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Have you been wondering what the sex-positive movement is? That’s great! Because sex positivity is a very important social and philosophical phenomenon. One that aims to create safe spaces for a person to embody, explore and learn about their own sexuality and gender without judgment or shame. If you've got an open and non-judgmental mind when it comes to sex, you're already on the right track!

In a world that’s flooded with sex-negative messages in media, familial, religious, and educational systems, it’s no surprise that many people have been made to feel ashamed of sexual desires that are perfectly healthy. This is why the sex-positive movement is so important as it seeks to change the toxic cultural attitudes and norms around sexuality, empowering individuals toward sexual health.

When did the sex-positive movement start?

The term itself is rumoured to have been coined by a psychoanalyst named Wilhelm Reich in the 1920s when he stated, contrary to popular belief at the time, that sex is a positive and healthy thing. As you can probably surmise, the notion wasn’t very popular back then. However, during the sexual revolution experienced in the 1960s, sex positivity got a second wind in the age of free love. 

This renewed sexual liberalization heralded a new ethos in experimenting with sex in and outside of marriage, contraception and the pill, public nudity, gay liberation, legalized abortion, interracial marriage, a return to natural childbirth, women's rights, and feminism.

What are the health benefits of sex positivity?

Becoming sex-positive can be a tremendous source of health, celebration, nurturance, healing, and well-being. Because when you create a healthy relationship with your sexuality, you can enjoy greater pleasure, and reap the physical, emotional, and relationship benefits of having a healthy sex life. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that a person’s sexual environment and outlook can significantly impact their overall well-being, for better or worse. 

Can anyone be a part of the sex-positive movement?

The first step in becoming more sex-positive is educating yourself as much as possible. This is because sex positivity has very little to do with your sexual behaviours and identities and is more about your perspective on sexuality. And yes, you can be sex-positive if you identify as vanilla and personally don't engage in kinky sex. It’s also possible to be sex-positive and completely asexual (or celibate). Because you don’t have to be having sex to be sex-positive but you do have to genuinely believe that other people can have sex any way they want with whoever they want, so long as consent is involved. 

How to become more sex-positive?

Understanding where people are coming from also starts with understanding your own sexuality. That’s because sex positivity starts with valuing your sexual health and body positivity. By learning more about your own physiology — its anatomy, wants, needs, what makes it feel good (and what doesn’t), you can engage with more positive feelings about sex. 

Don’t hesitate to deep dive some sex-positive literature and media for more information. Best of all, the most thorough research is masturbation! It can help you get to know your body better and communicate your desires to your partners. Don’t forget that there are some great sexual well-being products available for you too. Here are some tips on ways to already start boosting your sex positivity:

 Discuss your sexual preferences and dislikes with your sexual partner
 Understand that your partner might not want to have sex every time you do 
 Get tested for sexually transmitted infections whenever needed
 Practice safe sex using condoms and other methods of protection
 Accept other people’s consensual sexual practices when they differ from your own
 Learn more about your own body, how it works, and what provides sexual pleasure
 Advocate for comprehensive sex education so that everyone knows how to have safe sex
 Advocate for what enthusiastic consent means and that having sex is a natural part of life

Building a Sex-positive Society

People who believe in being sex positive have an uplifting attitude regarding sex and respect other people’s sexual preferences. After all, recognising sexuality as a natural and healthy part of the human experience is beneficial to us all. Particularly, when it comes to emphasizing the importance of enthusiastically consensual sex. Ultimately, building a more sex-positive society can lead to safer sex and more pleasure for everyone! 

Posted in: Sexual Wellbeing