8 Misconceptions About Sex Positivity
Published: SEPTEMBER 24, 2019
| Updated: AUGUST 29, 2021 04:02:44
However you wish to embrace and express your sexuality is your call. Anyone who pressures, shames, or coerces others in the name of sex positivity is likely misinformed or acting selfishly.
‘Sex positivity’ has been a buzzterm since the 80s, but what does it actually mean?
Simply put, it’s the attitude that safe and consensual sexual pleasure and experimentation are good, natural, healthy pursuits rather than causes for shame and repression.
Unfortunately, some people misunderstand or abuse the term in ways that put pressure on others. Let's knock down their tall tales, shall we?
1. “Sex Positive = Promiscuous”
There’s nothing wrong with promiscuity. As long as you’re safe, happy, and honest with your partners, what’s the harm? Go nuts with every Tom, Dick, and Harry you fancy!
That said, you can be sex positive without dating or sleeping with high numbers of people, provided you respect the choices of others who do. Prefer to date one person at a time? Have a low number of total partners and want to keep it that way? Saving yourself for marriage? No problem! It’s your body, mind, and right to decide.
Read: You've Heard of Polyamory, but What About Ambiamory?
2. “Sex Positive = Non-monogamous”
Sex positive folk tend to be open-minded and more likely to stray from relationship norms. We may be poly, open, or some other iteration of non-monogamous.
That certainly doesn’t make it a requirement! Contrary to the beliefs of some, monogamy can and does work for lots of sex-positive people. Anyone who goes out of their way to convince you non-monogamy is...
(cue choir of angels)
...probably hasn’t been doing it very long!
My least favorite aspect of poly-spheres is the tendency for newbies to bash monogamy as outdated, unenlightened, or unnatural. (All while stumbling and grumbling through polyamory’s inherent challenges!) A handful of insidious folks take this a step further by using their views to pressure hesitant partners into non-monogamous relationships.
There’s nothing sex positive about that mess. Never let anyone convince you you’re being a drag for your relationship preferences. Best to stick with what feels right for you.
Read: Poly Diaries: Unlearning the Need for Labels
3. “Sex Positive = Kinky”
Kink-shaming is a common topic in the BDSM scene. It’s a bad, bad thing worthy of punishment that only naughty people do!!!
Vanilla-shaming is just as shitty. It usually comes in the form of subtle digs implying non-kinky sex is boring or puritanical. But sex positivity is all about choice! If vanilla’s your preferred flavor, who can argue with that?
And if kink is on your menu, I’m with you! Let’s be sure not to push it on others in the name of sex positivity. We all know kink is only good when it’s genuinely consensual. Let them come crawling to us begging to play if and when they’re ready and not before.
Read: Reclaiming Vanilla Sex: Why It's Hot
4. “Sex Positive = Queer”
Here’s an interesting one: the idea that strictly straight people are hiding their true sexual inclinations. Heard such things, I have!
I had a high school teacher who believed everyone was secretly bisexual. (‘Straight’ folks were victims of religious oppression who were too scared to experiment.) As a bi agnostic chick who’d once had a friend’s mom insist “BISEXUALS ARE LIARS AND SHOULD MAKE UP THEIR MINDS!!” I appreciated this outlook at the time. With maturity, however, I came to respect that my cup of tea may not taste good to thee!
Giving anyone grief for their orientation sucks and using sex positivity to mask prejudice is a bad look no matter who it’s pointed at. Booooooo, I say!
Read: Why Even Straight People Should Explore Their Sexuality
5. “Sex Positive = Irresponsible”
We sex-positive peeps are all STI-ridden voodoo witches who never use protection and bite the heads off our mates after fuckin’ ‘em. HAH! Suckers.