If you’re following me, I’m guessing you’re familiar with the term “body positivity” and what it means. You may even BE body positive yourself… Yay! But are you familiar with “sex positivity” and what that means? In honour of Masturbation Month (yes, that’s a real thing and it’s happening right now) I thought I’d get stuck into sex positivity on the blog and share my feelings on it with you guys!
Sex positivity is all about sexual liberation. It’s about masturbating with no shame. It’s about exploring your fantasies with no shame. It’s about engaging inn casual sex with no shame. Essentially, sex positivity is about freeing yourself of all your sex-related shame and embracing your sexuality once and for all!
This is actually quite tricky. I don’t know where you’re reading this from (I recently had a somebody based in The Philippines follow me!) but I’m living in Ireland, as you know, and in Ireland we’re still pretty backward when it comes to all things sex.
I think the long-lasting effects of a strict Catholic history are still very much present in the Irish mindset when it comes to many things. We may have legalised same-sex marriage, but we’re HUGELY divided about abortion. Nowhere is this lingering conservativism more obvious than when it comes to sex.
As a teenager I was completely shrouded in sexual shame. I remember masturbating and feeling INCREDIBLY guilty about it, as though it made me dirty and disgusting. I never spoke to my friends about it. I’d have sooner died than admit it to anyone.
I started having sex quite young. I lost my virginity when I was sixteen (it was with my first “serious” boyfriend and actually quite a nice experience on the while – no regrets there thankfully but had been fiddling around with boys and their penises for a while before then. Fiddling really is the right word. I wasn’t a particularly big fan of it really. But of course, I hated my body and believed handjobs were the way to a man’s heart.
As I moved into my twenties and started having more casual sex, I was no less ashamed of my sex drive. I settled for indescribably unsatisfying sex with the men I met and used porn as a way to explore my fantasies. Of course, I did this in secret because GOD FORBID a woman should watch porn. I mean… can you actually imagine? *insert sarcastic tone.
It wasn’t until I became body positive that my attitude towards my sexuality and sex in general began to change. I think the reason that body positivity naturally leads to sex positivity is rooted in the belief that actually, everything about me is exactly as it should be. From the stretch marks that decorate my soft and squishy tummy to the fact that I’m REALLY into older men in positions of authority, it’s all just as it should be.
I definitely think that sex-related shame is an issue for most women in Ireland (and probably to a similar extent abroad), no matter what your shape or size. But I do think there’s an added element for fat girls who are CONSTANTLY told by society that they’re undesirable. If we feel we’re not pretty enough or beautiful enough or sexy enough to be desired, then we feel we have no right to expect it.
I used to suffer from waves of imposter syndrome mid-sex when I’d suddenly think “omg who do I think I am doing this”. I never really trusted in the idea that a man really WANTED to be in bed with me. I always assumed he was just SETTLING to be in bed with me, because he had no better options at the time. And that kind of thinking really doesn’t help to get the juices flowing.
So, it’s no wonder really that if body shame exasperates sex shame, that body positivity would lead to sex positivity.
These days I feel entirely comfortable with my body and with the idea that the man I’m in bed with sincerely wants to be there. In fact, my general assumption is that he’s only feckin THRILLED to be there and that he’d rather be there with me than anywhere else in the world. In terms of exploring my own fantasies and desires, I’ve made big strides in asking for what I want and downright demanding things like oral sex that girls are too often denied. Why? Because I know I deserve it. Cos I’m awesome! YAY!
I think as a parent this whole experience has really informed my approach to how I want to raise my daughter. I’ve thought a lot about how I’ll handle sex education from home (because God knows the schools can’t be relied upon to do it justice) and what kind of values I want to instil in her in relation to her own sexuality. I’ve already begun by introducing conversations around periods and general bodily autonomy and consent. And I think I finally have a strong feeling of direction in terms of where I want to go with those conversations over the next few years.
All in all, I’m determined to raise a girl who values not only her self and her body, but also her orgasm in a way that I never did.
Have you gone through a journey of sex positivity yourself? If so, please share in the comments section below!