Sex-Positivity, Setting Boundaries, Hearing Boundaries

One of the biggest sticking points in sex-positive communities is that there’s a pattern of not don’t openly acknowledge the ways in which sexual intrusion, assault and trauma shape sexuality. Discussions of sex-positivity rarely include what it means to live in a world in which effectively every woman (both cis- and transgender) and many of

What Sex-Positivity Is

One of the difficulties that I’ve faced in discussing sex-positivity with some folks is that there are two different lenses that a lot of people use when talking about these issues. Some use an entirely personal lens, as in “I like doing this thing, or I find it empowering, so that makes it OK.” And

If You Don’t Respect Sluts, You Don’t Respect Women

In all of the discussion and debate about women’s sexuality: if you don’t respect sluts, you don’t respect women. There have been other articles, like Yasmin Nair’s In Defense of Sluts, that touch on this. As she said, The widespread support for Fluke is built entirely on the idea that she is not a slut

Efficient Hedonism

I’m a big fan of efficient hedonism. Let me tell you what that means. I once read a story about an 80-year-old judo master who had been studying martial arts ever since he was a child. He said that when he was younger, he could have less-than-perfect form and make up for it with strength

Yes/No/Maybe Lists

One of the most common pieces of advice that you’ll ever hear about sex is “communicate with your partner(s)”. And while that sounds good, it can be difficult to follow. Almost everyone has ways in which talking about sex brings up challenges. Perhaps you don’t have the language to ask for what you want. Or

The Language of Sex-Positivity

Sex-negativity, the belief that sex is inherently bad, is one of our most deeply rooted convictions. It is so deeply intertwined with our cultural norms that is becomes difficult to even begin to explore it, much less find ways to change it. One of the more subtle ways it affects us is in the way

Sex, Shame and Letting Go of “Should”

I’m fascinated by the ways in which guilt and shame play out in our lives, especially our sexual lives. I don’t think there’s a sex educator out there who hasn’t had someone come to them with these feelings and, unfortunately, most of us don’t have much of an understanding of how these emotions work. It’s

Sex-Positivity and Fierce Compassion

Recently, I was in an email conversation about sex-positivity and the other person asked me how sex-positivity and boundaries work. Her confusion centered on the fact that it often seemed to her that people who identify as sex-positive have an “anything goes” outlook. I’ve said before that, in my experience, sex-positive people often have stronger

Enthusiasm For Sex Isn’t The Same Thing As Sex-Positivity

It seems like every time I turn around, someone is standing under the banner of sex-positivity and proclaiming “Sex is awesome! Everyone should totally be doing it!” I certainly understand why folks fall into that trap- sex is so shamed in our society that it’s easy for people to jump to the conclusion that the