The sexiest thing about a sex-positive attitude is saying “Oh Yes!” At its warm, gooey center, sex-positivity is all about explicit consent. It means your sexual partner or partners understand what you want and agree to participate. Coercion is not consent.
Sex-positivity is also about having a generally healthy personal attitude towards sex. It’s about how you define sex for yourself, and about not being sexually oppressive towards others or trying to define sex for anyone else. In fact, the only “have to” in sex-positivity is that you have to be true to yourself. Discover what you like and, if it requires one or more partners1, just make sure they are good with it too.
Common Characteristics of a Sex-Positive Attitude
Are you new to the concept of sex-positivity? Well, besides the whole consent thing, here’s what you need to know. Sex-positivity is an attitude not a movement. Some of us may discuss it over lunch, but we don’t hold rallies or fundraisers. In our discussions, we find that some of our perspectives about sex-positivity vary, but there are also a few aspects many of us agree on:
- It’s not about how much you get. You can have a lot of sex, or a little, or none at all if that’s your thing, because sexual liberation can mean both freedom to do what you enjoy, as well as to do without.
- It’s all good. You can be into men, women, both, transgender people, non-binary and/or gender queer people, or you can just be into yourself.
- It’s not slut vs. prude. You can be as open about your sexuality as is legally prudent or you can be private about it.
- It’s not just for women. You can be an alpha male (strong, courageous, assertive–the shit) and still have a sex-positive attitude.
- It’s not about right or wrong. You can avoid the drudgery and responsibility of having to decide what is right or wrong for other adults engaging in consensual sex, because sex positivity isn’t about imposing your beliefs on other people.
- It’s okay to think about it. You can be curious, inquisitive, even analytical about why people make the sexual choices they make without feeling the need to pass judgment, even if you have a negative emotional response to other people’s preferences, because you understand that we don’t all like the same things.
Here at OH YES! PRESS, we stretch and stress the positive side of sex-positivity. For us, it includes an attitude towards sex that is life-affirming, uplifting and respectful. For that reason, we avoid content that intentionally shames or degrades people, because we’re into feeling good about sex before, during and after.
Our sex-positive erotica books feature characters that are self-reliant, respectful, fun-loving, playful, intimate, hysterical, sexy, inquisitive, playful, private, promiscuous, modest, unashamed, always consensual, and so much more. The only thing we can say for sure is they like to have sex, and they are into mutual pleasure. Generally speaking, everyone gets off in our erotica books. Every gender matters. Every sexual partner matters. Every orgasm matters–especially yours. We can’t get much more sex positive than that.
1. To a sex-positive individual, a sex partner is an explicitly consenting human adult.