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Dr Dick’s Sex Positive Doctrine

No podcast today; instead there’s this…

Have you ever wondered about the term, sex positive? If you’re like me you see it all over the place, especially on sex-related sites. I confess I use it way more often than I should. It’s become one of those industry buzzwords that has, over time, become so fuzzy around the edges that it’s now virtually meaningless. In fact, if the truth be known, I believe the term sex positive has been taken over by the sex Taliban who have made it a cover for their strict code of political correctness. Oddly enough, this is the very antithesis of its original meaning.

If you want to shame someone in the sex field—be it a sex worker, blogger or adult product manufacturer—you label that person as sex-negative. You may not know anything about that person other than you were offended by something they did, said or made. But still, you hurl the epithet as if you were exorcising a heretic. This is a very powerful tool for keeping people in my industry in line. But I’ve begun to wonder, who is setting themselves up as the arbiter of what is and what is not sex positive? I have to ask: What is the agenda? I mean, could compulsory ideological purity of some artificial standards of thought or behavior be “positive” anything? I say, no!

Like all good ideas that have gone bad due to overuse—or worse, sloppy use—the sex positive concept once had meaning that was life-affirming and enriching. Sex positive has been in the lexicon at least since the mid-1950s. It frequently appears in journals and research papers to describe a movement that examines and advocates for all the other beneficial aspects of sex beyond reproduction.

I’ve been using the term since 1981 when I opened my practice in Clinical Sexology and Sexual Health Care. The opening words of my mission statement read: “I affirm the fundamental goodness of sexuality in human life, both as a personal need and as an interpersonal bond.” Way back then, I was flush with my quixotic pursuit to stand steadfast against all the cultural pressures to negate or denigrate sexuality and pleasure. I dedicated myself to spreading the gospel that healthy attitudes toward sex not only affect a person’s sex life, but his/her ability to relate well with others.

This came relatively easy for me, because I’d learned something very important about evangelization in my life as a Catholic priest. (Another quixotic pursuit, but we’ll have to save the details of that misadventure for another time.) One of the first things one learns in seminary is how to proselytize, to sow the seeds of a creed, and then nurture them taking root by endless repetition of the articles of faith. Of course there is a downside to this, too. Repetition fosters mindlessness, stifles creative thought, and worse makes things boring.

But the creed statements of the world’s three great monotheistic religions are masterful works of theological art.

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha’olam!
Allaahu Akbar!
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and the of the Holy Spirit!

Each contains the most profound kernel of religious truth the believer needs to know, but all are easy enough for a child to learn. And like I said, the secret is in the repetition. For the true devotee, these creedal statements are uttered dozens of times a day and to great effect.

Early on in my career as a sexologist, I decided to put the principles I learned in the Church into disseminating my new belief system. First, keep the message simple! I settled on: “Sex is Good—and Good Sex is Even Better.” This has been my mantra for decades. It contains everything you need to know about being sex positive, but it’s easy enough for a child to learn. Even now, I close each of my podcasts with this same article of faith. To this day it soothes me to hear myself say these words. And it comforts me in the same way blessing myself did in my priestly days.

Despite my apprehensions, I continue to be an apostle of the sex positive doctrine. I know that even though my industry has corrupted the concept, others have yet to hear the good news. And there’s something almost spiritual about seeing someone grasp the idea for the first time. Let me tell you about one such instance. Some while ago I was asked to offer a workshop for a group of doctors on the topic: Health Care Concerns Of Sexually Diverse Populations. Unfortunately, just a handful of doctors attended the workshop—which was pretty disconcerting, considering all the work I’d put into the presentation. I guess that’s why kinksters and pervs, as well as your run-of-the-mill queer folk, are often frustrated in their search for sensitive and lifestyle-attuned healing and helping professionals.

Since the group of doctors attending was so small, I decided to ask them to pull their chairs in a circle so that our time together could be a bit more informal and intimate. Frankly, I’ve never found it easy talking to doctors about sex; and discussing kinky sex was surely going to be very tricky. So, I decided to start off as gently as I could. My opening remarks included the phrases “sex positive” and “kink positive.”

Sitting as close to my audience as I was, I could see at once that these fundamental concepts weren’t registering with them. I was astonished. Here was a group of physicians, each with a large urban practice. Could they really be this out of touch? I quickly checked in with them to see if my perception was correct. I was right! None of them had heard the term, sex positive. The two who hazarded a guess at its meaning thought it had something to do with being HIV+. I had my work cut out for me.

I decided to share my creed with them. “Sex is Good—and Good Sex is Even Better.” I asked them repeat it with me as if I were teaching a catechism to children. Surprisingly, they did so without resistance. After we repeated the mantra a couple more times, I exposed them to the sex positive doctrine unencumbered by political correctness.

  • Sex Is Good! Sex is a positive force in human development; the pursuit of pleasure, including sexual pleasure, is at the very foundation of a harmonious society.
  • And Good Sex Is Even Better! The individual makes that determination. For example, what I decide is good sex for me, may be boring sex to someone else. And their good sex may be hair-raising to me. In other words, consensual sexual expression is a basic human right regardless of the form that expression takes. And it’s not appropriate for me, or anyone else, to call into question someone else’s consensual affectional choices.
  • Sex Is Good! Everyone has a right to clear, unambiguous sexual health information. It must be presented in a nonjudgmental way, particularly from his or her health care providers. And sexual health encompasses a lot more then just disease prevention, and contraception.
  • And Good Sex Is Even Better! The focus is on the affirmative aspects of sexuality, like sexual pleasure. Sexual wellbeing is more than simply being able to perform. It also means taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of one’s personality and involvement with others.
  • Sex Is Good! Each person is unique and that must be respected. Our aim as healing and helping professionals is to provide information and guidance that will help the individual approach his/her unique sexuality in a realistic and responsible manner. This will foster his/her independent growth, personal integrity, as well as provide a more joyful experience of living.
  • And Good Sex Is Even Better! Between the extremes of total sexual repression and relentless sexual pursuit, a person can find that unique place, where he/she is free to live a life of self-respect, enjoyment and love.

Finally I told them they ought to think creatively how they could adapt this concept to their own practice. It was up to each of them to make this creed their own. As it turned out, this primer was just the thing to open my planned discussion of health of kinksters.

In a way this experience was a bit of a spiritual reawakening for me, too. Despite my misgivings about the contamination of the sex positive doctrine by malicious people bent on using it as a weapon against those they disagree with. I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to watch these sex positive novices hear, and then embrace, the message for the first time. It was nothing short of a religious experience.

Rapid Fire Dick 2

Name: Tom
Gender: Male
Age: 43
Location: Atlanta GA
Dr Dick I have a large dick and would like to know if size does make a difference, mine iscarrotdm7.jpg 11.5 X 7 I have a problem sometimes with this size, they say it is all in how you use it is this true. Thanks T/Tom

You must think I was born yesterday. NEXT!

Name: maddy
Gender: Female
Age: 14
Location:
hi, um i know i’m young and all but with the world today you’ll see anything, and the thing is is that i’m OBSESSED with penises (and really want to suck one, but wont and cant since i’m so young) and um i don’t know if its my teenage hormones or not, could u suggest what is wrong with me? thank you very much, bye.

Fourteen year old female OBSESSED with penises? I think not. You too must think I was born yesterday.

Ya know, folks, if you’re gonna make up shit, the least you can do is be creative. Plausibility is also a requirement. NEXT!

Name: ???
Gender: Male
Age:
Location:
If I bareback with another guy and he sperms in my ass will I get an STD if he doesn’t have one? If I drink another guy’s sperm will I get an STD if he had no STD?

Are you on acid?

stupid-tee-shirt.jpgHow could you get something (STI/STD) from someone who isn’t infected with anything? All ya have to do is think things through, right?

Perhaps, someone who’s unable to logically put 2 and 2 together is not yet mature enough for partnered sex. Perhaps, that person should stick to pullin’ his pud.

Name: Sam
Gender: Male
Age: 22
Location: UK
Hi Dr. I am a 22 years old male and I have two questions. 1- me and my boyfriend are having anal sex without using condoms, does that affect any of us in any way? 2- my penis is straight which is good, but is there any way that I could make it curve upwards?

WTF? Is this an epidemic of idiocy, or what?

(1) You’re 22 and you still haven’t got the message about the risks of barebacking? If you boys aren’t HIV- and in an exclusive relationship and you’re lovin’ without a glove; then you’re courting disaster. I guess this is one way to cull the herd.

(2) if your unit is straight, that’s the way it’s gonna stay. You won’t be able to train it to curve upward or any other direction.

Name: dave
Gender: Male
Age: 45
Location: oregon
Can a person catch h.i.v by swallowing the cum of a h.i.v. positive lover?

D’oh! You’re 45 and still don’t know the score about HIV transmission? Have you been living under a rock all these years?

Swapping bodily fluids is a sure-fire way of spreading the disease.

Name: John
Gender: Male
Age: 18
Location: Australia
hey, i’ve been finding that while having sex with my g/f that my foreskin is being pulled back upon entry, i’m pretty sure it’s meant to do this anyway when it’s erect but it never really has and frankly i find it a little bit painful. when masturbating i don’t pull it back and it doesn’t decrease pleasure, what do you think i should do?

Sounds like you need to stretch your foreskin so that it will easily retract over your dickhead whenever you want it to.

I’ve written and spoken about this extensively in the past. See the CATEGORY section to the left — in the sidebar? Look of the category Foreskin. Click on that and it will take you to all my podcasts and postings on the topic.

Name: s
Gender: Male
Age: 14
Location: ny
i am uncircumcised and my foreskin and frenulum are perfectly intact. i recently read a blog that said that the first time you have sex your foreskin will “snap” back. if this is true, does it hurt? if not, will how will my foreskin bend back?foreskin002

Nope, that’s untrue…all of it! But you have come to the right place for information about all things that relate to your natural (uncut) cock.

Did you notice the advice I gave to the fella (John) above you? Good! Because that information applies to you too.

It’s too bad that your dad (or parents) didn’t taken the time to clue you into what you can expect from, or how to properly care for your foreskin. It’s his (their) responsibility, ya know. Alas, many parents shirk their duty in this regard.

Listen up parents! Do the right thing. Sit the youngens down for the body/sex talk, why don’t cha already? If ya don’t, your kids will be saddled with all sorts of myths and misconceptions, like the one presented by this young pup. Passing on clear, unambiguous information about their body (including their genitals) and sex is as much your responsibility as putting food on the table.

And finally, mom and dad, if you are unclear about the nuts and bolts of how our bodies work and/or the ins and outs of sex; educate yourself before you lay the info on the kiddies. Remember, it’s your job to educate and enlighten, not add to their misinformation.

Name: BILL
Gender: Male
Age: 53
Location: NEW YORK
Would you cover the topic of sex after prostate surgery? It’s been 16 months since my surgery and i notice a decrease in my penis size. Why did that happen and will it return to normal?

Not only will I, but I already have!

See the CATEGORY section to the left — in the sidebar? Look of the category Prostatectomy
Click on that and it will take you to two podcasts I’ve done on the topic.

As to the decrease in the size of your unit; I’d guess that it has something to do with the trauma your genital area received during surgery. I’d be willing to bet that a whole lotta slow and pleasurable massage/masturbation will increase the oxygen-rich blood flow to the area and this will, in time, restore your willie to its former stature.

Name: steven
Gender: Male
Age: 34
Location: rsa
hi there. i have a webbed penis is it necessary 2 correct this and does it hinder foreskin restoration stretch exercises which seem 2 be working very slowlycircum_egypt.jpg

The term “webbed penis” can refer two different conditions. The first is where the skin of the scrotal sack extends part way up the shaft of the penis. Boys are born this way.

The second condition is a result of adhesions forming between the scrotal skin and the penile skin due to a botched circumcision.

Since you’re practicing foreskin restoration, I’m gonna guess that your condition is the result of a bungled circumcision.

It’s a bummer when an over-zealous doc (or Mohel) docks too much of a boy’s foreskin. It can make for painful erections when he get older. Sadly, this happens way more frequently then most people realize. There’s no way to correct this. In fact, if I were you, Steven, I’d keep my precious cock as far away from a scalpel as possible. I think enough damage has been done already, don’t you?

The foreskin restoration exercises you’re doing will help stretch the skin of your dick shaft and offer you some relief, especially if your erections cause a painful tightening of your dick skin. But, as you suggest, this will take a long time to achieve. I encourage you to keep at it though, because it’s truly worth the effort.

Name: Mike
Gender: Male
Age: 47
Location: Australia
Last year I contracted genital herpes. It eventually cleared up and fortunately has not re occurred. If I have fellatio performed on me and subsequently ejaculate, will I be placing my partner at risk of catching the herpes? Even though I show no symptoms of the disease? I would appreciate your advice. Regards, Mike.

Did you know that there are two herpes viruses? There’s the HSV-1 type (cold sores) and HSV-2 type (genital herpes). Did you know that up to 80 percent of adults have HSV-1 and 25 percent of adults have HSV-2? Kinda amazing, huh?

Obviously it’s pretty easy to catch one or both strains. A whole lotta infected people don’t even know they’ve been infected. Because they never have an outbreak, or the outbreak they have is so inconspicuous they don’t even notice.

Since you know you have herpes, Mike, it’s incumbent upon you to be upfront with your partner(s) about it. Just because you don’t notice an outbreak, doesn’t mean you can’t pass on the infection. That being said, since one out of every four adults has already been exposed, the information you will be sharing won’t be all that startling.

Being upfront with your partner(s) gives him/her the opportunity to make an informed decision about going down on your pole without a condom. And certainly as to weather or not he/she decides to accept the “gift” of your spunk, if ya catch my drift.

Anything less than full disclosure would mark you as a man who has no regard for the wellbeing and best interests of his partner(s).

Good luck ya’ll

RAPID FIRE DICK

My inbox overflowth! …and that ain’t pretty. Let’s attend to this glut with some snap.

Name: david
Gender: Male
Age: 19
Location: florida
i like my 6 inches and i work it well but,personaly i want atleast 7,should i worry about it or what should i do doc? thank you

You shouldn’t worry about it, pup. Like you say, 6″ is plenty. Besides, where would you find an extra inch if you absolutely needed to get one? I didn’t see any on e-bay!

Name: shane
Gender: Male
Age: 18
Location: las vegas
what is a more efficiant way to masterbait?

Beat your meat like it owed you money!

The way you jerk off isn’t efficient? Dare I ask, what inefficient method you are currently employing? How much more efficient do you want this exercise to be? Are you in that much of a hurry?

Name: Jen
Gender:
Age: 33
Location:
Last night, my sex partner came on my face, and his seamen got in my eye. I woke up today, and my eye is blood shot, and a bit swollen. Am I okay?

imag001.JPG

Bad shot!

I think you mean semen, right? Seamen are sailors! And boy, if you ever get a sailor in your eye, you’d wake up being a lot more than a little bloodshot and swollen.

Gettin’ spooge in your eye is no picnic; it stings like the dickens. You should be ok, though…that is if your sex partner is healthy. If he’s not, or if the redness and swelling continue see your doc right away!

Name: miles
Gender: Male
Age: 26
Location: Rapid city sd
I just started to let girls and guys fist me what is the posibel dangers.

You’re lettin’ folks shove a fist up your ass and you’re just now getting around to asking about the possible dangers? YIKES!

Well you’re in luck. I did a Sexual Enrichment Tutorial on fist fucking in a podcast a couple of weeks ago. Check it out: Sex Advice With An Edge — Podcast 04/30/07. Listen to my response to Dena.

Name: holly
Gender:
Age: 18
Location: brisbane
hi… i have been with my partner now for 13 months and the sex we are having is getting boring as both of us are females..i just want to know if there is enything u can suggest for us to do to help spice it up a tad.. yours thankfully hol

Yeah, that girl on girl sex can get mighty boring, huh? All that carpet munching, and for what? Good thing you’ve turned to someone without a pussy or a clit for some helpful suggestions on spicing things up lesbian style. Hmmm, this sounds mighty fishy to me…and I don’t mean “fishy” in that way.

Have you tried strapping one on?

Name: thunder tounge
Gender: Male
Age: 37
Location: brooklyn, ny
do those penis inlarger pils work and if they do which ones are the best to get?

Nope, they don’t. Don’t waste your money!

Name: Nadine
Gender:
Age: 31
Location: Ontario
My boyfriend bugs me to give him a blowjob and I just can’t and he always bugs me which bugs me more that I never want to do it. What can I do?

Why can’t ya smoke some pole, darlin’? It’s all the rage these days.

Maybe you could learn to like it. See my Sexual Enrichment Tutorial: So Ya Wanna Be A World-Class Cocksucker.

If ya can’t stomach the idea of a cock in your mouth, maybe you need to find yourself a boyfriend with out a dick…I think they’re called lesbians!

Name: joe
Gender:
Age: 39
Location: boston
why do women like sucking dick

They do? That would be news to me…and Nadine, the person right above you. She begs to differ.

Sure, I know some women like to suck cock. There are even those whose skill is renowned. Why, they can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch. But I fear, givin’ a man a humble hummer is an odious task for most women. It ranks right up there with having a bad hair day.

Good luck

About DR DICK!

Welcome Sex Fans! Get ready for some informative and enriching entertainment.

Your comments and questions are always welcome. You can reach me at: dr_dick@drdicksexadvice.com

Now a little bit about me, your host, Dr Dick.  My name is Richard Wagner, Ph.D., ACS.  I’m a Clinical Sexologist in private practice here in Seattle. I’ve been a practitioner of Sex Therapy and Relationship Counseling for over 30 years.

 

PHILOSOPHY
I affirm the fundamental goodness of sexuality in human life, both as a personal need and as an interpersonal bond. I know the unhappiness and anxiety, which sex-negative attitudes can engender in individuals, alienating them from their own body and the bodies of others. I know that such attitudes affect not only a person’s sex life, but also his/her ability to relate well with others.

Sexual wellbeing is more than simply being able to perform. It is also means taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of one’s personality and involvement with others. Between the extremes of total sexual repression and relentless sexual pursuit, a person can find that unique place, where she/he is free to live a life of self-respect, enjoyment and love.

Each person is a special ensemble of dispositions and needs and his/her uniqueness must be respected. My aim is to provide such information and guidance as will help the individual approach his/her unique sexuality in a realistic and responsible manner, as well as further his/her independent growth, personal integrity, and have a more joyful experience of living.

SERVICES
Clinical services cover a full range of sexual heath concerns including:

— Guilt associated with religious upbringing or training.
— Conflicts or sexual dissatisfaction between partners.
— Ejaculation and/or erection concerns.
— Orgasm concerns.
— Sexual orientation/lifestyle preference.
— Sexual inhibitions.
— Socio-sexual skills.
— Sexual misinformation.
— Love and sexuality.
— Jealousy and possessiveness.
— Poor body image.
— Unsatisfactory sexual outlet.
— Safe-sex concerns.
— Adult survivors of sex abuse.
— Sexuality and illness or disability.
— Sexuality and grieving.

My practice combines the best of a short-term behavioral model with a compassionate, person-orientated counseling technique. My purpose is to help clients come to terms with their sexual problems and conflicts as these relate to their own life values, expectations and goals.

My services are open to individuals, couples, families and groups, of any sexual persuasion, who have sexual concerns. I am available for lectures, workshops, and in-service training.

BACKGROUND
Since the completion of my doctoral studies in 1981 I have been involved in a wide range of sexological activities including counseling, teaching, lecturing, writing, publishing, video production, in-service training and facilitating groups and workshops.

I’ve been writing this online sex advice column for well over a decade now.
I am the founder and former Executive Director of the nonprofit organization, PARADIGM; Enhancing Life Near Death — an outreach and resource for terminally ill, chronically ill, elder and dying people.

My therapeutic training includes The Institute for Advanced Study in Human Sexuality San Francisco, The University of California, San Francisco Human Sexuality Unit, and The Pacific Center for Human Growth, Berkeley.

Besides my sexological training I carry a Masters degree in Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley.

I am Board certified by The American College of Sexologists, The American Board of Sexology and The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

Richard Wagner, Ph.D., ACS
Clinical Sexology and Sexual Health Care





Awakenings

And now for something completely different. I’d like to welcome my friend and colleague, Vivian Slaughter, who has some interesting things to say about becoming the brilliant young sexologist she is today.

Becoming a feminist was a big deal for me; in high school I was very anti-feminist, I was the Cool Girl, I didn’t like doing my hair and felt giddy when people told me I “wasn’t like other girls” (the today me would have snapped back: “What’s wrong with other girls? Who are these mythic other girls you speak of?”) I would smile cruelly at people when they used the term, laugh a wide-open mouthed, high-pitched laugh. “No,” I’d correct them. “I don’t hate men!” Then, I’d usually follow with something like, “I’m not a feminist, but I believe (in something that literally fits the definition of being a feminist).”

Vivian SlaughterWhen I packed up and moved further South for college I found myself drawn to a sexual health education group that presented interactive workshops on sexual assault, dating violence and enthusiastic consent. This was a sex positivity group. This was a feminist group. It was a hard transition, and my first term with my new colleagues left a bitter taste in my mouth. What was happening to me? I’d come home from our meetings and rant to my roommate. “Ugh, it’s like…I agree with everything they say but do we have to call ourselves feminists? No one is going to take us seriously!”

I hate to say that I had an epiphany – because besides sounding cliché, it also mitigates the months of mental anguish and cultural upheaval I went through – but one night while I was walking home from a workshop late at night someone who had sat in the audience approached me.

“Uh, hey,” he said, running up behind and motioning with his arm that he wanted me to stop. “Can I tell you something?” I nodded, looking around to see if any of my group mates were around, I was used to being approached after workshops and asked disgusting, personal questions. Back up from my mates would have helped me feel safe. “I’m not a bad person,” the guy continued, “but I’ve done a lot of bad things. But I never knew they were bad. I didn’t know there was anything wrong with everything that I was doing, the way I acted. Thank you for coming tonight. Thank you for making me realize that I was wrong, and that I was behaving like a turd, and that feminist isn’t a dirty word.”

Me! He thought I was a feminist? I wanted to correct him – “I’m not a feminist, but I could see how you think that! I just believe that men and women should be treated equally, and that we have in place long standing and deeply rooted infrastructure that puts women at a systematic disadvantage – but! Whoa? Feminist?”

I realized then that I was a feminist, that I had been duped into believing falsehoods about the word, the movement, the people who identified as such. I realized in the dark, smiling up at this stranger whose name I never knew but who had credited me with changing his mind, that I was a feminist and it felt good and I was going to help people realize they were too. We changed each other’s mind.sex-positive-feminism

Almost immediately after that night I started working at an adult store. I was a sex positive feminist! I annoyed all my co-workers by asking all our guests their preferred personal pronouns; I put cards up on our counter with the information for a local crisis line; a local doctor who specialized in working with survivors of sexual assault. Couples would shyly slink into my shop and I would joyously greet them, stretch my arms to embrace them, help them pick out a pair of pink handcuffs, a soft whip made of braided silk, crotchless panties. “I love helping people love sex!” I would think to myself, naively thinking that all the world’s problems would be solved if only we used the word sex more openly.

Then one day a woman came into my shop, her face red from tears and her bangs matted to her temple from sweat. “What can I help you with?” I inquired.

“I don’t like having sex,” she began, her words coming out in short gasps. “I don’t like having sex,” she repeated, looking at everything around her, taking it all in. “My boyfriend says there’s something wrong with me because I hate it and can’t orgasm, and that you need to fix me.” She fixated on me, her eyes angry but her bottom lip trembling. “Can you fix me, please?”

I didn’t know what to do, didn’t even know how to begin. Telling her that sex was natural and fun wasn’t what she needed to hear, because I knew that’s what she had always been told. “What do you mean you don’t like sex?” so many people had gasped at her. “You must be prude. You must not have been fucked properly. You must be weird. You must not know what you’re talking about.” I found myself getting angry imaging all the horrible things this woman had been told, I found myself angry because I thought I was open minded and didn’t know what to do.

sex+positive“There is nothing wrong with you,” I spat out, sounding angrier than I wished. “Please, I’m so sorry… there is nothing wrong with you, but there is something wrong with your boyfriend. You don’t deserve what he dished out, you don’t have to like anything you don’t want to like. I’m so sorry.”

A few days later a pimply faced young man approached me in the shop, pointed to a book on the shelf. “Will that tell me where the clit is? I don’t know where it is, I’m afraid my girlfriend will laugh at me if I ask her where it is, but how should I know? Like, what, I’m supposed to know everything about fucking?”

“I hate giving blow jobs,” an older man confided in me, a stack of DVDs in his hand and an empty shopping basket sitting at his feet. “I hate having to swallow, but if I spit they all think I’m being a baby. Can you give me something that makes it bearable? I don’t know, that would numb my throat or make it taste okay? Just something to make it less awful.”

Learning what it meant to be sex positive was even harder than learning to embrace the word feminist.

I had been lead to believe it meant just liking sex, liking sex a lot, and not being shamed of it. Sex positivity was a young, pretty face flashing small, white teeth and nodding enthusiastically at whatever you suggested: “Sure!”

I learned while crying with a stranger telling me she hated sex, sitting on the floor explaining to a red faced 18 year old what a vagina looked like, and holding a man’s hand in front of a movie that featured Jesse Jane in her first girl on girl scene that sex positivity meant more than liking sex; it meant not liking sex, it meant having boundaries, being able to say “no,” not being coerced into trying things (“You have to try it just once, come on!”), being respected. Sex positivity meant having a kink. Trying a new kink. Saying no to a kink. Saying yes! Saying no – don’t stop, our safe word is barnacle! Saying no.

I realized that as an educator I had failed.sex positivity

I began asking around at workshops; asking my co-workers, classmates, hallmates, wondering earnestly what “sex positivity” meant to them. Some were confused: “Uhh, being positive… about sex?” Others were excited to share with me what sex positivity meant for them, how it fit into their lives. I found everyone’s answers – so varied and all across the board – interesting, but in the end what stuck with me the most were the people who were “sex positivity” critical. “What does it mean?” one person sneered to me. “It means people feel better about sexualizing my body; it means people call me a slut when I’m at the bars and they look at me like I should be empowered by it.”

When I left school, I knew I wanted to stay in the field of sexual health education, but I didn’t know what that meant for me. Continue working on crisis lines? Go back to school? Explore a degree more centralized to education? Throughout my last term I pensively reflected on my four years and wondered what I should do next.

I remembered vividly all the people I helped in my shop, all the questions asked during workshops. I realized I wanted to continue reaching out to people on a personal basis and learn more from them. Feminism, sex positivity, kink positivity and LGBTQIA+ rights have been trending topics in the last few years, and I’m interested in exploring the aftermath of what some are calling our new sex positive culture.

And so it is: I come home from work and in the few hours before I leave the house again to pick up my partner (we both go to work at noon, he gets home close to 13 hours later, so it’s safe to say that we have both become the human equivalent of an owl) I sit at my desk and I write. I write about the experiences I’ve had over the last few years, the stories shared with me and how they’ve helped me grow. I conduct interviews, via phone or e-mail, with a wide array of personalities, all with the intention of sharing the unique perspectives passed on to me.

We all have our mark left on us from the culture we grew up in. What I want to know is: what impact has this life had on you? I reach out to you all and ask that you share your story with me, the story of what feminism and sex positivity (or: sex negativity) means to you, the impact it has had on your life and the mark it has left.

I would appreciate hearing from you. We all have stories to share, and my favorite thing to do is listen. Below is a link to my website, which explains more about my background in education, my goals in reaching out to community members, as well as outside links to my personal blog.

vivslaughter14.wix.com/sexpositivity

Take care,
Vivian

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