"My 20s, I was always terrified of it, because I was a virgin until I was 22"
Brooke Shields gets real about embracing sexuality and confidence at any age.
The 56-year-old actress got candid with Yahoo! Life about rediscovering sexuality later in life and the misconception that "women can't be sexy over a certain age."
"The acceptance of our bodies comes at a later date," Shields stated. "I live much more in my body now than I ever did. My body actually feels like it belongs to me. And I can't say that about my youth."
She continued, "I think there is a misconception that if you are not of childbearing ability, you don't seem to matter in the world. Because you do not keep the world going anymore. There's vitality in us. And I think that shows itself sexually."
The "Blue Lagoon" actress also told the publication how she's been rediscovering her confidence and recounted an experience she had when she was visiting her sister and decided to wear a two piece bathing suit.
"I was wearing a bathing suit because I was visiting my sister and our whole family. And she just put a cold plunge into her backyard, and I wanted to challenge myself," she shared. "It was just this sort of celebration and doing something a little uncomfortable."
"It shows itself with an adventure. It shows itself in confidence. We walk into rooms now and kind of think, well, I got nothing to lose. There's an uncomplicated nature to it. Confidence is the sexiest thing that I've ever encountered."
When promoting her new selfcare site for women over 40, "Beginning is Now", the 56-year-old admitted that when she turned 40, she had believed that her measure as a woman was tied to her youth and her ability to produce children.
Recounting her experience with IVF and conception she said, "40 felt that, all of a sudden, I was an adult. Fertility was changing for me. It was difficult for me to have children. I did IVF seven times."
"And my career, I was being told sort of, 'Oh, you're not viable once you're 40," Shields continued. "We're not at the end the way people are living now. We're at a new beginning. And so I kept saying I just feel like I'm beginning. I just feel like I'm beginning."
In terms of her sexuality, the former supermodel got real about reclaiming her body and reimagining sex as something that has evolved into an experience that belongs to her.
"My 20s, I was always terrified of it, because I was a virgin until I was 22," Shields continued. "You know, I thought I was committing an offense to humanity for being a Catholic, not married, and I had so much guilt. My 30s, it wasn't really about being sexy. It was having your body work to create something. That was like a 10-year kind of journey."
"It wasn't until my 40s that I started thinking of sex as my experience, not someone else's experience that I just navigated."
More than anything, the 56-year-old wants her daughters Rowan, 18, and Grier, 15, to view sex as an experience that is a joint decision, where they feel confident and in control.
"What I want my daughters to know is that it's a joint decision. Even with as woke as everybody is, you'd be shocked at how they see themselves within relationships," she concluded. "I don't want them ever to feel used. I want them to feel more in control and not ashamed of anything."