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    Hi Guys,
    Any tips for improving sexual self-esteem – in particular, for someone who feels like that they’ve experienced a rather long, abusive relationship that they are in the process of ending, but are keen to move out of the trauma and onto new relationships, with more meaningful self-worth. Beyond things like commitment to exercise, purposeful life activities, what else makes the difference here? Any words of wisdom?


    Hi @andymate, thanks for your question 🙂

    I’m glad to hear that you’re getting out of an abusive relationship, but if it’s not fully over, I just need to check-in that you’re safe. If there is any violence or threats of violence involved, it’s important that you reach out for help & support, especially when trying to leave. You can speak anonymously to a counselor who specialises in intimate partner violence by calling 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), 24 hours days/7 days a week. Of course not all abuse is physical. Verbal, emotional and financial abuse can be just as traumatic in a relationship. Counselling is often an important step in rebuilding self-esteem after trauma.

    Outside of professional support, yes, exercise can definitely improve your mood and mental health. Connecting with friends who are kind and supportive is important, especially if you’ve been isolated in a relationship. I’d also say, be kind to yourself! Make sure you’re speaking to yourself the way you would speak to a friend going through a hard time.
    Reach Out also some great tips for improving self-esteem here.

    What do our peer mods think? What makes you feel good about yourself?


    Hi @andymate!

    Thank you so much for reaching out and trusting our platform to open up to. Like @nurse_nettie I’m also really glad that you’ve identified that your relationship is abusive and that you’re making your way out.

    Taking care of yourself at all times is the most important thing. To boost my self worth I like to find someone to talk to and verbalise my achievements over the past few years, and also verbalise what I’m excited for in the next 12 months. If you don’t have someone you can chat to right now, journaling this helps, or you can chat to us! It can take a little while to fight through the negative self talk of ‘you haven’t achieved anything’ sometimes but make sure to keep at it and get at least a few things down. They don’t have to be big things – showering daily, eating breakfast and making your bed all count as achievements.
    I also like to stay busy when I’m going through grief or trauma. I like to continue going to work and university to focus on other things, even for the short time I’m there. Getting outside is great too, my favourite is dog parks but beaches, lookouts, mountains and bushwalks are all perfect ways to clear your head. Vitamin D does wonders for my mood – just make sure to wear sunscreen!

    I hope this helped or if I’m completely off track here!


    @andymate I’ve just seen your topic title as sexual self-worth so I’m going to say a bit about that too.

    I follow a lot of sex-positive instagram accounts, so when I want to feel a bit more empowered I love looking at them. @whatswrongwithmyvagina is one of my favourites at the moment, as well as @tinamariaelena for some art. I also love to take photos of myself (sexy and not sexy) – it helps me see myself from a different perspective. HUJI (a photography app) honestly makes all photos look amazing and has changed my photography game so I highly recommend that if you’d like vintage/arty photos of yourself. Masturbation is fantastic, particularly trying new things and figuring out a range of things you like. All this stuff helps me – but it all depends on what you’re into. 🙂


    Hi @andymate! Big love and kudos to you for finding the courage to leave a situation that was harmful to you.
    I agree totally with all that’s been said above, and would like to add a few thoughts of my own…

    Firstly- it sounds like you’ve got a pretty strong sense of self. It takes a huge amount of self-love, courage and worthiness to make a choice like you did, so even though you mention desiring more self-worth, please give yourself credit for everything to this point!
    Secondly- I think the thing that could make the biggest difference is utilising the newfound space in your life to pour love back into yourself. Especially when it comes to sexual self worth. This may sound confronting, but standing in front of the mirror in dim lighting, either naked or in underwear and reminding yourself of every about you that is sexy can do wonders! Similarly pampering, clothes that make you feel good, haircuts etc. Whilst some of these things may come across as superficial, I think it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. If you feel good about yourself, it’s palpable.
    Remember that you’re worth everything you desire.
    Remind yourself of all you have to offer.
    Give to yourself FIRST!
    Best of luck and please come and chat to us anytime <3


    @andymate Thank you SO much for reaching out to us here on the forums! I think connecting with friends is definitely a good place to start for you to express how you’re feeling, as well as start to heal from the abusive environment.

    Totally agree with everything @sextronaut and @earthmama have said about focusing on yourself and just doing all of the things you enjoy! Getting out of any relationship is rough, let alone a negative one. Remember though, that you can get through this. Time will heal you. Good things will happen.

    Like @earthmama said, pour love back into yourself!! What do you like doing in your spare time? Maybe do more of that? Love yourself and love what you do. Always here if you need to chat x


    Hey everyone, thanks for your words of advice.

    Although the process of exiting a long-term an abusive relationship is not easy, committing to staying active with exercise and an optimal diet on a daily basis, along with meeting daily goals that are what really counts (as least as I have experienced thus far). Challenging negative thoughts is probably the hardest thing, particularly when I feel like I coming off a pretty low level of self esteem.

    Thanks for your tips Nurse Nettie – I’ve been trying to practise those on a daily basis. And thanks sextronaut – I’ll give that sex-positive tip a go. Even if, for me, that just means aiming to be the best version of myself!

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