What I Learned By Daring To Be Sexy On My Own Terms

How easy is it for you to feel sexy?

For me, the desire to feel sexy used to come with a big internal battle of conflicted emotions.

I wanted to feel sexy, but I was worried I would be judged by other women. 

I wanted to feel sexy, but I resented the media messages around what I had to look like to qualify as sexy.

Daring to be a sexy woman on your own terms is a courageous act. 

Because, let's face it, neither the church or culture at large is doing us women any favors.

The sexy we see online and on tv, on the cover of magazines and in the movies, is a sexy only reserved for those who are young and flawless.

The sexy we see at church is, well, we don't see a lot of sexiness at church, because a woman who embraces her sensual side get's labeled things that make even the most confident femme wither inside. 

No wonder we learn to ignore and shut down our sensuality and sexuality. We’re constantly getting the message that being who we are is too much or not enough.

Learning to Be Sexy On My Own Terms

When we desire to feel sexy, what we are desiring is connection to that tender and dynamic energy inside of us that is our life-force.  We should listen to and honor this desire because it has the power to bring us home to our true self.

I've been exploring what sexy means to me for awhile now. I'm done ignoring my sensuality because I see how that made me suffer, and how it cuts all women off from their power, creativity and joy.

Giving Permission

One of the things I'm learning is that sexiness has everything to do with permission...The permission I give myself to play, try something new, and radiate confidence even in imperfection.

The other day I had the strange desire to take a visit to Bebe and try on some super sexy, body hugging bandage dresses, a la Kim Kardashian.

Now, my body is nothing like Kim’s. No matter how many squats I do, my booty will never look like hers. And I wouldn’t say she is a style icon of mine, or that she represents what I think it means to be a truly sexy woman. But...I didn’t judge my desire. I gave myself permission to play.

I went to Bebe, eyes wide and marveling at a world I have very little touch-point with being a yogi and a mama of 2.

I gave myself permission to grab things off the rack without thinking more than one thought about it. If I was drawn to it, I was going to try it on. 

In the dressing room before I got undressed I said a prayer of kindness and compassion over myself and the parts of my body I find hardest to accept.

I tried on bandage dresses in every style and color (bright orange being my favorite). I tried on dresses and tops with golden zippers in the front instead of the back. I tried to imagine a world where I could rock each look. I brought my husband in on the fun sending him goofy and sexy selfies from the dressing room.

In the end, I did not come away with a dress. But I did leave feeling sexier than I had in weeks. Why? Because I felt alive again. Empowered by the permission I gave myself to drop everyone else’s agenda for me and just play.

I'll say it again:

Daring to be a sexy woman on your own terms is a courageous act.

What does sexy feel like?

Sexy feels like owning who you are in the moment. Sexy feels like being connected to your own body, whatever shape it’s currently in. Sexy feels like permission to be lighthearted. Sexy feels like permission to play and transform and discover and heal.

My life until my thirties was marked by fear, guilt and shame. I suffered depression and anxiety. Some of this for sure came from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. Sexual abuse leaves us feeling unworthy of real love and deeply conflicted about intimacy and desire.

What I am realizing now, though, is that part of this fear, guilt, and shame isn’t coming from my personal history at all, but the collective pain of being a woman in a world where our sexuality has been dishonored and repressed.

The powerlessness of living 3 decades in a world where I felt I could not win, left me weak and insecure. But now I’m learning how to take that power back for the sake of love. For us women,  this is big part of the romance and adventure of sexual wellbeing.

In the comments below I’d like to hear, what do you think “sexy” feels like? How do you create that experience in your daily life?

p.s. The world is desperate for a new conversation around sex that is actually helpful and life-giving; a conversation where everything belongs-- the good, the bad, the trauma, the bliss, the contradictions, the love-- because conversations about wholeness, happiness, love, and life to the full are no longer complete without integrating this core element of who we are.

Next week we’ll be hosting The Romance & Adventure Challenge where we’ll be walking with you through 7 days of creating daily experiences of feeling alive, cared-for, passionate, appreciated and brave. I hope you’ll join us and invite all your friends to do it with you, too!



morgan cecil

Morgan Day Cecil is a Feminine Wholeness coach and creator of Sophia Retreats.