Sex Positive: In the past, sex positivity was the domain of just a few people in a small subculture of society. Now, there’s an entire movement devoted to ensuring that sexual education and freedom are available to everyone, regardless of their gender or orientation. Being sex-positive isn’t just about increasing the amount of sex you have; it’s about celebrating all the different kinds of sex out there, as well as learning how to be more comfortable with your own body and sexuality. To help you get started on your own journey toward sex positivity, here are some great places to start.
Sex positivity is inclusive
Sex positivity is about being inclusive of diverse sexual practices, experiences, and attitudes. We acknowledge that sex is experienced, interpreted, and performed in different ways depending on context. This means that sex-positivity welcomes people who don’t experience sexual pleasure or may find themselves in situations where they feel pressured into doing something they don’t want to do.
Sex positivity embraces people of all genders, races, classes, and abilities because we believe that consent can only ever be meaningful when everyone has agency over their own bodies. We believe that a person’s value isn’t dependent on their sexual actions (or lack thereof), because everyone deserves respect regardless of what they choose to do with their bodies or how much sex they have.
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Sex positivity is realistic
Sex is a normal and natural part of being human. It’s something most people do at some point in their lives and enjoy immensely, but there are also people who don’t or can’t, whether that’s due to age, disability, or circumstance. With sex positivity comes an acceptance of others’ choices and respect for their bodies and sexual identities. An important part of healthy sexuality is accepting yourself as you are—and respecting others no matter how they choose to live their sex lives.
Sex positivity focuses on the future
I think a big part of sex positivity is understanding that sex isn’t always going to happen with passion and fireworks; sometimes, sex can just feel like a quick release or an escape from stress. We need good, satisfying, safe sex for so many reasons that go far beyond pleasure. In other words, being sex-positive doesn’t just mean having better orgasms—it means viewing our sexuality as an important part of our lives that can have enormous impacts on our happiness and wellbeing.
If we make sure that we’re getting all of our sexual needs met in healthy ways (or if we’re working towards that goal), then life is going to be really good! And I think most people would agree: That’s what sex positivity is all about.
Sex positivity places value on everyone’s sexual preferences and health
It doesn’t matter if you’re straight, gay, queer, pansexual, asexual, or something else—your preferences are good and healthy. Sex positivity is about living your life as you want with others who want to do so without judgment. It’s not about having as much sex as possible; sex positivity is about getting rid of shame and stigma around sexuality.
You can’t really say you’re being sex-positive unless your sexuality stems from a place of respect for yourself and others’ needs; there’s no place for coercion in sex-positivity. Rather than making someone feel bad for not participating in sexual activities they don’t like or aren’t ready for, we encourage everyone to find what feels right for them.
Sex positivity focuses on consent.
The crux of sex positivity is that all forms of consensual sex are a-okay. This means that vanilla, casual sex is just as okay as more kinky, sexual endeavours. There’s nothing wrong with either, and if you like one or many variations of consensual sexual activity, then go for it!
The belief that all people should have access to whatever type of sexual experience makes them happy is what ultimately separates sex positivity from other similar ideologies like a prude or puritan ideals. Sex positivity emphasizes consent: It’s not just about what you want—it’s about getting consent from everyone involved.
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Sex positivity fights stigma, shame, and judgement around sex
As often as we talk about how important sex is, we still fight very hard not to discuss or engage in it. The shame and stigma that often surround sex are rooted in certain social norms, values, and beliefs that tell us that sex is bad—that our sexuality isn’t normal and needs to be fixed; that enjoying sex means you’re a slut; that if you have any desire at all for what some might deem weird stuff, you need help. Sex positivity challenges these messages with an acceptance of human sexual diversity. It says your sexual desires are normal and good.
Sex positivity empowers people who have experienced oppression around their sexuality
if you are (cis) male, being sex-positive means supporting lesbian and bisexual women’s right to identify as such; if you are (cis) female, being sex-positive means supporting gay and bisexual men’s right to identify as such. Sex positivity is about respecting people for who they are, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Sex positivity recognizes that there is no one way to have sex: just because someone has a different experience than yours doesn’t make them any less valid. Sex positivity is not about having good or bad sex—it is about creating a space where everyone can talk openly about their experiences and how they feel comfortable engaging in sexual activity.