Sex positivity isn't just a buzzword.
In this day and age, the sex positive movement has grown exponentially thanks to social media platforms and modern media. Indeed, topics surrounding sex have become less taboo and increasingly more acceptable. But have you ever wondered what it really means to be sex positive?
By definition on Wikipedia, sex positivity embodies the “attitude towards human sexuality that regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally health and pleasurable, encouraging sexual pleasure and experimentation”.
That is to say, if both (or all) parties consent to a sexual happening, then this beautiful, healthy and enjoyable experience should be embraced—free of moral and ethical judgements such as sexual orientation, sexual lifestyle and other kinks!
Truth is, sex-positivity isn’t necessarily about having lots of sex, but having the freedom to choose when and how you like your sex. The progressive movement revolves around the idea that sex shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. Instead, it should be explored with an open mind, positive attitude and respect of individual’s sexual preferences and boundaries. It’s about knowing what you want, and taking self-affirming steps to empower yourself. It’s about celebrating and exploring one’s sexuality.
By dismantling the shame and stigma around sex, individuals can better learn skills around consent, safer sex, communication, and positive relationships—aspects that serve as key foundation for healthy sexual and romantic relationships. Furthermore, sex positivity creates an inclusive culture for everyone and anyone, and is no doubt widely practised in the LGBTQ community.
The movement also addresses issues regarding sex-related shaming. Sex negativity shames people for their sexual activities, being victims of sexual abuse, or even having sex before marriage. Meanwhile, sex positivity accepts that everyone has a right to make their own choices about their sex life.
So, how do I become more sex positive, you say? Glad you asked!
Here are some ways you can start:
#1: Understand Your Feelings
It’s great that you’ve decided to explore your perspective on sex. For most of us, there’s a lot to unpack. Take the opportunity to sit with your thoughts and figure what your inherent biases are. Opening your mind to a different standpoint can help you view sex in a bigger and clearer picture, which is especially important in a sex negative environment.
#2: There Isn’t One True Way To Be Sex Positive
Everyone is different. What works for you may not necessarily work for others. Sex is a multi-faceted part of life and there is no one way to experience it. It’s all about exploration and discovery, and the right to feel good about your sexual identity and relationships!
#3: Don’t Let Shame Bring You Down
Heard of the quote “when there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you”? Shame stems from external judgements of others. Although it may seem tough at first, learning to love and accept your true self and desires instead of measuring yourself against ambiguous external standards is a good way to start. Build your self-esteem from within and you may start feeling more confident to face down people who don’t respect you.
#4: Open Communication Is Key
A big part of being sex positive is having open communicate with trusted friends and partners. Even when sexual double standards perpetuate our culture, discussing your concerns, uncertainties, vulnerabilities and desires more openly with close friends and partners can help address some of the issues and give you the empowerment you need to embrace a life in a more sex positivity light.
#5: Explore Your Own Body
Sex positivity encourages people to try new ways of having sex and relationships, including one that doesn’t involve any other person. So, go ahead! Take time to learn more about yourself. Explore your own body, how it works, what provides sexual pleasure for you, and what kinds of sensations your body enjoys. Better yet, why not get yourself a little sex positive gift?
While sex positivity may feel like an individual and lonely pursuit at times, know that it is a truly worthwhile journey of self-discovery and self-love, and still very possible to practice even in the middle of an oppressive environment. Yes, it may seem like an long uphill road towards a healthy perspective on sex in many cultures. Luckily, you can always start with becoming more confident in yourself.