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The (Not So Obvious) Truth About Sex Positivity

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As an ex-porn actress and ex-Nevada brothel courtesan, my promotion of sex positivity could understandably make some skeptical of sex positivity: does supporting sex positivity mean supporting porn acting and prostitution as inspirational career choices? Does it mean supporting an industry known for inhumane treatment and exploitation?

This thoughtful ‘gray area’ is why, of the many awareness movements aimed at improving Western culture (BIPOC, LGBTQ, etc.), the Sex Positivity movement seems the least guided and with the most confusion. While it’s certainly harmful to view the procreation process–sex–as a negative and shameful act, it can also be challenging to embrace a movement that’s become a catch-all umbrella term for defending confounding or even self-harming behavior.

For example: to what extent would a single woman going to a sex club and having sex with 20 different men be seen as ‘sex positive’ and empowering vs. degrading? To find an appropriate answer, let’s first cover the ‘not-so-obvious’ meaning of sex positivity. Then, we’ll look into the urgency of sex positivity and what a sex-positive future would really look like. 

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The ‘Not-So-Obvious’ Meaning of Sex Positivity: Concept vs. Practice

Although ‘sex positivity’ seems obvious (striving to have a more positive rather than negative, shame-based relationship with sex), on a deeper and more practical level, the ambiguity of the phrase ‘positive relationship with sex’ opens the door for misinterpretation.

For example, a serial killer may think they have a positive relationship with killing because killing gives them a ‘thrill’ in life, but is serial killing a genuinely positive life enhancement? Not if it requires stunting their spiritual growth with lies, faux relationships, and self-denial.

To me, a ‘positive relationship with sex’ means a sexual relationship that’s positively spiritual, emotional, and humane. Truthfully, not everyone is in tune with this type of sex. For example, the reason some find the ‘sex positivity’ of porn questionable is because mainstream porn neglects to capture the psychological and spiritual nutrients that make human sex emotionally and spiritually rich.

Just as humans are unique in their ability to cry, laugh, experience heightened intelligence, awareness, and emotion, human sex also has the unique capacity to be a doorway into romantic love, trust, and spiritual growth. When human sexual behavior loses these elements (replacing emotional trust with careless inhumanity, i.e., rape, pedophilia, exploitation, etc.), the sex energy becomes negative, unhealthy, and degrades the positive development of the self. 

Therefore, when pondering whether or not a woman having sex with 20 different men in a nightclub is sex-positive, the determining factor would be whether or not she felt the experience was more positively nourishing (spiritually and emotionally) than it was degrading.

Of course, a sexual experience can have both nourishing and degrading elements (just as a dinner can have both healthy and unhealthy ingredients); however, as long as the energy is more nourishing and positive than negative, it will have a greater positive impact on the individual.  

Society has been sex-negative for centuries–what’s the urgency in changing now? 

Sex negativity weakens the cohesion of humanity with unnecessary suffering, division, shame, and worry. This reality is significant because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. While it’s admirable and promising that our culture has many ‘strong links,’ for example, laws that protect against disability, sex, gender, race, etc.–based discrimination, a shortcoming is the tolerance of passively witnessed and unprotected discrimination against individuals (especially women) in the sex industry. 

An analogy is this, when determining the health of a family of four, it’s irrelevant if three members are healthy if one is abused and neglected in a corner. The abused member will reflect the true state of the family’s progress. Although it’s been the historic global norm to disregard the injustices sex workers face, humanity can’t become a healthy, cohesive, and unified family leaving them behind. 

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What does a sex-positive future really look like? 

If a dystopian world comes to mind, that makes sense granted the extent of negative sex energy still present today. However, because we’ve never actually lived in a sex-positive world (as we defined earlier), it’s easy for this dystopian society to come to mind; a culture that exaggerates the sex negativity already present (heightened porn addiction, the spread of STIs via increased casual sex, more trafficked or ‘stigma-trapped’ sex workers, etc.). If society became more aligned with celebrating sex that was focused on spiritual and emotional growth, people would self-select away from sex negativity. 

An analogy is the decline of orange juice consumption: The Food Institute has stated that health conscientiousness regarding sugar has likely caused a drop in orange juice sales. Similarly, as people become more aware of sex-positive vs. sex-negative energy, they’ll consciously choose to engage in more sex-positive behaviors. 

For example, if an individual was unsure whether or not a woman in a porn video was filmed because she genuinely wanted to be there vs. was only there because she felt trapped by the social stigma, the viewer would sense the sex-negativity of the situation and would opt for more sex-positive material (ex. Manga, erotica, ethical porn, daydreaming, etc.).

This idea of people selecting more sex-positive experiences would eventually lead society away from becoming more sex-negative. However, sex positivity is a mindset we must realize with awareness. Left unchecked, society could very well develop greater sex negativity–a tragic step that would negatively affect all of us. 

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