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Healthy anger expression is crucial for sexuality, physical and mental health.

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

Anger is our bodies' way to say: "NO! I don't like that!" It's a signal that our boundary has been overstepped.

Social Context.

This article is dedicated to suppresion of anger in women. I am aware that the problem is not unique to them, this particular topic is very gendered and I'll cover male anger expression in future posts.

As a sex educator, I am exposed to one of the classical attempt of men to push a woman's boundary: despite clear communication about services I offer and the fact that I work clothed, some men go through the intake process and prior to booking ask if I could be naked, allow them to touch me or pleasure me. They do it because it worked at some point. If I was a men providing the same educational or therapeutic service, they would be much less likely to try. The extent of such phenomenon signals to me how commonplace such pushing of women's boundaries is. And it highlights the critical need for women to protect them firmly, including expressing healthy anger when required.


In a world where gender biases often dictate emotional expression, understanding the impact of suppressed anger, particularly in women, is crucial for fostering a healthier society, body, and sexual well-being. The societal norm that views a man's anger as a demonstration of power, while labelling a woman's anger as irrational or crazy, is not just an issue of gender inequality; it has profound implications for women's overall well-being.


I have a strong personal story with anger. Coming from Russia where female anger is more accepted, I have been severely censored in my career and personal relationships in the UK. Having no training in healthy anger expression then, I recognise that it wasn't always most constructive. However, having witnessed hundreds of women, I realised that the censorship I was subjected to was a result of oppression of women's anger being a stronger norm in the West. I saw how detrimental their socialisation as a "good girl pleasing everyone" and overstepping their needs was: they simply could not say "No" even in the most dire situations! One bright illustration of that is presented in the recent BBC movie "How to have sex".

Anger suppression & health.

This double standard in emotional expression hinders women's ability to process and express their feelings healthily. The groundbreaking book "Rage Becomes Her" by Soraya Chemaly delves into this phenomenon, advocating for a societal shift in how women's anger is perceived and handled. The suppression of anger in women is closely linked to their health. By the age of 40, one of the most significant factors in determining a woman's health – including autoimmune diseases, digestive problems, cancers, and blood pressure issues – is how freely she can express her anger. This connection between suppressed emotions and physical health is increasingly supported by medical research. When anger is not expressed and processed, it can manifest in various harmful ways in the body, leading to chronic health issues.

Moreover, suppressed anger can severely impact a woman's sexuality. Our sex and our emotional centres are very closely connected: when we suppress one part, the other is inevitably limited in it's natural expression. A healthy sexuality involves all emotional spectrum: a woman can laugh, cry, shout in rage and be flooded with love all within 10-15 minutes during a deep sexual experience. There is no need to explain anything. Our sex is connected to our inner world in ways that our conscious mind will never be able to understand. And that's perfect: this is a value in pure experiencing. Why not enjoy it?

How to start taking care of your anger?

Here's how you can start your personal journey of connecting with anger. It's particularly helpful to try if the above information triggers you, i.e. you feel a stirring in the belly, tightness in the chest, etc, here are a few suggestions on how to build your anger intelligence in a safe way.

Intelligence is build with practice, emotional intelligence is not exception. Group trainings have been fundamental for resurgence of empowering and enriching connection to our emotional bodies. It's a new movement and we contribute to the progress by doing it regularly together in my courses with women.

I. Take care of yourself, no need to involve others.

We can achieve a great level of empowerment without others seeing it. By feeling anger and expressing it in your bedroom or even bathroom, we establist a sense of agency within. Feeling anger without acting, just moving this energy in your belly and throat brings a sense of strength in the body. Below are some suggestions on how to do that. You might want to spend more time in the beginning to get in the zone, say 5-15 minutes a couple of times per week. Once a healthy balance is established, you can refresh the current every now & then in dull moments (queue, traffic jams, metro, etc.). Maya Luna, the creator of "Sacred Rage" says that she likes to always feel a little bit angry, have this energy lightly simmering in her belly. When in such relationship, a woman can feel the erotic power of anger: a fiery energy that protects life. There is no need to make it dramatic or shout, it's power is felt by everyone around.

II. Get into your animal.

Animals know how to be angry. Connecting with your animal neural circutry is a simple and quick way to re-awaken that connection. You can follow the video presented here for soem inspiration. Pointers:

  • We aim to feel our "paws" on the ground,

  • sense how the torso moves,

  • breath into the belly,

  • release it hanging to the ground,

  • and sound from our bellies, low or growling noise is great.

III. Emotional Integration Tools*

The Emotional integration tools are amazing in re-awakening the sense of aliveness inside the body, almost on cellular level. Most people can sense a difference after first 5-10 minutes. These tools are effective because they involve our animal brain (emotions, sense of space, safety, etc) while also engaging conscious mind. The play between the two: free expression of what is being felt inside and an observer position support us to make decisions that accommodate the needs of the body, especially those that may not be supported by the current social and economic structure. Emotion is an information, a vital information for out systems. If we don't use it, we lose.

This method is a curtesy of ista (International School of Temple Arts)

**If you have suffered trauma or mental health issues, please consult a specialist before trying the tools unless you're in a stable state and know how to self-regulate. This post explains basic self-regulation techniques that might support you here.

Conclusion.

Encouraging the expression of anger in a constructive manner can lead to improved mental and physical health, and a more fulfilling sexual life for women. As we evolve as a society, acknowledging and embracing the full range of human emotions, regardless of gender, will be pivotal in creating a more equitable and healthy world. Perhaps one day we won't be labelling emotions as good or bad, we'll just take them for what they are: signals of our system.

If a woman doesn't own her territory (her time, her emotional space, her intelligence), then someone else will, be in her children, partner, manager or government of her country. She'll give it away, as she was taught, and then will resent others for using her. I wonder if inability to stand for oneself is also related to women's global self-esteem crisis: when we continuously give away our resources to others, they take credit for them, and our contribution remains invisible.

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