In the spirit of going back to work after a month of winter break, I decided to write a post about something that is very near and dear to my heart: Sex Positivity.
Since beginning at Sex Out Loud a year and a half ago, the meaning of sex positivity has evolved quite a bit for me. It began when I first heard the term “Don’t Yuck My Yum,” (or DYMY for short) which essentially means that we should be respectful of all types of expression because shaming people is generally a shitty thing to do. DYMY is an ideology that promotes safe spaces and conversations—if we don’t feel like we’re going to be attacked or put down for sharing intimate desires, or posing questions about them, then we’re more likely to listen, engage, and learn. And I think that’s fantastic.
For me, DYMY was more of a starting point. It was when I started to think about personal expression (from gender to sexuality and beyond) as personal life choices that should be accepted and treated equally. But now, having worked as a sexual health peer facilitator, simply keeping our mouth shut when we are confronted with a type of expression that we don’t personally enjoy is not enough.
Truly, sex positivity is about celebrating people’s consensual, healthy choices and just generally being life-affirming. It’s not being “politically correct,” it’s providing people with information so they can make risk-aware choices that are right for them, and being supportive of whatever choices they make.
It’s not simply holding back judgement, it’s letting go of the idea that there is a right and a wrong way for people to express their gender or sexuality.
It’s recognizing that everyone deserves pleasure and happiness, and celebrating that people have found things that make them happy! Even if an activity is not for us, we remember the things that make us warm and fuzzy (or hot and bothered) might not be for everyone and to just be happy that they found something that they really enjoy.
It’s shutting down shamers, even in their subtlest form. It’s recognizing when we’re skimming over topics when we’re teaching because we don’t enjoy them. It’s recognizing when we unintentionally wince when discussing a sexual act we’re not in to. It’s about knowing our own boundaries and triggers, and when its best to exit conversations or spaces so that we don’t unintentionally distress ourselves or others. It’s learning how to get super excited over a sex toy we’ve never used, or a barrier method that’s made for bodies that we or our partners don’t have.
Sex Positivity is about celebrating the things that make people happy and empowering them to engage and explore them in risk-aware and consensual situations. It’s kinda summed up in my favorite cheers:
To finding the things we fucking love and vice versa!
If you’re looking for more sex positivity check out Laci Green who is simply amazing, or just stay tuned! I’ll be posting lots more of Sex + stuff.