Imagine you are at a fabulous party in a fairytale home in the awesomely beautiful Malibu, California. You are thrilled to have been invited to this amazing event. The music is playing, couples are dancing, the gowns are exquisite, and the jewelry dazzles. This is where the beautiful people have gathered.

Suddenly, three masked men enter the room brandishing guns. One takes the microphone from the singer, the other points the gun at the band and instructs them to stop playing. The third grabs the hostess and points the gun at her face. The man with the microphone instructs everyone to throw their cell phones to the stage, lay on the floor, take off their jewelry and hold it up in their right hand. “Do what I say, and no one will get hurt,” he demands.

Two of the masked men scurry around the room grabbing the jewelry while the man with the microphone yells, “If anyone stands up, I’ll shoot.” Too late, you’ve already started to stand up. He shoots you in the leg and cautions everyone else to stay down or they will meet the same fate—or worse. Then, the electricity in the entire house is shut off, the room goes dark, and pandemonium starts as the three masked men rush out.

What does this have to do with your sex life?

It’s all about perception.

As the wounded woman, your perception could have been, “I’m always in the wrong place at the wrong time, I never should have come, I’m so stupid for standing up,” or, “It was all my fault.”

Conversely, you could have thought, “I’m so lucky to be alive.”

Sounds farfetched, but it isn’t. It’s exactly what we do when our lover decides we are not the person he wants. We blame ourselves. We focus on our shortcomings, our lack. We don’t think about the good parts of the relationship, the positives, and the things we learned and can help us in our next relationship.

When we have sex, we become vulnerable, raw and when that relationship ends, we so often embrace our lack of desirability. We really, truly believe because this one person has decided we are no longer what he wants, then we must be undesirable to all men. We blame ourselves for the failure of the relationship. All too often we say to ourselves, “If only I were more…”

Instead of growing from rejection, we shrink. We so often allow our former lover to not only rob us of our self-esteem, but also ambush our sexuality. We believe because he no longer found us desirable, no man will. So many women I’ve spoken to have told me after their divorce/break-ups they stopped dating. They decided they never wanted to go through that again. They’d describe the pain of the divorce/end of the relationship as though it were just a few days ago, but oftentimes, it was years! Yes, wasted years.

They’d tell me exactly what their husband/lover did to betray them in exquisite details, calling up all of the emotion of the past. But the amazing part of this was in the telling, I saw something. They all seemed to not only loathe their former lover, but there was an element of self-pity that was pervasive. Constantly, they were reliving the rejection. In reality, the   truth, no matter what anyone says about you or does to you, doesn’t hold true unless you believe it. They were believing someone else’s perception. Time to embrace the truth because we are what we believe.