When I discovered the sex-positive movement a few years ago, I was very much drawn to it for the sake of finally allowing myself to speak about and do extensive research on sex more or less without inherited shame or guilt telling me not to. Those voices would say it’s not proper, adequate nor is it “intellectual” to be interested in sex. Coming across the sex-positive movement was a break-through because I loved thinking about sex and now I could speak about sex and I loved it. I loved it probably more than actually having it.
“(…) despite the connotation of the word positive, sexpositivity does not mean you are ready and screaming YES! to sex all the time”
Which is also why I want to start out by clearing up a myth of what it means being sex-positive: despite the connotation of the word positive, sexpositivity does not mean you are ready and screaming YES! to sex all the time. Quite the contrary, actually. Sex-positive means a lot of different things to a lot of different people and that is the beauty of it. Each can come and discover what sex means to them and do they actually like what they have been doing this far and how can one enhance that. Which partners are preferred or doing the good deeds with and to yourself are all questions that may arise when discovering your own sexpositive vibe. It’s basically allowing yourself to fantasize and let your imagination run riot.
“(…) most of our sex-ed classes were teaching us how not to get pregnant or not get HIV/Aids instead of exploring sex as a source of pleasure”
What is surely relevant in terms of sex that the practice was stripped of it’s pleasure for a very long time, framed it as being purely there for reproductive reasons. Which is also why most of our sex-ed classes were teaching us how not to get pregnant or not get HIV/Aids instead of exploring sex as a source of pleasure. So, since sex was connected to unwanted and life-long consequences, it’s no surprise that many of us denied ourselves exploring our sexuality. Let’s reclaim our sex then. Prior to discovering ethical porn, I would occasionally snoop around in the female-friendly section of regular porn sites. The binary gender assumption and the reproduction of gender stereotypes, such as the soft-lit aesthetic and the soft vanilla sex was opening up another unrealistic expectation of sex. Plus, it assumed a kind of uniform and one-dimensional idea of what it means being femxle.
“So sexpositivity might also mean integrating eroticism and your sense of kink into your everyday actions and encounters”
That being said, I knew a good place to start for me was taking up this question IRL and speaking to my friends that I thought could be open for those topics. Eventually one of them introduced me to ethical porn, which first of all meant un-learning the patriarchal porn gaze and also adjusting to different temporalities, storytelling and aesthetic. Going to sexpositive parties also helped me explore my sexual self, as it felt like a kind of space which was safe and consensual and I could explore myself in a way that wasn’t weird or I was being judged for it. So sexpositivity might also mean integrating eroticism and your sense of kink into your everyday actions and encounters. It also invites you to tune into yourself and tune out of what you think you should be doing and feeling.
Again, sex-positive to me means being in tune and being able to communicate my sexual needs, boundaries and desires in a healthy way. I learned to also know and accept myself a whole lot better now that I stopped putting another person’s pleasure at the centre of attention and insert myself into the dynamic of sexual encounters. Sexpositivity might mean wearing a harness and enjoy being looked at, but don’t want to be touched. It could also mean, you don’t want to have sex at all, but you just like thinking or talking about it. Basically, embracing your relatioship to sex and moving away from social norms and moral judgements. In order to coming to terms with what sexpositivity means to each cutie, it’s important to explore where our ideas and moral understanding on the subject matter of sex comes from. That is important to deconstruct social ideas of sex and losing the sense of shame around it and accepting other views on sex as well as being able to accept others’ views on sexuality – unless it belongs to oppressive structures – as being perfectly valid. That is when a more conscious and mindful approach to porn is a vital source of empowerment. Sex-postive porn is created for the purposes of encouraging to accept, acknowledge and embrace their sexuality, equality and pleasure. It is usually produced and directed by women or follows strict ethical guidelines.