Carol Queen shares some thoughts about being sex positive in this month’s issue of Good Vibes magazine. She says – if I may quote her:
If sex-positivity is Utopian–and in a way, it is–we have to be willing to envision the world we want, wherever we are, and start figuring out how to create it: who our allies and appropriate partners are, how to challenge the internal and external voices that say, “You can’t do that.”
Absolutely. This is something I try to remind myself of every single day.It’s not easy trying to create a sex-positive life. There are so many negative influences, both inside and out. Body issues you’ve carried around with you since you were a kid. How your family may have felt about sexuality, and how they chose to express it to you during your formative years. The frown on people’s faces when certain areas of sexuality enter into a conversation. Gender issues. How the model on this month’s Cosmo looks. Friends’ attitudes and opinions. The automatic judgement that most of us carry around to one degree or another – this is acceptable behavior, but that is not.But truly, if you’re going to create an environment for yourself within which you can safely explore your sexuality, it has to be sex-positive, IMO. Tough as it is to shut out all those voices clamoring for attention.
I’ve found, for myself, that there are two phases to becoming a more sex-positive person (though I’m far from being finished with my work in this regard). Both are tough, really tough, and they get harder as you go along. For me, the first phase is applying the axiom “Judge not, lest ye be judged” to the outside world. Looking at all consensual sexuality, no matter how “alternative”, no matter how foreign to my own understanding or experience, as healthy expression of self. This is not easy. No matter how far I get, I’ll still occasionally run across something that people do to or with each other that freaks me out, pushes the “Judge!” trigger button inside me. The voices say, “Eww! That’s sick!”. Oops. So much for progress.
One way I find of getting myself past these moments is to stop in and read some entries from Diary of a Slut. The diary’s owner, Peter, is into all kinds of fun and kinky things, and also some things that stretch the imagination and push it to the limit. But he’s so completely enamored of his playtime, so jubilant and exuberant about the way his life has progressed in terms of sexual exploration and expression, that you can’t help but smile at the end and just love ‘im. And his writing, inevitably, helps to remind me that while all play may not be for me, it’s beautiful and meaningful or just plain fun for someone. And good for him!
If I thought phase one was tough, phase two is even harder: shutting off those internal voices that still carry around words like “slut”. The voices that aren’t always so confident about my looks, my sexuality, my viability. Everyone has those voices; most women I know have those voices ringing loud as a bell a great deal of the time. They’re the voices that have trained you to only examine certain body parts in the mirror; only taking the picture one piece at a time, like a color by numbers. Tough to shut them off. But I do what I can; have a long, silky, sensuous bath with lots of candles and music, and think my way into being sexy. Enjoy the way my skin feels – the softness of my inner thigh, the pebbly hardness of my nipples. Enjoy the way my eyes haze when I’m feeling particularly aroused. Enjoy the small, soft feel of my hands, their incredibly sensitive fingertips running over my body. And remind myself that sexual exploration and expression are not something I just want; they’re something I need. A little bit every day.
In time, I hope to shut the voices off completely. What about you?