In my field shame is the name of the game. It underlies most of the challenges men and women face when dealing with their intimacy issues. This first came to my attention in a very big way when I began working as a sex surrogate helping men overcome functioning problems: Almost without exception, the root cause had shame of some kind at the heart of it. Human interaction often involves being vulnerable and when we are young and defenseless we don’t know how to protect ourselves from being misunderstood and judged. So, the man, who as a teenager and young adult missed out on having sexual encounters, is now an older man feeling shame for not knowing what to do. The woman, who was inappropriately sexualized by a father figure when she was a child, is now filled with misgivings related to trust when trying to form romantic relationships. These are but a few examples of what happens when you live in a society with virtually no real sex education for youth and a proclivity towards antiquated sexual messages that reinforce our collective sense of shame. *There is much more to say on this topic so I will continue writing about in future posts.