Hi, I’m Violet, your friendly neighbourhood rambler and overthinker! 😂
A few weeks ago I saw a post on my Twitter feed, retweeted by Girl On The Net (her content’s brilliant and I highly recommend you check out her blog if you’ve not already!) regarding modern attitudes towards sex positivity and how for some, it can amount to pressure rather than liberation.
From my understanding, “sex positivity” had been widely derived as a term celebrating and being open with one’s sexuality if you so wish to, not to stigmatise against consensual sexual acts previously considered taboo (i.e. in the BDSM community) thus being, “sexually liberated“.
The term, “sexual liberation” meant challenging traditional roles in society regarding sexuality and interpersonal relationships throughout certain points in history. To some, it can be seen as multiple sexual partners, no strings attached sex and/or exploring a range of different sexual acts and practices. Just safe fun with other consenting adults and having a whale of a time in the process, right?
But what if that’s not your own sexual liberation?
This is where, speaking from personal experiences, stigmas can come out to play. It’s not an uncommon misconception that being ‘sex positive’ means you’re ok with everything relating to sex. But as we know, two people are ever the same. What’s right for one person won’t be for another.
Unfortunately, some see this as a green light to paint someone as, “not sex positive”, “old school”, “judging” if they don’t exactly agree with everything they do, and vice versa with the, “whore”, “slut”, “bike”, “loose morals” insults on the other side of the spectrum.
This can turn in to social pressure, even shaming, of individuals. Some people don’t want to have no strings attached sex. Some people don’t want to date regularly and that’s perfectly fine. Some people do and again that’s perfectly fine. As long it’s between consenting adults, you’re being safe, no one is going behind anyone’s back and/or being messed around, you do you. That’s your business. Live and let live.
Speaking for myself, throughout college and university, I was repeatedly labelled, “the sweet and innocent” one of my friendship group, because I wasn’t seen romantically involved with multiple guys, didn’t have hook-ups etc. Sometimes some assume that if that’s the way you were, you must have this “holier than thou” attitude towards others’ sex lives, but I didn’t and still don’t.
Modern dating as we typically know it just wasn’t for me.
When it came to relationships and sex, I wouldn’t go out with someone just for the sake of it. I didn’t see the point in that. To me that would have been leading them on and I wasn’t prepared to do that. If I was going to do that, it would be with someone I was genuinely interested in and whose company I really enjoyed.
On the sex front, I was only going to share with someone I deeply trusted and loved, or at the very least liked a whole lot. For some around me at the time, that was completely mind-blowing.
I had my fair share of people genuinely not being able to get their heads round that, or dishing out snarky remarks. I don’t mind being asked questions (the most common one was if I was devoutly Catholic. I’m not.) just as long as it’s not malicious.
I remember once being told by a guy when in conversation about sex and love, that I, “wasn’t trying hard enough” to separate the two. I told him that I didn’t want to.
Why was sex and love together such a bad thing? Why did I need to, “loosen up”? Why did I need to find a man online to, “just go and get laid”? Why did I need to do these things if I didn’t want to or just wasn’t right for me? If it wasn’t my own sexual positivity?
It’s not that I hadn’t wanted to. With the men I did have passing flirtations with, where the opportunity presented itself for a night together, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to with some of them. By heaven, did I want to! But I knew full well I couldn’t sleep with them without having or developing a romantic attachment, which they weren’t looking for.
I knew a one night stand, no matter how much I wanted to, no matter how great the sex, would have made me feel used, cheap, like some disposable fuck toy in the worst possible way afterwards.. I remember wishing I wasn’t like that, but that’s just how I was made.
But my last year of uni and meeting new people changed that. As we became close friends, sex would come up in conversation. Their attitudes were much more accepting than those in the past. We were very jokey and subjected to regular good-natured rubbings of these traits in our personalities. We never liked to take ourselves seriously, so banter filled piss-takes were an everyday occurrence. I felt much more at ease.
At the end of the day, sex positivity is very subjective. It’s about doing what is best for you, feeling comfortable and happy in your own self. Whether you’re having casual sex or saving yourself for your future hubby or wifey, you have every right to feel safe and not ridiculed by people around you for exercising your own sexual autonomy.
Do what is best for you, own it and stay safe, folks!
All my love,
*Picture – Pinterest