This blog post is late in coming, but for this hop, I think late is far better than never. I’m relatively newly acquainted with the term “sex-positive.” I’d heard it first a couple years ago when I was doing some web research on kink, and linked to the Center for Sex Positivity in Seattle, just up the road 50 miles or so from my home. I thought, wow, that sounds adventurous.
Sadly, I’m not.
Or at least I haven’t been, but I’ve come to understand that I would like to be. And I think it’s a sex-positive attitude that makes me comfortable with that. Why wouldn’t I be comfortable with an adventurous sex-life? Well, no auto-biography here but understand, my childhood unfolded in a strict home in the socially restrictive 1950s and early 60s. And I’m female. And I’m bisexual. Here’s what Susie Bright said about her youth:
“When I was young, I was hurt by political ringmasters who said they wouldn’t talk, fuck or work with me because I was “bisexual.” Now that I’ve talked, worked, and fucked with them all, I know their secret. They desire what they condemn.”
She’s undoubtedly right about a whole lot of dishonest people, but for purposes of this post, they don’t matter. What is inspiring me is the realization of what I lost as a product of a sex-negative culture—a youth and prime where even my best sex had a background tape, saying, “It’s not for you, Lou. She (or sometimes he and once or twice they) are the ones that count.” And even though I never condemned myself for my sexuality, I didn’t quite accept it either. When I was in a relationship with a woman, I felt compelled to erase the part of me that has sexual feelings for some men, and vice-versa, and so forth.
That attitude toward myself has changed over the last few years, and that is my further inspiration for participating in this hop—my still-rather-knew acceptance of the sex I have explored (which actually might be seen as adventurous by some of my peers), which is a direct result of beginning to think sex-positive.
So, yay for me, right. Life’s more fun now that I’m happy to be exactly who I am sexually, and it opens the way for me to like the rest of me too. It does get better, right?
But what if I hadn’t been told that if I had sex of any kind I was making myself “a dirty rag for anyone to wipe their hands on”? Yes, that’s a quote from a sermon preached more than four decades ago, and I still remember who I was sitting by, the perfume smells, what I was wearing, and exactly what I felt. Panic! Doom! Gut-punched. Choked. Hopeless. And yes, dirty.
Many of the messages I received were much like that, overt. But the unspoken ones are just as damaging to a young heart and mind, and those are the ones that our children and teens continue to receive more often than not in school, at home, and in religious settings. And then we confuse them with sex advertising every possible product.
What if we stopped the negativity and moved toward positive messages that embrace the truth that sexuality is part of who we are? What if we let sexuality mature in our youth naturally? What if we educated them about sex in an honest way appropriate to their ability to understand at each level of mental growth? That means tell them the truth about what happens, why it happens, what (true) dangers there are, and how to make their best decisions about sex and safety?
Love comes from accepting ourselves first and foremost, because only then can we know how precious and abundant and endlessly multiplying that gift is. If we teach our youth that it’s good for them to learn about their own sexuality—and make no mistake, the particulars of our sexualities are as unique to us as the particulars of our minds—they just might accept themselves more easily and fully, and my, what a wonderful world it could be then!
A moment of fear-monger myth-busting:
1) Educating young people honestly does not encourage them to have sex. It’s not giving them a green light; it can be viewed as giving them a caution light. If we’ve done the job well, they’ll know what to think about, and are much better equipped to keep from getting blind-sided in the cross-traffic..
3) Sex-positive parents, believe it or not, do not have sexual contact with their children! Period. If you might want to know what it does mean to be a sex-positive parent, I found a great Huffington Post article here, by a woman who is living it.
That’s my two pennies’ worth for today. Thanks for reading, and be sure to follow the blog hop and read all the posts! You can find a whole list of blog links at Grace Duncan’s blog.
Oh, and if you’re interested in knowing more about Seattle’s Center for Sex Positivity, here’s a link.
Right, almost forgot. Comment, 1 meaningful word or more, and your name’s in the hat for a copy of Loving Luki Vasquez, a positively sexy read and a story of real love.