Is having children an indulgence? How about eating healthy food or creating time to exercise? I don't think so....nor do I think that having a healthy, explored and delicious sexuality is an indulgence either. In fact I think that these things can be essential to living a full life. When people want to attack me for speaking out for women (and men) to take the time to really explore who they are as a sexual beings within their own boundaries - their very favorite thing to say is that I am being self indulgent and encouraging other people to do the same!
About 24 years ago - I began to speak out for people who were going through infertility. The funny thing is - that back then (and even still today), I ran up against people who told me that couples who were trying to build their families through Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) such as IVF, Egg Donation, or Surrogacy were selfish, narcissus and self-indulgent. Why didn't they "just adopt" or sponsor children in other countries - they wanted to know!
There was a tremendous amount of shaming of people going through infertility treatment and self righteous judgment. Frankly - this still goes on today. Of course - back then and today as well - there are people that "get it" - and support family building tremendously - but there are always the few loud mouths who feel that they really know best! And they want to protect you from the evils that they know will come you way if you continue to travel down your misguided path.
Now that I have expanded my advocacy to include sexual wholeness for people and am sharing my own personal story through my memoir Shameless, I am encountering the very same phenomenon. There is a huge group of supporters from Dr. Christiane Northrup to everyday women who are going through the same self-loathing and sexual confusion that I went through (and are taking courage in my story) and there are the people who are attempting to shame me for my self exploration. That my desires to try and understand who I was as a sexual being was self indulgent and my sharing of it shameful.
Back in the day when I experienced infertility - I broke down barriers for people who were too ashamed of their infertility to seek help or speak to others. Now - I am surprised to find myself exactly in the same waters, but this time around sexuality.
It's shocking after a half century or so of "the sexual revolution", that healthy integrated sexuality is still taboo - even terrifying to some. But I trust just like I have before - that the day will come when women will be truly free of shame around their sexuality.