With current hashtags like #FreeTheNipple, #EffYourBeautyStandards, and #SexualHealthIsHealth, you’ve probably seen the term “sex-positive” bandied about.
Sex positivity is a way of being that replaces guilt with pleasure and judgment with freedom. It’s more than unapologetic nudity, noisy threesomes, and regular STI testing.
What exactly is it?
Sex positivity, in its broadest sense, asserts that sex may be a beneficial force in a person’s life.
More than that, sex positivity is the belief that people should embody, explore, and learn about their sexuality and gender without fear of being judged or shamed. As long as there is permission, it entails being non-judgmental and accepting of the diversity of sexuality and gender expressions.
Is it possible to have a ‘sex-negative’ attitude
Yes, absolutely. Unless you’re actively attempting to become sex-positive, it’s a reasonable chance that you’re sex-negative. Unfortunately, sex-negativity is embedded in the way our entire culture runs.
Sex negativity can take different forms; telling ladies to put on extra clothing before leaving the house, even on the warmest day, or chastising parents for breastfeeding in public, even though it’s exactly what breasts were designed for.
Other instances of sex-negativity include:
- Violence against sex workers, trans women, and women in general.
- Sex education focuses solely on abstinence and reproductive sex.
- Pacts of purity.
- Sex educators are being shadow-banned on Instagram.
- Humiliating sluts and blaming victims.
Sex negativity views sex and sexuality from a place of fear, oppression, and shame. Sex-negativity assumes that human sexuality is inherent: dirty, dangerous, disgusting, unnatural, uncontrollable, harmful, and risky.
Where did this concept originate from?
In the 1920s, psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich was credited with coining the word when he said that, contrary to common thought, sex is a positive and healthy thing.
As you can expect, the notion didn’t gain much traction at the time. It was given a second life during the sexual revolution of the 1960s, but nowadays, the term is coming back with the sudden wave of sexual awakening.
The goal behind Sex Positivity?
Sex positivity removes guilt and judgment from sex, sexuality, and sensuality. Being controlled by shame and judgment is a miserable experience — it inhibits your pleasure, worsens your mental health, and interferes with your life.
Becoming sex-positive can be a huge source of health, celebration, nurturance, healing, and well-being because sex and sexuality are such wide ideas that connect with many aspects of our life.
In other words, it has the potential to significantly improve your entire life.
Is it necessary to have sex to be sex-positive?
Absolutely not. To be sex-positive, you don’t have to have sex.
However, you must honestly think that other people are free to have sex with whomever they choose as long as permission is given.
What steps do you take to become sex-positive?
To be completely transparent, becoming sex-positive necessitates patience, time, commitment, and bravery.
It’s a lot of work! But it’s labour that’s worthwhile. It necessitates a constant commitment to becoming more inclusive and informed, and you need to have the dedication to anti-oppressive beliefs and behaviours.
The first step is to recognize all of the times you’re not being sex-positive, which is likely due to your upbringing in a sex-negative culture.
Let put that into context; if ever you think of the word ‘slut’ when you see someone with a crop top, ask yourself why you reacted the way you did; “What made me feel that way?”
It is not very easy to shift your way of thinking and react to situations easily, it will take time, but this does not mean that you should let go. If you think sex positivity is important, let us know in the comments…