Thu 18 Oct, 2018 07:17 pm
My working definition of being "sex positive" is this.
To view sexuality as a normal, healthy part of being human including the desire for sex and the pursuit of sex. I would include acceptance of sex in culture, literature and entertainment. It means accepting sexuality in social interactions, flirting dating and humor.
Society gives very mixed messages. Some sexual identities are being accepted, others are being degraded. There is both a message of sexual freedom, as well as the idea that exercising this freedom is a form of oppression. And, there is uncertainty... no one really understands the social norms for flirting or dating.
There is a clear need for social change, particularly in addressing abuse of power in the workplace. But this has been generalized into a broad generalization of sexual behaviors into a narrative of "rape culture" even though most of these have nothing to do with an imbalance of power or workplace abuse.
So I want to ask the questions directly... these are all assume that sex should be consensual and enjoyable by all involved;
- Can we have a positive view of sexuality outside of a narrow range of socially acceptable relationships with rigid constraints?
- Can we accept a large range of sexual expression including traditional roles?
- If we were going to set cultural norms of sexuality that would allow for both freedom and a sense of security, what would they be?
In my opinion, the only social norm worth enforcing is that every participant be old enough and mentally competent enough to consent, and actually consenting. Othther than that, I would play no part in helping enforce, or accepting for myself, any restrictions as to who, with whom, with how many, and in what manner people can have sex. That's the participants' business, not mine.
One classic problem with 'sex positive attitudes,' among others, is that there are 'prudes' who are withheld love and relationships because they are not viewed as 'sex positive' (enough) by their partners.
Imagine being a pro-life person, or having religious values, or just being uncomfortable with sex at some level and then being passed over, rejected, and dumped by all the young eligible dating partners who expect sex and sex-positivity as a condition for being happy in a partnership.
Do you think it is really good to put this kind of pressure on people to be sex-positive in order to get love? How is it different than the traditional (heterosexual) situation in which boys would pressure girls to go as far as possible on dates, with girls resisting as best they could?