Quite often when discussing sex and sexual health the topics can feel like they have an air of negativity. We will hear things like, “Use condoms or else you could get a Sexually-Transmitted Infection,” or witness people criticizing others for simply enjoying having sex–“You slept with him/her? Why?” Sex Positivity is a concept that aims to change this. The term itself can be very broad in its usage, but the main idea is that being sex-positive involves considering how all sex–as long as it is healthy and consensual–is a good thing that should be embraced.
Being someone who is sex-positive or practices sex positivity doesn’t mean you have to have a lot of sex. You might prefer to enjoy sex with one partner for your entire life, and that is perfectly fine. You may like having sex with a variety of people and be open to all kinds of experiences–that is great too! The key is that you understand other people could have different preferences and you support that instead of making them feel bad for being different.
For example: Someone could tell you that they and their partner both like to consensually do things you may consider kinky and out of your comfort zone, but as opposed to judging them you simply feel happy they do what they like. You’re being sex positive in that scenario! To flip that around, if you are a person who likes to do all kinds of sexual things and your friend tells you they don’t do nearly as much, if you berate them for having, “Vanilla sex,” or otherwise make them feel bad you aren’t being sex-positive. Just because you might like sex in all kinds of configurations and locations that doesn’t mean its okay to insult those who prefer things you consider dull. Being sex-positive is a two-way street and means being happy with your own sex life and not judging people for their own as long as their sex is healthy and consensual.
Being a sex-positive allows you to feel comfortable about your own sexual likes and dislikes whilst also understanding other people have their own things they enjoy. It’s an idea that makes so much sense it is sad to think about how often we ourselves may be sex-negative and not even realize it! Whether we’ve always been sex-positive or are now trying to be, the key is to focus on understanding both what you like, and being aware of your thoughts and behavior when you hear about what other people enjoy doing. Keep that in mind and you are well on your way to being (or continuing to be) a sex-positive person!