I hope recycling is ok here … I wrote/blogged this in December 2005
… thought I'd clean it up a little and add it here for, you know,
target practice or something …
I think of being "sex-positive" in two ways. First, some women (a lot
of women) have many layers of "issues" around sex. It therefore makes
some women squeamish to discuss it, enjoy it, admit to enjoying it …
etc. As for me, there will always be some issues for me regarding sex
but I guess I want it known that I have done a lot of thinking,
reading, feeling, exploring … and I'm particularly open to finding
another woman who has done some personal "work" on her issues. I don't
think we ever entirely resolve our early training or damage, but I'd
like to meet someone who is at least self aware about her feelings
Second, this is a political term for me. There are
many schools of thought within feminism. With regard to sex, there
appear to be two polarities. Note: I am exaggerating part a) to make a
point. Please don't make me put on my kevlar!
a) Sex is bad. In
our society, sexuality has become a way for men to control women. Women
should not look or feel "sexy" as that means they are just buying into
the entire male package. All porn is bad. Expressions of attraction are
bad – hell, being attracted is bad. Sex is about possession, ownership
and exploitation. It can only be safe with strict rules and covenants
between the people involved to make sure no one feels anything "bad".
Sex is a normal, healthy human expression of intimacy and this should
be RE-CLAIMED from the bastards who took it away from us. It can be
(should be …?) a treasured, playful, rich aspect of every intimate
relationship. Exploring the physical/sexual self is a natural
progression of exploring other aspects of a relationship. Learning what
turns each other on can involve a wide range of activities, some of
which might include reading or watching porn, talking, touching,
writing, etc. If viewed by outsiders, some sexual interaction might
look like dominance, submission or other politically offensive things
but such interpretation is best left to the participants. Sex can
either be sensual intimate play between lovers or part of building a
long-term foundation … can be a one-time thing or a life-long journey.
Oh, and sex is not always exclusively about orgasms.
trivializing, or otherwise discounting the sexual aspect of a
relationship is akin to ignoring, trivializing or discounting each of
us as human beings.
I took a minute to look up a "real" definition of sex-positive and was intrigued to find that Wikipedia divides the world into sex-negative feminists and sex-positive feminists, too!
was also intrigued to find that a related term is "individualist"
feminism, which is a term I've been seeking for ages and am thrilled to
find it, finally. Back in one of my first posts on this blog, I spoke
about a "milestone" that involved me deciding that my "personal is
political" statement was going to be about my own personal success as a
human being. That as an "individualist", I did not fit into the
predominantly socialist model of feminism with all its focus on
collectivism and such. I feel that each individual woman – actually,
each individual person – on the planet has to take an active role in
their own well-being first, and only then can they actively support the
well-being of the rest of the planet and the people on it. The flaw, as
I see it, in collectivism, is that it easily allows an individual to
abdicate their own responsibility. Furthermore, it seems to require,
inherently, that the entire collective share a similar philosophical
topography. When someone strays or has a different or new idea, they
are easily ostracized by the group-think mentality, effectively driven
by insecurity and suspicion of anything out of the defined topography.
I've been ostracized by more groups, both single gender and mixed
gender, than I care to name simply because I don't always agree, don't
always keep my mouth shut like a good girl, and I propose bold and
"risky" initiatives that others feel threatened by. It is an odd,
unfortunate truth that a woman who honours her individual vision while
participating as part of a collective is usually interpreted as being
"controlling" or "contrary" when, in fact, honouring an individual
vision is a pre-requisite for any good leadership. And, to return full
circle, we must be "leaders", each individual, before we can really
give back in any meaningful way. Sadly in our current society, men can
get away with and, in fact, are rewarded for, the very behaviours that
women are punished for. I'm 42 and this is still going on. Truly, t'was
No wonder one of my high-level needs is simply to
"belong" to something – some clan or tribe or group that "gets" me, and
treasures my rugged individualism. So, tell me, is this where all the
individualist feminists hang out?