Sex Positive Sexplanation

by Eva Sless - 25 February 2016 - 28 Member Comments

As a “sexpert” I spend my days talking about, reading about, and researching about sex. I look at it from all angles. The good, the bad and the ugly, and then I try and collate what I know and see into interesting and readable chunks for people to explore and examine and learn from.

In the years I have been doing this I have seen a lot, experienced a lot and learnt a lot, and every day brings more. 

We humans are an ever-evolving, ever-learning species and I truly believe the more we learn about the world and people around us, the more we end up learning about ourselves.

Science, religion, mathematics, psychology... All of these things and more challenge us to look deeper into the universe and ourselves to find out what makes us tick, and sex and sexuality is no different. The more we know, the more we can evolve within ourselves and find our true paths.

To me, when it comes down to the crux of it, this concept of deeper knowledge and personal acceptance within the bounds of our feelings on sex and sexuality is what is becoming known throughout the world as “Sex Positivity”.

The Women and Gender Advocacy Centre defines “Sex Positivity” like this:
“Like many terms within feminism, sex positivity means different things to different people. As a broad ideology and world view, sex positivity is simply the idea that all sex, as long as it is healthy and explicitly consensual, is a positive thing.”

I would like to expand on this a little because I don't think it completely explains the broadness of this term. To someone like me who is around it all the time, I get it. I know what this little quote is saying and I believe and agree with it wholeheartedly. But then, I'm a sexpert. I get the full picture. I'm not someone who has been sheltered from the openness or the language of sex. My entire world and career is built upon a foundation of sex. I'm not someone who has to hide who I am or what I desire. I am lucky. I am a rare breed. 

I know this because when I put this question to my friendship circle and asked “What does sex positivity mean to you?” the replies were varied. Of my sex worker and swinger and sexually open friends I got responses like one I would give if asked that question, but of friends who are not as into “sexual lifestyles” or even “gender politics” as myself, there was a lot of confusion. One friend even emailed me to ask if there was something wrong with her because she's never really liked sex all that much and could be quite happy living without it for the rest of her life and so did that mean she couldn't classify herself as sex positive?

The short answer to that is no. You can absolutely be a sex positive person and never have had sex ever in your life.

The long answer is a little bit more involved.

See, the thing is, not all sex is great. It can be completely consensual and completely wanted, and it can still be not great. All sorts of things can make it not great. Timing, technique, mood, so many factors. It can also be a case of “not for me”. Like for example, I am a huge sex positive person and yet if anyone tries to put semen anywhere other than below my neck, I get grossed out. I know right, the great sexpert gags at the smell of cum... Whoda thunk it, eh?

But the big difference is that I am fully aware that that is my thing. I'm totally fine with other people doing whatever the hell they want to do in the bedroom (in a consensual way obviously), and I am absolutely 100% fine with being able to talk about it without shame, or fear of rejection or ridicule. And that goes for all forms of sex. That's what the “positivity” part means. Not that all sex is woo-hoo awesome and everyone should love it and omg if you don't like it you must be some sort of prude and negative Nancy... No. 

It means that all sex and conversations about sex, whether good or bad, no matter what you're into, should be able to be expressed properly and without judgement. That there is no shame in what we like or do not like. That there is no pressure to “conform” to what we think others want us to like or not like.

Sex positivity is not only about having a positive attitude to sex and sexuality and having the freedom to express yourself and explore what you like without shame, it's also about being confident to say yes, and just as confident to say no and to be comfortable within your own sexual skin. It's the knowledge that there is a whole universe of thoughts and practices around sex and that all of them, regardless of your own personal experiences or preferences, are okay within the boundaries of the people who are experiencing it.

In the simplest of terms, in the most convenient definitions (thanks Breakfast Club), sex positivity is an abandoning of shame and taboo, a recognition and acceptance of the varied myriad of sex and sexuality that resides in our world, and the ability to express ourselves without the fear of judgement. Even if it's not your thing.

28 Member Comments

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  1. Looklustlick

    More than a month ago
    Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if everyone thought along these lines
  2. Polysexual

    More than a month ago
    So very true loved reading it a lot keeper coming please
  3. naughtydouble

    More than a month ago
    I enjoyed that . Like the diversity of the human race so is the diversity of our wants needs and desires Thank you
  4. allinmymind

    More than a month ago
    You lost me at feminist, up until then great. And also consensual becomes murky when we are partnered.

    Reading to the bottom, I'm all for it, especially in chat if everyone's view has equal value.


    More than a month ago
    Good point about consensual becoming murky when partnered allinmymind. Personally I do my best not to judge others, but this is not necessarily the case if a matter should end up before the courts. A recent decision in WA brought this home where a husband and wife engaging in 3somes was interpreted by the court as being abusive and controlling. I would under no circumstances wish to engage with a couple if the encounter could be redefined at a later date as something which it was not. I have no answers to this dilemma, but hope that there is some discussion about it by those who do. And what better place to discuss it?


    More than a month ago
    Consent is never murky and should never be considered murky.
    Consent can be given and withdrawn at any time. Otherwise it is classed as assault.
    Accusations after the fact can be tricky, yes, but so rare, but which is why it is important to communicate with your play mates. If you feel that something is up then speak up. Ask if they're okay. Check in.

    Courts have always been ridiculous and prudish when it comes to sex that isn't missionary between husband and wife. Look at the bullshit sex workers get when trying to charge an abuser.
    But, like I said, accusations after the fact are very rare but, if it's something that worries you that you think could happen to you, then be constantly aware of the situation you are in and always make sure to communicate.
    But again I will reiterate... Consent is never murky. Yes means yes. In fact, in my world I believe that anything LESS than an enthusiastic yes should be reconsidered and perhaps left alone.
    Besides, why would you want anything less than an enthusiastic yes?
    Have a sexy weekend!!


    More than a month ago
    Hi Eva and thanks for the response.
    I simply can not agree that consent is never murky and could provide a plethora of evidence to support my claim. Kevin Ibbs being one etreme example. I don't know about others but it has always been a negotiation in my experience, and not an absolute clear cut line between relations and assault.
    I agree however that accusations after the fact are rare. And that the courts have been prudish towards anything other than missionary sex between a married man and woman.
    And here lies my confusion over this recent decision. If a single person joined a married couple for a 3some, how would they know if a yes from the female partner was consensual? Particularly given that the courts are the only ones who could decide if this woman was consenting or being 'abused and controlled'? How would one know if this was an enthusiastic yes, or one which had been given as a result of coercion?
    I understand that this is a contentious issue but believe that it is one which should be discussed. It would make for an interesting poll here at AMM. Is consent always clear cut or murky?
    Anyway, I'm on a promise and hope you have a sexy weekend as well :)


    More than a month ago
    The Ibbs case, although I know what you're trying to say, is not only an extreme example, it's also almost 30 years old, and conversations, laws, education and social knowledge of consent have, by the hard work of the sexpert who came before me, come a very long way... Although we still have a very long way still ahead... It was also an elaborate and malicious set up and so therefore hard to really assess in real terms because all her actions were contrived. If that makes sense.

    As for recognising an enthusiastic yes over a coerced one, I don't know of the case you're referring to so I can't comment, but I'd like to think I could tell if someone didn't really want to fuck me.


    More than a month ago
    Thanks again Eva for your response. And yes I would also hope I would be able to tell. This recent decision though had me pondering the matter. One of the things I love about AMM is that people are in general very open and honest about sexuality, and in a positive way. I raised the issue here as when I tried at the CWA I got offered more pumpkin scones (kidding lol).
    Take care and I look forward to reading more of your articles. Soapinmyeyes.


    More than a month ago
    Haha. As a sort of related aside, the CWA are actually surprisingly sex positive and many factions have been instrumental in youth LGBTI programs and young women's health and education in rural areas.
    Also they make amazing pumpkin scones.
    Thank for the discussion!
    Always wonderful to have an intelligent and we'll reasoned debate.
    Enjoy your Sunday x


    More than a month ago
    Also, Soapinmyeyes, can I just say how wonderfully refreshing and fun I found your profile.
    I do enjoy people who can have a giggle at the absurdity of sex and sexuality relations.
    Thank you


    More than a month ago
    [Blushes] Thought I'd better dress a little more appropriately before replying Eva lol.And thank you for you kind comments. Humour is a great icebreaker and can turn the ordinary into fun pretty quickly. Make a good follow up article the art of ice breaking :)
    Seriously though, I do think that there are benefits to discussing these types of matters openly and honestly. The CWA example you give above about building bridges rather than taking sides being a good example.

    once again thanks, and oh..... there's a spare seat in the sauna next saturday if you're free (slippery when wet soap lol)


    More than a month ago
    Haha. Thank you very much for the kind offer. Although unfortunately it would take me about five or six days driving to get to you.
    I'll remember the invitation if I'm ever over your way.
  5. SassySandy

    More than a month ago
    MMMM wish I specialised in sex and sexuality!!!! lucky Eva!! I do at times get funny looks because I LOVE sex so much and still doing it big time at my age.....BUT because I've always been very sexual and sensual, I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE LOOKS, OPINIONS OR COMMENTS from people whom I'm sure are deep inside VERY envious hehe.........We only live once!!


    More than a month ago
    Its the best job in the world.
    And go you! What a fantastic attitude!
  6. Freiya

    More than a month ago
    Great article.

    As a practicing and preaching sex positive person, I am often stuck by people's lack of education. Even here there are many people who think that because I state I am sex positive, that it means I'll have any sex with anyone. Ha.
  7. 1easygoin1

    More than a month ago
    Its all about sex positivity and more power to it. Though people still continue to judge others when it comes down to the nitty gritty. The more we accept each other, the more happier we all will be.
  8. triXXXi66

    More than a month ago
    Its all about being able to express your thoughts and feelings without shame or inhibitions, and being able to accept others for who they are and what they like... No judgements!


    More than a month ago
    Absolutely agree with you


    More than a month ago
    Well said triXXXi66


    More than a month ago
    Hun you have hit the nail right on the head you go
  9. XTeenly

    More than a month ago
    Recently a guy said to me "how much sex do you need", it was a condescending statement because he was annoyed that I love sex. So my answer was "Lots"
  10. Sextraordinary

    More than a month ago
    Soooo timely, for me! As a 65yr 11 mths old person (nooo! not 66!) who grew up in 60s I was incredibly inhibited... in many ways. Yes, I loved sex, and at the time the power it gave a skinny female over (sometimes pushy) males, but to have admitted it then? Wow, I would have been a nympho. Now I just call myself a skank!!! In lovable terms of course!
    In the 1 year (anniversary 20 Feb) I have been on AMM, I have had more fun, more adventures, more cum (above AND below the neck) than I probably had in my whole sexual life before. I have done things I would have been totally ashamed of in my previous life, and LOVED it. I have had a great teacher recently, have started swinging, and hope to enjoy more of lots of things in the future. Makin' up for lost opportunities! Just goes to show that spots don't just change, they disappear!! Bring it on!


    More than a month ago
    Whoohoo, you go girl! Loved your story


    More than a month ago
    Awesome feedback.
    And go you!!
    (I literally snorted at your above AND below comment. Hehe. Fantastic.)


    More than a month ago
    I have also passed a year on amm. I am not growing here as fast as facebook or rsvp. Except blowjob with condom, which is actually fine. Hm perhaps that will do.

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