MEDIA: The Secrecy of Sex: Women bought into so many sex and libido myths they’re disempowered

The Irish Times secrecy series explores a range of taboo and stigmatised women’s health topics written by journalist Geraldine Walsh. Women often live with symptoms for years before seeking medical help due to fear, shame or taboo about sex, menstrual health and reproductive health.

The Irish Times Health ‘Secrecy Series’

In this article, I share with Geraldine Walsh, author and writer, my views on the challenges Irish women have about accessing services for sexual health and the types of issues women bring to psychosexual therapy in my practice, including libido concerns. Including why I believe women should allow themselves to no longer buy into or accept sexual shame so that we can cease the multigenerational shame passed down through generations which have been enforced on women and female sexuality.

Being comfortable in your sexuality is accepting, experiencing and embracing all of your body without fear or shame.

Where there is secrecy, there is shame,” says Orlagh Reid, an accredited psychotherapist specialising in clinical sexology and sexual health promotion. “The opposite of shame is empowerment.”

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Orlagh Reid, Psychotherapist, Clinical Sexology & Sexual Health

The Secrecy of Female Sexual Health

Orlagh Reid, a Psychosexual therapist provides therapy online to women experiencing sexual concerns, vaginismus, and sexual disorders and aims to encourage women to feel comfortable in expressing their sexuality. “As a woman, a mother and a psychosexual therapist, I feel that our generation is responsible for advocating for female sexual health for the next generation so that they have better access to services and any expression of sexuality is no longer taboo, something to be hidden,” she says.

I want women to feel so empowered that they are kicking down doors for smear tests, contraception and tampons and not terrified to look at or touch their own bodies. Sadly, women have bought into so many myths about sex, libido and female sexuality that they are disempowered and uninvested in this part of themselves.”

Read more nationwide articles and podcast interviews with Orlagh Reid...[Media and interviews]

Reid, who writes The Vaginismus Blog series, recognises the importance of positive sexual experiences, which can help women develop sexual self-esteem and self-confidence, shifting any preconceptions they have about sex and orgasm.

“Too many women have unfulfilling intimacy and painful sex because they are not in touch with their sexual selves, relying only on their partner for arousal rather than the other way around. When women learn the facts about the female sexual response cycle and desire, how to enjoy mindful touch and fully express needs and limitations, sexual intimacy becomes a positive experience.”

Sex and Shame

Noting that women of all ages have a choice to no longer perpetuate the multigenerational shame we have been conditioned to feel about our bodies and female sexuality, Reid suggests choosing to “change on a deep level what we truly want to feel about ourselves from an informed place, and that is that sexuality, our reproductive organs, pleasure, intimacy and sexual health and wellbeing is not shameful. It is a natural part of being human.

Being comfortable in your sexuality is accepting, experiencing and embracing all of your body without fear or shame.

“The more we talk about sexuality and sexology, the more it becomes normalised in society. Sex education is for every age and stage; our bodies, minds and circumstances constancy change.

Read the full article at [The Secrecy of....Sex: Women bought into so many sex, libido myths they're disempowered about this part of themselves.]

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Orlagh Reid Psychotherapy

Orlagh Reid

Orlagh Reid is an IACP accredited Counsellor & Psychotherapist, Addiction Counsellor, Gottman Couples Therapist and Fertility Counsellor in private practice based in Co. Kildare, Ireland and worldwide online via DOXY. She specialises in addiction, recovery, well-being and clinical sexology. To find out more or to book an online consultation visit

Orlagh Reid Psychotherapy MIACP Therapy Ireland

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