Our culture is slowly starting to shift towards a more sex positive one. This means seeing sex and sexuality as something that is good in our lives. This involves becoming more aware of consent and boundaries and safer sexual health practices. It also involves greater acceptance of the diversity of others’ choices around gender, relationship styles, and personal preferences, so long as they are consensual. Sex positive people are able to talk about sex without feeling shame or embarrassment.
A Culture of “Sex Negative” Attitudes
Feeling shame around sexuality is ingrained in our culture. If you have ever felt discomfort about your body, your bodily fluids, or talking about sex, masturbation and your sexual preferences, you have experienced it. In truth, it is virtually impossible to grow up in our culture without receiving at least some sex negative messages throughout our lives. Read more about the history of sacred sexuality.
These have become so normalised that we have not questioned them for a long time. These include how sex education is taught in schools, families and religious settings, which will often focus on the risks of STIs and unplanned pregnancies. They often don’t talk about how to talk about sex and how to connect more with your body and your partner.
The Sex Positive Movement
The term “sex positive movement” likely appeared in the 1990’s, as an extension of the “sex revolution” of the 1960’s, but this time with more focus on embracing consent, and the acceptance of diversity of people of all genders and sexual orientations.
Let’s Talk About It
Talking about sex can at first be uncomfortable. We are not used to it. Sometimes it can sound awkward as we find our way. However, practice does make perfect, and there are lots of benefits of being able to talk about it:
- Promotes Sexual Health For Everyone. Being able to ask any prospective sexual partners about when their last STI check was, what the results were, and how many people they have had unprotected sex with, as well as sharing this information with them, helps to reduce the risk of STIs being passed on.
- Being Able to Ask For Those Things We Want Can Make Our Sexual Experiences Much More Fun and Fulfilling! If you don’t share your fantasies and desires there is less chance that your partner(s) will be able to guess them!
- Being Able to Say ‘No’ to Experiences We Don’t Want Helps to Promote a Culture Where Consent is Valued, as well as honouring ourselves. Going along and having experiences we don’t really want or enjoy can over time cause conditions such as vaginismus and erectile dysfunction.
- Talking About Sex, Gender and Preferences Helps to Reduce the Cultural Shame by normalising these topics. The more people are open about their sexuality, the easier it is for others to share theirs, especially if a culture of greater acceptance and non-judgment emerges.
Why Being “Sex Positive” is Therapeutic
Tantric therapy takes a body positive and sex positive approach. Clients can experience openly being themselves without being judged or shamed. This in itself can promote healing and improve any underlying conditions which are caused, or contributed to, by sexual shaming. These include feeling anxious about sex, feeling pain or discomfort during sex, and difficulties or inability to feel pleasure and orgasms (anorgasmia).
Being able to feel more pleasure in the body is also therapeutic on a physical level, due to hormones such as oxytocin being released. This promotes anti-stress effects on the body by helping to reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels. All in all, pleasure is good for us and sex and diversity in consenting adults is something to celebrate, not be ashamed about.
I offer sessions to individuals and couples in Teesside and London. For more information, please get in touch.