Sexual Positivity: What It Is and How It’s Practiced
Sexual Positivity: What It Is and How It’s Practiced
It’s the year 2023, and we as a society are growing more accepting each day of different or otherwise unconventional relationships. As such, there are many new terms circulating via social media, such as sex positivity. But what does that mean, exactly? Healthline explains it as an idea that people should be allowed space in which they can embody, explore, and learn more about both their gender and sexuality without feeling ashamed or judged.
Ultimately, this notion involves being respectful and nonjudgmental about the diversity of consensual sexuality and gender expression. Consent is the key term here, as sex positivity values consent, education, and communication above all else. Because in the end, it is these factors that allow us to make informed decisions about our bodies and pleasure. In this blog, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about sex positivity. Check it out below.
Sex and The Human Experience
It’s an undeniable fact that sex is an essential part of the human experience. Sadly, however, this topic has been clouded in judgment, shame, and stigma since the beginning of time. As a result, we live in a society full of sexual negativity, where sex is viewed as a mere reproductive tool. Sex negativity is spread through fear- and abstinence-based sex education programs in school, in church, and through our parents. Naturally, this is harmful in many ways. In fact, according to Brooklyn Minds, while 40% of American adults would consider themselves kinky, nearly 30% reported having sexual fantasies they haven’t shared with their partners.
From the shows and movies on TV to the teachings in schools and in religious institutions, we have a lot of work to do to reverse the effects of sex negativity. Ultimately, the sex positivity movement aims to do just that.
Where Did The Term “Sex-Positive” Originate?
While it’s difficult to trace this term back to its original roots, it is believed that the term sex-positive first became popular in the ‘90s as a more palatable term for the 1960’s sexual liberation movement. From the beginning, the goal has been to encourage healthy sexual expression and relationships for people of all genders.
Examples of Sex Positivity
To help you gain a better understanding of what sex positivity really means, the following are some key examples of sex-positive behaviors.
- Enjoying your body’s sensations
- Accepting the consensual sexual behavior of others
- Reserving judgment
- Supporting policies, laws, and norms that support consensual sexual freedom instead of restriction or repression
- Developing a loving relationship with your body and body image
- Exploring your fantasies
- Communicating your sexual wants/needs with your partner(s)
- Prioritizing a healthy sex life
- Setting healthy sexual boundaries
- Supporting comprehensive sexual education in the school system
- Recognizing unhealthy sexual patterns, including those that may be compulsive or impulsive
- Advocating for your sexual health, including practicing safe sex when possible
What is Sex Negativity?
As we mentioned earlier, sex negativity is all around us, from the school system to the religious sect. And sadly, it’s an easy thing to internalize. Beyond pushing abstinence and fear-based teachings, the following are some key examples of behaviors that could be considered sex-negative.
- Making negative, discouraging remarks about another person’s body, style, partner, or identity
- Considering sex and sexuality to be sinful, dirty, or otherwise negative in some way
- Referring to heterosexuality as the “normal” or “regular” sexuality
- Advocating for the punishment of sex workers or members of the LGBTQIA+ community
- Using STDs or a person’s sexuality as the punchline of a joke
- Believing that anal sex is only for those that identify as gay
- Slut-shaming women
- Blaming the victims of sexual assault or victim-blaming
- Assuming non-heteronormative behavior to be the result of mental illness
Sex Positivity and Mental Well-Being
The World Health Organization explains that a person’s sexual outlook and environment can have an impact on their well-being, whether it’s for better or worse. As a result of all the sex-negative messages within the media, education and religious systems, and American families, many of us feel ashamed of our sexual desires, even if they’re perfectly healthy. Luckily, sex positivity can be the tool that helps one uncover the source of their sexual shame while uncovering their true feelings and desires.
Beyond helping to create a healthy relationship with your sexuality, sex positivity helps you truly enjoy pleasure while reaping the physical, emotional, and relationship benefits that come with a happy sex life. Furthermore, for those in a marginalized group, sex positivity can help them gain affirmation. For example, they might choose to use their chosen name or have others call them by the right pronouns. In the end, this goes a long way towards reducing symptoms of depression, as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Try to Incorporate Sex Positivity Into Your Daily Life
When many of us hear the term sex positivity, we tend to think of it as some strenuous practice or revolutionary idea. However, sex positivity is an idea that’s existed for some time. And today, it’s more important than ever. Now that you have a better understanding of both the meaning and the importance of sexual positivity, you can begin incorporating it into your daily life. And, in the meantime, make sure to choose 247 Labkit to ensure your complete sexual wellness.