Today, many people consider themselves “woke” which means more and more people are becoming aware of social and sexual injustices, which is slowly changing how people view things such as respect of sexual preferences, use of sexy lingerie, vibrators, dildos, masturbation, desire to own adult sex toys, views on what consensual sex means, rights of both men and women in the bedroom and beyond.
In many societies, some certain stigmas and stereotypes have persisted over time. As a result, many people live repressed lives where they suffer from judgement from others. It’s simply unacceptable for someone to feel ashamed about who they are, especially when it comes to their sexuality. This is why the sex-positive movement needs to gain traction and keep going for years to come.
Especially in the online sex toys and lingerie industries the dark and shamefulness wrongfully associated with the use of devices, lubes and lotions for better sex, is slowly being lifted from the natural and completely normal desire to want to engage in greater pleasure. Be that with partners, masturbating your clitoris or penis on your own, or the use of vibrators, anal sex toys or other masturbation aids.
These incorrect views of looking at sex, sexual freedom, respect and sexual needs as something negative you shouldn’t ever speak of, is what in the past caused a lot of damage to people as those not treated with respect felt confused, worthless and worse, those who masturbated like there is something wrong with them and those who desired more pleasure, as being sick and bad.
It’s important to understand that respect, sexual freedom, the need for sex toys and self-pleasuring are all completely healthy, normal and positive happy things. Sex is one of the most instincts of us wanting to reproduce and is a beautiful gift we all possess that needs to be nurtured, open, honest, fair and free to enjoy between consenting adults. Sex truly is something positive that by being open about, becomes safer for everyone and a thing of respectful enjoyment.
Do you want to do your part in creating a more sex-positive world?
Then keep reading. In this article, we’ll discuss what being “sex-positive” is and more.
What Is “Sex Positive”?
So are you sitting there, scratching your head, wondering: what does “sex-positive” mean?
The thing is, there’s not a single, final definition of it. If you ask a number of sexual rights activists, they may all have their own personal definition.
At first glance, “sex positive” seems to be a term that indicates how much sex you’re having (or how little, for some people). But that’s not the case at all.
Instead, “sex-positive” means having a healthy and positive toward any and all types of sexualities and sexual activities. Granted, this should only happen if all parties are consenting and comfortable with what they’re agreeing to.
The sex-positive movement intends to be inclusive and to embrace sexual diversity. They want to stop shame surrounding this natural thing and for it to not be so taboo and embarrassing. It’s very similar to the LGBTQI movement, but focuses on the sexual aspect of things.
Not only does this movement aim to make people more comfortable and accepting of all types of sexualities and sexual activities, but they also aim to educate people about safe sex.
Another main goal is to battle sex-shaming. This means no matter when a person chooses to have sex, and no matter how many partners they choose to have (either separately or simultaneously), no one is allowed to judge them for it. They have the right to be proud of the sexual choices they make.
History of Sex Positivity
It may seem like the idea of sex-positivity has only recently sprung up. But the reality is, it’s been around for much longer!
Back in the 1920s, psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich (who was a student of Sigmund Freud) first came up with the concept of sex-positivity. He basically said that sex really wasn’t as bad as a society made it out to be and that if people would just come to terms with it and accept it for what it was, it would actually help alleviate many of our problems.
And by “alleviate many of our problems,” Reich meant both physically and mentally. For instance, indulging in sex can relieve stress and make you feel good.
As you can imagine, people weren’t ready to accept such a radical idea. They had only just come out of the Victorian era just 20 years ago, after all.
However, in the “flower power” era of the 1960s, people picked the idea of sex-positivity back up, considering there was a sexual revolution during this time as well.
Ever since the sex-positive movement’s only grown stronger!
What Sex Positivity Isn’t
Above, we’ve given you a good idea of what the sex-positive movement looks like. However, there are quite a few misconceptions about it, so we felt it was worth it to dedicate an entire section to what it isn’t.
Excluding Asexual Individuals
Sex positivity isn’t just about having lots of sex. It’s being accepting of all types of sexualities, so that means being asexual is ok too!
If you have no interest in sex but still want to have relationships, that’s perfectly fine. Sex positivity is all-inclusive, and it doesn’t mean you need to have a sexual activity to be sex-positive.
So if someone tells you that you need to be sexually active in order to be sex-positive, they’d have the facts wrong. The main goal is to include everyone!
Liking Sex Automatically Makes You Sex Positive
Just because someone likes sex doesn’t necessarily mean they’re sex-positive. If they push (or cross) their partners’ boundaries, shame others for their sexual preferences, or are homophobic, then they’re by no means sex-positive.
Again, the concept of sex positivity is including all sorts of people and preferences. The movement strives to eliminate shame and judgement, and promotes healthy relationships.
Because of this, this also means that you shouldn’t be “preaching” about the joys of sex to everyone. Each individual has the right to like or dislike sex, and to be truly sex-positive, you should be accepting of their stance.
Of course, if they come to you for information, the sex-positive thing to do would be to provide them with all details in a clear-cut and comfortable way. But if they don’t want that information, don’t volunteer it and pressure them into liking sex.
Not everyone has to have a happy sex life in order to be sex-positive.
You Always Have to Be Ready for Sex
Just as you can be asexual and still be sex-positive, you can have a low libido and still be sex-positive as well. In fact, you can have a voracious sexual appetite and still be able to say no to sex whenever you want.
If you’re expected to always be ready for sex whenever your partners want it, then this can quickly cross the line into sexual coercion. And when one or more partners aren’t 100% comfortable with any sexual activity, then this isn’t sex-positivity.
You Have to Have Multiple Partners
What if you’ve only had sex with one person, and will only have sex with them for the rest of your life until you die? Are you still sex-positive then?
Having sex with multiple people in your lifetime (or even all at once) may not be your cup of tea, and that’s ok! Just as it’s not everyone’s preference to have sex with just one person in their lives, it’s your right to enjoy what you want to in your bedroom.
Sex positivity is respecting everyone’s sexual decisions, whether that’s with one partner or 100, or even 1,000+.
Expecting Zero Boundaries
Just because sex positivity means being open doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t have any boundaries. But don’t mistake this to be synonymous with a lack of adventure.
You can be sexually adventurous even without liking every single sexual position or activity ever discovered or invented. A major part of sex-positivity is the ability to openly and clearly communicate with your partner(s) about what you’re willing and not willing to do in bed.
Many people worry that in order to be sex-positive, they have to be sexually open to everything. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Even if you only enjoy one sex position and will only do that, you can still be sex-positive. So long as you promote a healthy and communicative sex life, then you’re good!
Sex Positive Examples
Ok, so you now know what “sex-positive” is and isn’t. But knowing definitions simply isn’t enough. When you’re thrown into a real-world situation, you need to know how to react in a positive and respectful way.
To help you out, here are some examples that’ll bring light to “sex-positive” meaning.
Being Open With Your Partner(s) About What You Do and Don’t Like
We understand that sex is a fun thing, and discussing the things you don’t like may not feel like a very fun activity. But in fact, by doing so, you can make the actual time you spend in the bedroom more exciting!
So it’s important to discuss not only your favourite sexual activities but also the ones you dislike or hate. When you have open communication before you hop in bed, the time you spend in it will be much more comfortable and thrilling.
Practising Safe Sex
Knowing the STI and STD status of your partners is crucial in being sex-positive. Having up-to-date statuses means openness and excellent communication.
Even if none of you has current STIs or STDs, the responsible thing to do is to use protection every time you have a sexual encounter. This can be condoms, diaphragms, spermicides, birth control pills, or something else, so long as everyone is clear on which methods are being used.
Accepting Other People’s Sexual Preferences
It may be tough to accept your friend’s sexual preferences; perhaps they have a kink you simply can’t understand. But as a sex-positive person, you’d be completely accepting of it, so long as it involves only consenting parties and it doesn’t do harm to any innocent bystanders or make them uncomfortable.
Remember, accepting someone’s sexual preferences doesn’t necessarily mean you have to like or do them yourself.
Being an Advocate for All of the Above
If you have friend circles that have archaic views on sex, you should do your best to educate them. After all, they may be shaming others for their sexual preferences. However, this doesn’t mean you should be pushy.
If they don’t want to hear it, don’t try and discuss the subject too much. But if they’re open to discussing matters, then feel free to bring all the information you can to convince them to be more open and accepting of all sexual preferences and activities.
Be a Sex-Positive Person
As you can see, the movement’s goal is to make sure everyone feels included when it comes to their sexualities. We can’t help what we like, and so long as it’s consensual, no one should be able to judge us on our kinks and fantasies.
While the sex-positive movement has made leaps and bounds in recent years, there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ve learned a lot more about it and will be able to help bring more sex positivity to the world by educating your friends and family.
If you want to learn even more about the sex-positive movement, then check out our other blog articles or subscribe to our newsletter.