So you want to be sex positive, that’s great!
However, sex positivity often gets misinterpreted, so here are four things to keep in mind to make sure you’re being sex positive in a productive way.
First, Let’s Define Sex Positive.
Sex positive is a term that can be used to describe a multitude of things, from attitude to education. It means not shaming people for the way they choose to have or not to have sex. It is the idea that as long as sex is consensual and healthy, it is good. The opposite of sex positive, is sex negative, which is often the way sex is treated in the media. Sex negativity is the idea that sex (especially pre-marital, non-procreative sex) is bad, dirty, or makes you a worse person. The sex positive movement is actively fighting these assumptions.
Sex Positive Doesn’t Mean Having A Lot of Sex.
Sex positivity is often misinterpreted as sexual fluidity. To be sex positive does not mean that you have a lot of sex, in fact, it is highly important to include the word “choice” when we talk about sex positivity. When we equate sex positivity with having a lot of sex, we exclude people on the asexual spectrum, people who practice abstinence, or people in general who are just not having sex right now. Sex positivity means that choosing to have safe, consensual sex is good, and choosing to have no sex is good. What’s crucial here, is choice.
All Types of People Have Sex in All Different Ways.
Sex positivity means that all kinds of consensual sex are good, not just white cis heterosexual sex. In fact, the sex positive movement is most important for queer, trans, poly, POC, disabled people, fat people, and all people that are not skinny white straight people. Sex positivity is the movement that says all these bodies are of equal importance and all of these bodies deserve autonomy over their sexual decisions. Sex positivity means including all people and all (safe) choices, not just the choices you make for yourself.
It is Your Responsibility to Educate Yourself.
It is exhausting for people in minority groups to explain the different ways they have sex. Queer and trans people don’t have to tell you how they have sex (although if you’re wondering how lesbians have sex, Hello Flo wrote about it here). Disabled people don’t owe you an explanation of how they have sex. Nobody owes you an explanation. If you’re curious how someone has sex, try googling, try reading this website, try literally anything else besides asking directly. Some people are happy to explain how they have sex and some really don’t want to and that is their prerogative. Sex positivity means that all types of consensual sex are good. So educate yourself and be inclusive. And stay sex positive.