Sex Positive Crash Course
If you are a man, what comes to mind when you hear the phrase “sex positive?”
Some may feel as if the sex positive movement is something exclusively for women, by women.
But I’m here to tell you something. It’s meant for you as a man just as much as it is for myself as a woman.
And that’s the beauty of being sex positive.
But what exactly is sex positivity? Considering how many connotations come to mind, it seems like this term may be difficult to define.
And it’s even harder for men to see where they belong in this increasingly accepted movement.
What does sex positive even mean?
It’s a social and philosophical movement that, at its heart, encourages human sexuality and its healthy expression. It focuses on one’s enjoyment of safe, consensual sex.
“Sex positivity” is “an attitude towards human sexuality that regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, encouraging sexual pleasure and experimentation.” [i]
In addition to supporting sexuality, the sex positive movement works to inform and educate people about safe sex.
In a country where sex education isn’t mandatory, and many schools implement abstinence-only education, this movement is crucial to improving sexual health.
Where did this term come from?
You might be surprised to learn that the concept of sex positivity didn’t originate with Me Too, the free love movement, or even second and third-wave feminism.
Although, you may not be surprised at all to read that sex positivity was profoundly influenced in the 1920s by our favorite shrink, Sigmund Freud.
While the concept emerged thanks in part to his work on sexual liberation and psychosexual problems, we have another Austrian psychoanalyst to thank for coining the phrase “sex positive” in the 1930s.
Reich juxtaposed sex positive with sex negative and hypothesized that societies tend to fall into either category. Societies that are more accepting of sexuality tend to perceive it as a good thing. On the other hand, societies that view sex negatively try to repress libido and control sexuality. [ii]
Sexologist Carol Queen put it this way:
“It’s the cultural philosophy that understands sexuality as a potentially positive force in one’s life, and it can, of course, be contrasted with sex-negativity, which sees sex as problematic, disruptive, dangerous. Sex-positivity allows for and in fact celebrates sexual diversity, differing desires and relationships structures, and individual choices based on consent.” [iii]
How do men fit into all of this?
Some guys may feel turned off by the idea of the sex positive movement because of its close ties with third-wave feminism.
Others might feel like it’s an inclusive term meant just for women.
But that’s just not the case.
Women might be some of the biggest supporters of this movement, but that doesn’t mean that men have to be left out.
Social media has helped bring sex positive concepts to everyone’s attention and reach out to more people, regardless of gender.
That’s the beauty of being sex positive: it is inclusive of not just all the kinds of sex and sexuality, but all genders, too.
Men have much to gain from this movement, too. For as long as I (and probably yourself) remember, men have been taught to take charge, man up, and play the role of a masculine figure.
However, as the sex positive movement becomes mainstream, the expectation for men to play into these stereotypes is lowering.
It gives men room to explore their sexuality how they want to without feeling pressured or shame because of some antiquated ideal.
That has to feel like a huge relief, right?
Sex positivity + sex dolls
Personally, one of the best things about sex positivity is a decrease in the amount of shaming that goes on.
Whether it’s slut-shaming, kink-shaming, and yes, even prude shaming, people are starting to mind their own business and do what makes them happy.
(That’s really fucking awesome, by the way.)
That’s opened the door for more men to try new things, whether it’s with a partner or by themselves.
In case you haven’t noticed, sex toys for men are getting more sophisticated, especially sex dolls and androids.
The number of men who want a sex doll is growing, and this market is rapidly expanding.
The sex positive movement may be one reason why more men are willing to purchase a love doll now more than any other time.
These dolls don’t just help folks get off; sex dolls have many benefits that dudes are figuring out for themselves.
How to be sex positive? [iv]
You might think that sex positivity is pretty neat. After all, it’s a win-win for everyone.
But how do you become more sex positive?
Luckily for you, it’s super easy.
Most of it comes from educating yourself. There’s a lot that goes into the modern version of sex positivity–think racism, feminism, ableism, ageism, and all the other -isms.
You also want to learn how world governments, military, and education systems have made our personal lives their business.
Don’t let that overwhelm you, though! It’s a fascinating subject, and all the resources you need are at the tips of your fingers thanks to the internet.
Education is the best way to figure out your own truth instead of taking what others tell us at face value.
While you’re doing that, take some time to reflect on what really turns you on. Take note of that and ask yourself how you feel about it both emotionally and spiritually. Be honest with yourself and ask how your sex life impacts other parts of your life.
The next time you’re with a partner, communicate. Don’t be afraid to share your kinks or what you want!
Along with that communication is making sure there that both of you (or all of you, if you have company 😉 ) consent.
Honestly, consent is the most essential parts of the sex positive movement, and one of the best ways for men to support it.
Remember that not everyone is into the same things, and it’s not your place to judge.
Lastly, being sex positive means loving yourself. You don’t need to feel bad because you use a sex doll, or like things that others may not.
Again, it’s no one’s business but your own.
You do you and feel great while you do it.
Earth Erotic & You
We’re big supporters of the sex positive movement and want to promote healthy sexual expression for everyone.
Check out our growing collection of luxury sex dolls in the EE Shop.
Shipping is free, and we always keep your privacy in mind.
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Food for thought
Is there a difference between sex positive and libertine?
Franklin Veaux, a co-author of More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory, answered this question perfectly in a Quora post asking the same thing.
The TLDR answer is: “A libertine is a hedonist who is unconstrained by any sexual morals. A sex-positive person believes that sex between consenting adults is not shameful.”
Veaux believes that while sex positive individuals and libertines share the same opinion that sex is not shameful, the similarities stop there.
Sex positivity centers around a series of ethics and morality that focuses on consent. A libertine, on the other hand, is less concerned with permission and willing to engage in coercion to get to an end goal.
What is sex-positive pornography?
This question is a hot-button issue that is difficult to answer. Some argue that there is no such thing as sex-positive pornography. Others say that if the porn is ethically produced, then it can be considered sex-positive.
Activist and porn actress Sinnamon Love believes that porn can empower women, so long as it is done willingly.
A “strong sense of choice” as well as personal agency has much to do with how “positive” the pornography in question is.
What do you think of sex positivity?
Personally, I think that this is a huge step in the right direction, for both men and women. I genuinely see no downside to it.
For the United States, I think the sex positive movement has opened the door to discussion about how sex education is taught in school.
I think it also has done a lot to shift attitudes in the US to a more modern (dare I say, European) view of sex. What many Americans don’t realize is how much of our culture still clings to its Puritan roots, especially regarding sex.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below!
What do people mean when they say they are sex positive?
It depends on who you ask, though the majority of those who call themselves sex positive agree that sex is a normal and regular part of life and shouldn’t be stigmatized.
The other part of this is accepting others’ sexual choices regardless if we agree with them or not, as long as the decision is consensual. It is also accepting those who are asexual or have no sexual feelings.
What is wrong with the sex positive/sex negative concept?
Labeling anything always has the potential to lead to stigma and division. That is just what happens when there is a dichotomy.
Additionally, some people might not consider themselves “sex negative.” But they might be perceived that way because they don’t share every value of the sex positive movement.
If everyone is sex positive, the phrase loses its meaning. If nobody is, then it can lead to further stigma or harmful thinking/practices.
How does the sex positive movement treat extramarital affairs?
The way I look at it is this: If both partners are on board and willing to engage in an open relationship, there’s nothing wrong with that.
However, if one person engages in an affair while keeping it a secret from the other, that’s wrong. It comes down to consent and maintaining transparency and honesty between both parties involved.
What is a common criticism of sex positive feminism?
This is difficult to answer, namely because it’s hard to untangle the sex positive movement from feminism. Feminism can be such a marginalizing word. There are select subsets of feminists that alienate not only non-feminists but other subgroups of feminists as well.
Combine the catchphrase “sex positive” and “feminism,” and I’m sure you can find a bunch of criticisms about each.
The first significant critique is how sex positive feminists treat other people — namely, feminists who do not identify as sex positive.
Some feel that this movement has a lot of work to do. It’s understandable: any successful campaign that wishes to further its agenda needs to be willing to adapt.
One thing is getting feminists of any shade to build each other up, rather than “triggering” each other and alienating those who disagree with their viewpoint.
The second issue many find with sex positive feminism is that sex work, and porn historically benefits men, not women.
This idea leads some to believe that sex positivity really just helps the “patriarchy” by leading more women to sleep with men in the name of sexual liberation.
Are there any sex positive feminists?
- Laci Green: She’s a YouTuber who focuses on sex education. She’s been around for a while and is hugely influential.
- Buck Angel: Advocate, lecturer, writer, and educator. He is a transexual adult film actor as well as a motivational speaker.
- Hannah Witton: YouTuber whose content centers around relationships, intimacy, sexual health, and numerous other topics.