What is “Sex Positive”?

Let’s begin with a quote from Carol Queen, sex positive diva:

Sex-positive, a term that’s coming into cultural awareness, isn’t a dippy love-child celebration of orgone – it’s a simple yet radical affirmation that we each grow our own passions on a different medium, that instead of having two or three or even half a dozen sexual orientations, we should be thinking in terms of millions. “Sex-positive” respects each of our unique sexual profiles, even as we acknowledge that some of us have been damaged by a culture that tries to eradicate sexual difference and possibility. It’s the cultural philosophy that understands sexuality as a potentially positive force in one’s life, and it can, of course, be contrasted with sex-negativity, which sees sex as problematic, disruptive, dangerous. Sex-positivity allows for and in fact celebrates sexual diversity, differing desires and relationships structures, and individual choices based on consent.

Sexuality and sexual health is an integral part of being human and relating with others. A healthy, shameless sex life is the right of all persons irrespective of their age, gender, or state of health. The sex positive movement calls for an end to anti-sex propaganda, fear-mongering, and outright lies in favor of facts and reason. It emphasizes personal choice and an end to shaming/judging others for their personal choices. It also emphasizes an organic expression of our identities instead of imposition or repression of them. We can take pleasure in learning about our bodies, gender, and sexuality alone and through others. Every experience matters and in the right mindset,
I believe you can learn something about yourself
from anybody.

Here are some myths about sex positivity.

MYTH 1: “Sex positivity means being a slut”.
Wrongo, sex positivity respects the decisions individuals make about their own lifestyle. Instead of telling you not to ever have sex (unless you’re married, straight, white, whatever), sex positivity emphasizes the right for you to choose what you like as long as you are doing it with consent. This means affected parties are capable of and agree to the actions they are partaking in together. You can be a sex positive celibate, a sex positive virgin, promiscuously sex positive, or anything in between! It’s your CHOICE, and other sex positive folks will respect your right to make consensual decisions about yourself even if they personally choose differently.

MYTH 2: “If you can use your body how you like, that means you can have sex with children and animals”.
Like I said above, a major component of sex positivity is consent. Children are not old enough to properly give verbal consent as they do not have full awareness about what is going on or the consequences for their actions. Neither do animals.

MYTH 3: “Sex positivity goes against my religion and my god”.
While sex positivity by nature challenges many facets of traditionally oppressive religions, there are lots of sex positive people from all religions who believe that god gave them beautiful bodies to use. I have worked alongside Christians, Muslims, Pagans, Jews, Buddhists, and a host of other beliefs who strongly believe that religion and sex positivity can go together. Remember, sex positivity in this context does not mean you have to change your own practices if you don’t want. All choices are equally respected. For the religious, sex positivity merely pushes for respecting the choices of others as well.

MYTH 4: “Sex positivity is not the path to true sexual liberation, it just reinforces sexism by encouraging women to be sexual objects.”
The idea of “true” liberation seems a bit wonky because what is empowering for one individual may not be for another. Because ending sexual violence is a big part of sex positivity, the philosophy discourages the objectification of any group. Instead, it challenges the sentiment that feeling sexy only benefits men & it encourages us to embrace various expressions of female sexuality. Showing solidarity with women starts with acknowledging their right to be sexual beings without being sexual objects.

Here is a related video I produced called “Sex: Positive”