I was first introduced to the idea of “sex positivity” when I stumbled upon the YouTube channel of the one and only Laci Green. If you haven’t already been exposed to the wonder that is Miss Green, then you should definitely do so after you finish reading. I apologize in advance for how obsessed you will be.
Laci and her YouTube videos are a perfect representation of what the concept of sex positivity aims to be. Sex positivity “promotes and embraces sexuality with few limits beyond an emphasis on safe sex and the importance of consent” and the movement “generally makes no moral distinctions among types of sexual activities, regarding these choices as matters of personal preference”. In Laci’s videos, she adopts sex positivity through her completely open-minded and conversational style of talking on a huge range of topics. Her videos have covered issues on relationships, body image, gender issues, sexuality issues, myth busting videos, feminism, virginity, consent, and yes, a whole lot of videos on actual sex acts. She covers a lot of topics and issues that most people have tons of questions on, but which can seem really difficult to talk about at times. Laci breaks down these barriers and gives her audience all the information they could want or need in an easy to understand and comfortable way. And it’s awesome.
Now, you might be wondering why this is so important. We live in a society that constantly publicly bombards us with oversexualized content and media, and one second later will tell us that sexual expression is a bad thing and should be kept to ourselves. This is because we live in what is call a “sex negative” society. This term means that “sex is seen as a negative force except when it is done in the proper circumstances”. We are policed by society to think about sexuality and sex in very narrow ways, because it is what is considered socially acceptable. However, with all the ways in which sex is so prevalent in our media and social lives, having such a narrow view on what is permissible only leads to people developing a whole lot of shame and guilt towards how they feel about their sexuality. This type of world is anything but easy for us to navigate. It’s confusing and contradictory, and just doesn’t seem to make much sense.
We see this shame and guilt reflected in endless ways, and so much of it could be improved by adopting more sex positive world views. Shame surrounding body image, relationships, gender roles, slut-shaming, or fear of not being feminine or masculine enough are just a few ways in which the conversations we have about sex influence how we view ourselves and live our lives. In addition to this, sex education in schools is rarely comprehensive enough for students to have a full understanding of what sex is and how it influences the various aspects of their identities. This can impact students as they grow up without having ever been taught a clear and comprehensive understanding of sex/sexuality fully in high school, at college, or even later in life.
So how can we incorporate sex positivity into our lives? TALK. Talk to your friends, your siblings, your roommates, your cousins! Talk to everyone. Get used to talking freely and openly about these things and do your part to erase the stigmas. Encourage others to do the same by being a good friend and listening when they want to talk to you. Make it a conversation and continue talking until it can just be a normal aspect of life, free from stigma and shame, like it should be. There is nothing about our gender, our bodies, our sexuality, or our identity that we should feel ashamed of, so let’s get informed and start spreading the positivity around! 🙂