As a youth, I lived a very isolated life. You can look at me now and see someone who is full of confidence and pride, but back in the day I was way too shy to put myself out there or even introduce myself, let alone participate in the birthday parties or sleepovers that my classmates seemed so fond of. Even the holiday parties we had in class were a source of anxiety and sadness for me – I felt a desire to have closeness with someone, anyone, but I was too afraid of rejection to let any potential friends or love interests close enough to get to know me. All throughout my childhood I observed my crushes from afar and watched other kids play and have fun while I hid behind my books and pretended not to exist.
Eventually I was able to overcome that shyness, but it took a bit of work. The first steps always seem the scariest, but even small changes add up over time! But how did I even start the process of changing from that shy nerd in the corner to the confident nerd who was comfortable being in the spotlight? The first thing I did was identify what my problem was. I came up with a list of things that I felt were hindering me from having what I wanted. While I don’t have the original list anymore, it was something akin to this… look through it and see if any of these apply to you.
- It’s almost impossible for me to talk to people I don’t already know.
- Even when I know someone, I really don’t feel comfortable sharing my thoughts, opinions, or feelings.
- I have never been able to express my affection toward a love interest.
- I get nervous when I think about sexual intimacy with another person.
- No one truly knows me.
- I often feel lonely or isolated.
- My fear of rejection keeps me from making any friends.
Does that sound like you? Even just a little? It’s okay. It’s true that everyone experiences nervousness the first time they decide to meet with a provider — especially in such a public place as a brothel — but if you’re experiencing those same nerves when meeting just anyone and you’re ready to stop feeling that way, I have some tips that may help. First, let’s look at what shyness really is.
According to Psychology Today, “…shyness is maintained through a vicious cycle in which people approach a social situation, feel excessive fear of negative evaluation, and then avoid the situation…” this provides relief in the moment, but eventually leads to feelings of shame and self-blame. A lot of people let this vicious cycle prevent them from being happy in life and pursuing the things they know they will enjoy (like visiting me at Sheri’s!). But the cure for shyness is actually rooted in pursuing those same dreaded social situations. The problem that a lot of shy people run into is that due to avoiding social interactions, we’re not well-versed in how to follow through after the initial “hello,” so even if we do end up trying to make friends we end up feeling awkward and giving up. But fear not, dear reader! There’s a solution for that, too.
First and foremost, you should go into any situation planning for it to go well. That may be hard, because we all have that little “negative Nancy” in the back of our heads telling us really mean things. You need to learn to soften that inner voice, and even “talk back” to it when it criticizes you. It might seem difficult at first, but start looking for the positive things about yourself (I’m kind, I’m loving, I’m generous), and use those as ammunition to ward off your internal critic. Once you’re able to quiet that voice, you can listen to the voice of the person you’re talking to. Be curious about what they have to say and ask them about their personal interests. Shy people are often “givers” in social situations, and we do best when we give ourselves the role of making the other person feel how we want to feel. Follow that recipe, and eventually you won’t feel so uncomfortable when meeting new people.
So how do you overcome shyness when it comes to meeting a provider? Coming to a brothel may seem like something a socially anxious person should avoid, but it’s actually a great way to break through the awkwardness you feel. Sex workers are always willing and open to listen to their clients; we’re patient and kind and we’re willing to help you ease into the complexities of conversation and beyond. There are three big components that are vitally important to being able to feel comfortable with a sex worker. Number one? Introductions. Break the ice! Email her, and communicate with her prior to arriving at the brothel. Ask her about herself, her interests, and her expectations. Develop a rapport with your sex worker prior to meeting her in-person and allow yourself to feel comfortable in your newfound friendship. Secondly, avoid self-deprecation during any communication, but be sure to let her know what is important to you as well. Be honest about your expectations and desires. Sex workers are probably the most open and kind people when it comes to clients’ needs and wants. There’s virtually nothing you could tell us about your sexual interests that would make us dislike you, so if you have a kink or fetish or thing you want to try with her, tell her. She wants to know.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, be ready to let your guard down and allow yourself to be intimate with her. More specifically? Let me help you learn to love yourself. Intimacy is more than just sex. Remember: sex is sex is sex. But intimacy? That is a special brand of love and vulnerability shared between us; it can exist with or without sex, but either way it is an incredibly healing gift that we can give one another. In the moment, it outshines any thoughts or sad emotions we might be feeling. The fact is that we all have that negativity in our heads, but when we start to listen to it and dwell in it like it’s the truth, our self-respect, confidence, and self-esteem go down the drain. Chances are if you feel lonely and isolated the majority of the time, you’re probably in need of a lot of loving. So, let me fill up your love tank! Stop running on empty. You’ll come to realize that when you feel love and acceptance from someone else – especially in the form of intimacy with a well-versed provider – you’re more capable of giving yourself that same love and acceptance you’ve been craving for so long.
But what happens after that? You’ve had a healing experience, you are more able to love and accept yourself and shut down the “negative Nancy” that’s always talking you down. But there’s another result that occurs when others see that you truly care about yourself. When you have pride in yourself, and you truly believe in all your good qualities, and when you accept yourself as you are, other people are drawn to you. They want to get to know you. And that opens up a whole realm of possibilities for you to share that intimacy with others and help them heal, too! Which is what I’m doing now. Don’t let your shyness keep you from feeling happy anymore. It’s time to have the life you deserve. Allow yourself to be loved, and learn to love yourself in the process.