Let's Talk About Sex
By Ashley Marsh
If you Google the definition of “sex positivity,” the search engine will give you this definition: “having or promoting an open, tolerant, or progressive attitude towards sex and sexuality.” However, I prefer the definition given by Feminist Campus: “sex positivity is the belief that consensual sexual expression is both healthy and important in contributing to a safe and inclusive campus climate. Sex positivity is grounded in comprehensive sex education, exploring and deconstructing gender norms, and promoting body positivity and self-love.”
Sex positivity consists of two categories: consent and education. I have personally been touched, catcalled, harassed, pressured for sex/sexual favors, etc. since I was a teenager, just like many other women. As a teenager and young adult, I never felt comfortable refuting these men. I never felt comfortable walking away or telling them what they were doing or saying was inappropriate. As I have grown more comfortable with myself and learned more about my sexuality,I have learned what I liked, didn’t like, and most importantly, the word “no.”
According to the NCSL, only 24 states and DC mandate sex education. Of those 24, only 20 require the education be medically, factually, or technically correct. Planned Parenthood adds that only 9 states require discussion of LGBTQ identities and relationships. To make that small number worse, 7 Southern states either prohibit discussion of LGBTQ identities, including answering questions, or requiring them to be framed negatively.
Are you freaking kidding me? This infuriates me to no end. Our youth is not getting the education they need to make informed and educated decisions regarding their sexuality or sexual actions. The sex positive movement wants to change this. Children and young adults should be taught bodily autonomy, communication regarding sexual activities, consent, healthy relationships, sexual orientation, and masturbation. They should be given the opportunity to explore their options, values, and preferences in a safe and empowering place.
Anyone who identifies as a woman understands the stereotypes and double standards that come with that identification and sex. It’s no secret that if you, a woman, sleep with X number of people and someone who identifies as male sleeps with the same number of people, then you will get extremely different reactions. Why is it okay for a male to be sexual and proud of their sexuality while women should be pure and embarrassed by their sexuality? It’s ridiculous. We are all humans and sexual beings.
No one should have to hide that part of themselves for fear of ridicule or embarrassment. If you want to talk to me about your sex-escapades, I’m all ears! Furthermore, I will share my stories with you both the good and bad. I don’t want anyone to feel like they are wrong for enjoying sex and being open about their sexuality, encouraging people of all ages and walks of life to be sex positive. You can be a virgin and be sex positive as well as sexually active and sex positive; it can only help our society by educating and empowering ourselves and others.
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