Violet Blue recently asked her readers “What does sex-positive mean to you?” At the time, I wasn’t sure how to answer, so I didn’t. Tonight, while completing the required reading for my graduate level abnormal psychology class I read a couple phrases that cemented my personal definition of what it means to be sex-positive.
“Socially transmitted negative attitudes about sex may interact with a person’s relationship difficulties and predispositions to develop performance anxiety and, ultimately, lead to sexual dysfunction… Unlike other disorders discussed in this book, one surprisingly simple treatment is effective for a large number of individuals who experience sexual dysfunction: education. Ignorance of the most basic aspects of the sexual response cycle and intercourse often leads to long-lasting dysfunctions.”
- Barlow, D. H., & Durand, V. M. (2005). Abnormal psychology: An integrative approach (4th ed.). Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth.
Our society teaches us maladaptive beliefs and behavior patterns regarding sex, and consequently, our children grow up to be dysfunctional in their sexual expression and relationships. Being sex-positive means knowing and embracing that sex is natural and an important part of life. When we try to hide sex behind fear and judgment, ignorance and anxiety breed dysfunction, which causes dissatisfaction and even suffering. All of which can be reversed with education. It’s so simple! For me, being sex-positive means I understand the value sex has in my life, in everyone’s life. I believe education regarding sex is important for people of all ages and I discourage reinforcement of damaging preconceptions and stereotypes regarding sex.