on providing positive feedback and eventually, I progressed to asking for something. Now, this may seem trivial, but for me, I was taught that life is about serving others and asking was considered selfish and self-centred. It’s bloody hard to break that lifelong conditioning! To practise ‘asking’ I again started in my local supermarket.
I remember this quite clearly as it was the first time I had asked for something that served my purpose. I was shopping after work and the queues at the checkout were crazy because they only had a few open. I think my courage was fuelled by anger and inconvenience but I managed to keep the tone of my voice level and even when I went up to the frontline manager and politely asked for them to open more checkout lanes. Oh my god!! The World didn’t crash, I didn’t get any backlash, and lo and behold, more checkout lanes opened. I even had the woman behind me giving me thanks for asking. Little did she know that my adrenaline was racing through my veins and my heart was pumping wildly (I’ve also had that same experience in the bedroom but in a good way!).
Who would have thought that the simple act of asking would have such an impact on one’s self-esteem? I was hooked and on a power trip. Everywhere I went I would look for an opportunity to ask (and still compliment when it was deserving). My confidence was building and now moving into my work. At meetings I would be too scared to speak up with my contributions to the discussion - not anymore. If I didn’t agree with something I was raising my hand to speak up. I had started to morph into who I am today, it didn’t happen overnight but it did happen.
Awakening the Lioness
This process of internal change happened over a number of years and was the catalyst for more change in my life, one of which was the end of a 14 year, a very stale marriage that had long outlived its heart and reason for being. I was the one who made the decision to end the relationship and this placed me on a path to even more discovery and the awakening of my sexual persona. I am a Leo by birth and yet in the bedroom, I had been a country mouse.
In my first year of singledom, I devoted myself to celibacy so that I could clear my spirit and heart of the remnants of grief and sadness that were souvenirs to bear (I had been celibate in the last three years of the marriage). I also had a teenage child to support through that transition to single parent life so didn’t plan to swing from chandeliers exploring my sexuality during that time. Instead, I focussed on being a first-time uni student at the age of 38 and reconnecting with my spirituality and love for live music. I also spent a lot of time reading about sex and sexuality and started following intimacy coaches to boost my knowledge and understanding of desire, orgasms and pleasure.
Twelve months post-divorce enters a lover and a whole new world begins. I wanted my sex life to be very different from the mundane that it had been, having spent years practising speaking up and feeling fortified with confidence and joy for living I was determined to create a new experience. I steeled myself for that first intimate conversation with my new lover about what I wanted. I explained to him what my past life had been like and that despite my smile and confident manner there was a woman who was shy in the bedroom. Shy about her body, shy about taking a long time to orgasm, and too shy to ask for what she wanted. I told him that I didn’t want to be that shy person anymore and asked that he join me in helping me to discover who I was and unleash my inner beast. Luckily, he said yes and he became my pilot life lover who I stayed with for seven years (that is a whole other story).
So remember, I didn’t find my Lioness overnight, it took many years to find her. All journeys need a guide and one book that I discovered helped change my life. If you also need to strengthen your ability to have difficult conversations I recommend Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. I read this book about 10 years ago and still flick through it every now and then as a refresher
The Moral of the Story
All it takes to find your inner beast is the willingness to let go of the thoughts and feelings that hold you back and a commitment to change.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get it. Simple.
Great sex starts with a conversation about what you want and need.
I say go forth and find your inner beast!
Unleashing the Beast in the Bedroom Unleashing the Beast in the Bedroom Unleashing the Beast in the Bedroom Unleashing the Beast in the Bedroom