Every woman has her own idea of what sex positivity means or looks like. For those raised in a strict environment, you may associate sex-positivity as a negative movement that equals moral looseness. For others, sex-positivity may mean that you feel freed to have sex with whoever you want. But for some people that may feel like an obligation to have sex with anyone who asks. In short, sex positive feminism can be a lot of different things.
Genuine sexual positivity is none of these things. It’s not something to be judged or an unofficial contract that demands you be kinky or “easy.” It’s a great tool to empower us as women to embrace who we are and what we truly want in the bedroom.
You can be sex-positive whether or not you like sex.
The sex-positive movement isn’t just for women who love getting it on. Even if you don’t enjoy sex yourself, you can be sex-positive by supporting those who do. Even if their idea of a good time doesn’t align with yours.
If you can embrace the idea that everyone should enjoy sex as much as and how they want, you’ll do yourself a favor by supporting your own healthy sexual mindset.
You can be sex-positive without being “adventurous.”
Society tends to listen to the voices who speak the loudest. When it comes to sex positivity, those people’s sexual choices may have you a little scared. And that’s fine. Being sex-positive doesn’t mean that you have to allow your partner to try every new thing.
You can do the same position every single time and be sex-positive, as long as what you do makes you happy. The key concept is that you’re okay with the fact that some people spice it up. Just don’t look down on them for doing what makes them happy.
You don’t have to be pushy.
Too often, this movement for sexual positivity comes across as pushy. But a correct view of this is not to shove it into everyone’s face that you are embracing your sexuality. Nor should you force everyone around you to do the same.
That’s just about the opposite of what sex positivity should be! When you are genuinely embracing sex positivity, you’re not pushy—you’re kind and supportive. You let others know that you support them without making them shout their sexual preferences from the rooftops. You also don’t force your own sexuality onto others.
You can still say no
Our society has taken quite a turn from “no means no” because of this incorrect view of sexual positivity. Just because you support people having sex their way does not mean giving up your right to say no! Sexual positivity is supposed to empower us to have sex when and as much as we want. It’s never meant to take away our rights or personal standards.
If you want to be monogamous—you go, girl. Do it proudly. And if you’d rather keep it casual and pick and choose partners when you want, that’s your right. But don’t ever let someone guilt or force you into sex. That’s not sex positivity at all.
You can be sex-positive even if you’ve had bad sexual experiences.
The idea of sexual positivity can be challenging for women who suffered from abuse, rape, or a childhood of sex-negativity. These experiences often create a mental barrier or fear and regret. Being sex-positive does not mean that you have to only view sex in a good light. A right view of this recognizes that sex isn’t a happy thing for everyone but shows that you’ll support each other either way.
A real sex-positive mentality is not about flaunting your desire to have sex all the time or with whomever you choose. It’s about uplifting those who struggle with sex. It’s supporting those who’ve been hurt or are scared to live the way they feel. And it’s showing others (and yourself) that it’s okay to embrace their sexual needs, identities, and preferences and that you’ll support them as long as those choices make them happy.
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.