Just the Tips: Sex positivity matters


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Sex positivity. This is probably a phrase you have heard around campus or the blogosphere recently, but what does it mean exactly? This week’s Just the Tips will hopefully clear up any confusion.

Since sex positivity is a term rooted in the feminist movement, there is no clear cut Webster’s definition for it, but the best way to explain it would be that it means you respect everyone’s own sexual profiles. This applies to sexuality and personal sexual preferences. It represents cultivating a culture that no longer stigmatizes sex. It coincides with comprehensive sex education so that people are able to make healthy, educated choices about their own sexual activities, instead of keeping them, specifically children and teens, in the dark about the very real realm of sexuality.

Even with these definitive facets of sex positivity, there are still some who would argue against its principles. These arguments may be something along the lines of, “So you just want everyone to have sex all the time and be sluts, right?” or, “That means people can have sex with animals and children if that’s their sexual preference.” Not only are these claims ridiculous, but they completely go against what I just listed sex positivity stands for.

As stated, sex positivity is about respecting people’s choices when it comes to their sexual behaviors; not having sex is a choice. Asexuality is a preference, and not having sex has everything to do with a person’s own sexual choices. Even not having sex for religious reasons is a choice and one to be respected. It is the job of the more oppressive religions to teach about respecting other’s own sexual choices. Slut shaming is also something sex positivity does not support. It is someone’s choice to have sex with multiple partners in any type of kinky way they and their partners please. This should be respected as well because it’s not anyone’s business what someone consensually does in the bedroom and attempting to demean someone with this misogynistic term of their sexuality makes you look like an ass.

As for the “children and animal” claim, this goes back to the point about consent. Children cannot legally give consent, therefore any sexual behaviors with a child is not a legal preference one can take action on and is not anywhere close to being sex positive. Animals obviously cannot give consent for sex the way humans can. These are fetishes, and not all fetishes are positive.

Sex positivity is about understanding that sex is a positive thing when acted upon consensually and with respect to other’s wishes. Being sex positive means wanting people to go about their sexual lives in a safe, healthy, and respectful manner to themselves and their partners. There should be no judgment in the sexual realm. Not having sex does not mean you cannot be sex positive! And no matter what type of consensual sex you have, it is not something that you should be negatively labeled for.

Most importantly, sex positivity does not mean sex should be taken lightly. Having sex can be a huge emotionally psychological process for some people, and this should be respected as well. Sex is an intense form of intimacy that is so beautiful because it can play many roles in someone’s life. You can have all the casual sex you want and feel comfortable that way, you can make sex a defining keystone in a relationship, you can indulge in some of the best self-love through sex, you can even avoid sex altogether–that’s what’s so beautiful! These are all choices that sex can offer us!

Go forth, frolic and support each other’s sexual choices! Be sex positive little honeybees buzzing away.

Also, take a look at this wonderfully written article to further your sex positive repertoire: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lea-grover/this-is-what-sex-positive-parenting-really-looks-like_b_5516707.html

As well as Jessica Valenti’s, The Purity Myth.