Have you heard of the term sex-positive? What exactly does it mean?
I’ve asked this question to seven individuals involved in sexuality education—starting with the one who coined the term in 1976!
1. “Sex positive means an affirmation of consensual sexual pleasure without a hint of guilt or shame or inhibition. It includes equality and it emphasizes the power of lust and caring. When you are sex positive you reject censorship and stupid concepts like sex addiction and hyper sexuality.” ~ Dr. Roger Libby, sexologist and AASECT certified sex therapist
2. “Sex positivity is the perspective that the only relevant measure of a sexual act or practice is the consent, pleasure, and well-being of the people who do it and the people who are affected by it.” ~ Dr. Charlie Glickman, Certified Somatic Sexuality educator
3. “As long as what you do is safe and consensual with yourself and your partners, you can have as much or as little sex as you want and not feel ashamed or guilty for your desires.” ~ Hunter Riley, store manager and Education Coordinator of the Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center
4. “Sex positivity is about loving yourself and not judging others. To be able to communicate, compromise, and consent to your partner(s) and your own desires and fantasies without feeling judged, ashamed, or insecure.” ~ Angelique Luna, sex coach, educator, entertainer, and host of “Living a Sex Positive Life” podcast
5. “Being sex positive is about having an accepting, non-judgemental, and respectful attitude toward the sexual choices, practices, and relationships of others. Sex positivity is not about the physical act of sex, nor is it about influencing or encouraging anyone’s sexuality activity. It promotes communication and education toward a state of sexual health and healthy relationships.” ~ John C. Luna, sex educator, co-host of “Living a Sex Positive Life” podcast.
6. “Often people assume that taboos, shame, and guilt shouldn’t be part of sex positivity, but such a view invites abuse because all those things do belong to us (not only with regards to sex, but to all aspects of our life). Instead of “just doing away” with our limits, we would be far better advised to embrace them, look at them, and judge them for their usefulness in our life. So sex positivity is: accepting yourself and knowing what is good for you, and doing what is necessary to keep your sense of what constitutes yourself. Remember: sex doesn’t exist outside of you as some kind of abstract benchmark, it is an integrated part of yourself—as are your limits.” ~ Dr. Jakob Pastoetter, clinical sexologist and president of the German Society for Social Scientific Sexuality Research
7. “Sex positive is an adjective often used to describe people who are comfortable with their own sexuality and sexuality in general. It is not about having unfulfilling, displeasurable, guilt-ridden, and downright bad sex—nor about judging the sex lives of others and making anybody feel bad (including yourself) for what you do or do not choose to do. Being sex positive is being sex affirmative.” ~ Dr Martha Tara Lee, sexologist and AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator at Eros Coaching
Now, having read these answers, what does sex positive mean to you? Would you consider yourself a sex positive person? How might you give room for your relationship with your sexuality to evolve so that you are more sex positive?
Author: Martha Lee
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Callie Rushton