The United States is slowly improving its sex ed outreach; 27 states (and Washington DC) mandate both sex education and HIV education.

But just knowing about the mechanics of sex and HIV prevention isn't enough. As complicated beings, we have sex not just to procreate, but for pleasure as well. This introduces a whole range of emotions, including negative ones like shame and guilt.

This is why the sex-positive movement is so important. It aims to make everyone comfortable with their sexuality!

Are you wondering what the sex-positive movement is? Then keep reading. We'll give you everything you need to know about this powerful movement.

What Is the Sex-Positive Movement?

Think the sex-positive movement is part of the "woke" generation? Think again!

This movement actually started back in the 1920s with Sigmund Freud's student, Wilhelm Reich. Reich himself was a psychoanalyst as well, and he came up with the theory that being open about sex was actually good for our health.

However, it wasn't well-received at the time. Thankfully, this thought was revived in the 1960s when the hippie sexual revolution occurred.

What Sex-Positivity Is

Now that you know a little bit about the history of the sex-positive movement, here are a few things sex-positivity is.

Acceptance and Respect

The sex-positive movement has a few goals in mind: inclusiveness, acceptance, and respect. Human beings are complicated creatures, which means they'll have various preferences when it comes to sex.

How many times have you hung out with friends, someone mentioned something they like in bed that's a bit unconventional, and someone went, "Ew!"?

That's not very sex-positive.

Sex-positivity works on the principle that if all parties involved are adults and consenting, then we should all accept that sexual activity, even if it's not our cup of tea.

So instead of "Ew!", you should be responding with something more positive and respectful, such as "Wow, I'd never try that, but good for you."


Sex should be all fun and games, but the reality is, without proper protection and education, you'll put yourself at risk of either pregnancy and/or STIs.

Not only does the sex-positive movement encourage people to explore their sexualities, but they want them to do it in safe and healthy ways. As a result, many people in the sex-positive movement strive to educate others on practicing safe sex. However, they don't do it in a pushy manner, but rather, in a comfortable and friendly way.

Open Communication With Partners

It's up to you what you like and what you're comfortable with. If that means only missionary style sex 100% of the time, then that should be completely fine with both you and your partners.

Sex-positivity is having the ability to speak up and communicate openly with your partners about what you want in bed. This includes both likes and dislikes.

What Sex-Positivity Isn't

You now know what sex-positivity is. But what about what it isn't? You'd be surprised at how many people aren't practicing sex-positivity but claim to be.

Read on to find out exactly what sex-positivity isn't so you can avoid their mistakes.

Having Sex All the Time

Just because you're sex-positive doesn't necessarily mean you have to have sex all the time. If that's what you enjoy, then great!

Otherwise, you can have very little (or even no) sex and still be sex-positive. So long as you're respectful and don't shame others for what they like, then you can be sex-positive.

This also means that you don't have to always be ready for sex, if you're into having it. Your partners should be understanding of when you want sex and when you don't.

Shaming Others for Their Preferences

Again, one of the main messages of sex-positivity is inclusiveness. This means whether someone is asexual, transsexual, pansexual, or has the wildest kinks you've ever seen, the thing you need to remember is if everyone's a consenting adult that's not being coerced into what they're doing, then you should be accepting.

You should never shame people for their preferences, even if you'd never try it in a million years.

Zero Boundaries

Many think that being sex-positive means you're up for trying anything and that you don't have any boundaries. But this couldn't be farther from the truth.

It's good to be open to new ideas in bed, but that doesn't mean you're mandated to try every single one. Remember how we said sex-positivity is open communication? This is key.

Being sexually adventurous and sex-positive isn't synonymous with ticking off every single thing in the Kama Sutra (unless that's what you want, of course). Having boundaries is a good thing!

Having to Have Multiple Sex Partners

Just as you can be sex-positive by being asexual and not having sex, you can still be sex-positive if you only have one sex partner for your whole life. In fact, you can even be sex-positive if you have zero!

What's vital is you promote the core values of sex-positivity. People of all walks and types can be sex-positive so long as they respect those values.

Make the World a Better Place With Sex-Positive Thinking

We're all unique individuals who have their own personal tastes when it comes to various parts of life, and that includes sex. So long as they don't hurt anyone and everyone involved is a consenting adult, we should be free to enjoy our kinks and not feel ashamed.

The more people we can get in on sex-positive thinking, the better the world will be. With more acceptance and respect, we'll be empowered to enjoy sex in better and safer ways.

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