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  #41  
Old 01-11-2010, 08:10 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Default Sex positive practices and philosophies

It seems there's a bit of interest around this, so some people thought it might be a good idea to start a new thread with a more focused discussion.

Later this week, I'll be getting certified to teach a sexuality education curriculum for 12-18 year olds. One of the reasons I want to do this is to really promote sex positive ideals in our youth. I've also found as a teacher of autistic kids, being sex positive can be very important and can manifest in some unexpected ways.

One odd way I work to keep a sex positive philosophy has to do with the teenaged boys I work with. Most of these boys are severely autistic and do not understand the difference between public and private. So when they get aroused, they will often just take it out and play with it whenever the fancy strikes. And believe me, the fancy strikes them pretty often, being teenaged boys and all!

It's important that the adults who work with them don't say "no" to them when they do this, because we don't want to teach them that these feelings are wrong. They just need to learn that it's not appropriate in public. So we will always deliberately say "not now" rather than "no" (along with some really focused work on "public" and "private". It's amazing how detailed it can get.)

So there's a little odd way I put sex positive philosophies into practice.

There's a lot more out there. So who wants to talk about sex positive practices, recognizing sex positive attitudes and how to promote more sex positive ideals in society?
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  #42  
Old 01-11-2010, 08:23 PM
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*puts his hand in the air*
Me! Me!

Seriously, though - I would like to know more about sex-positive practices and behaviours - I think that society, especially US society, is incredibly prudish when it comes to aspects of sexuality, including such things as mixing nudity with sex, depiction of loving relationships on TV, etc.

Someone on a forum I used to be on had a sig line that said something like "We live in a country where it's ok for tv to show someone being kicked in the balls in prime-time, but it's not ok to show someone being kissed on the balls."

I am a firm believer in allowing the individual to explore their own sexuality, within the realms of consensual and safe, believing that neither gender nor sexuality are discrete phenomena. I would love to hear a discussion of the issues at hand and learn.

I find sexuality beautiful and violence abhorrant and feel that we have reversed those values when it comes to "what is acceptable".

Thank you Ceoli and redpepper for bring up this subject and I look forward to the discussion.
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  #43  
Old 01-11-2010, 11:31 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Ceoli-we use that concept at home.
Little ones (2-4 year olds) often play with themselves. We always tell them, if you want to play with yourself that way it's ok, but it's a bathtub thing, not a livingroom thing to do.
Likewise-playing with a soccer ball is,
it's ok to play with the soccer ball but that's a yard thing to do-not an in the house thing to do.

So the response is the same as if they were playing in ANY way-but addressing appropriate setting.

(in case anyone wonders, the kids sometimes shared bedrooms, that's why we specified the bathtime, we kept that not shared).
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:14 AM
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Yay! A new thread... I find it interesting what you say about your autistic folks Ceoli as we work in similar fields. Well they cross over I guess. We tell our peeps to keep bedroom stuff for the bedroom or keep it for later and for private.

I really find it all very fascinating the sexuality of my clients.. they really are into it in ways that others aren't. I would say more, but perhaps it's too much???? i don't know. I love talking about it... my co-workers say I should of made it my specialty with the population I work with. I love helping them out with it. Quite often they get neglected in terms of sex education. At least here. No one to show them how to use a condom, a vibrator, to masturbate etc. Or how to keep safe with other people sexually, how to say no and to strategize around situations they may be in. I do it all on the fly and have had several people come to me with questions. It is actually the most favorite part of my job. I think that our clients needs in this area are lacking for sure with those more constrained by physical disabilities as they are not able to relieve themselves... this is a huge debate for us in my field and not necessarily for here, but in my world I would be hiring sex trade workers to help out.... and the sex trade would be legal.

As for violence I actually find some circles of sex positive to be rather violent. I am not sure that is the term I would use, but I find the objectification of women to be violent and often there is a blurr between what is empowering to women and what we have been fed by men to believe is empowering but really it is all for them.

I will cut and paste what I wrote on the other thread in case anyone has a comment as I was surprised and disappointed that I got no response. Not that anyone has to, but just in case someone wants to add..
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  #45  
Old 01-12-2010, 12:21 AM
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Default post #26 from the sexpositive/sex negative thread

So to get back to sex...

I don't know which way I would fall if I were to identify. So I choose not to at this point. I understand sex positive to mean that expressing ones sexuality is good for everyone and healthy. I understand sex negative to mean that not all porn stars are lovin' the life, that people are exploited because of the pervasive view that our modern sex culture is geared towards male fantasy.

I think that there has been a lot of sex positive stuff out there that has contributed greatly to sex being acceptable to talk about, teach and to practice more freely. Authors such as Carol Queen come to mind.

Sex positive feminists come to mind also such as Susie Bright. She rocks! There is also the fact that sex positive beliefs have made natural child birth and breastfeeding to transgenderism more tolerable in the mainstream and continue to be more so. There is a debate about what sex positive really is amongst feminists that both authors and others examine.

There is some stuff that worries me also such as the development of "raunch culture" or "slut culture." This is where I tend to identify with sex negative. Some sex negative definitions seem very Victorian and old school in terms of sexual expression but some of the beliefs really jive with me. Sex can empower women for sure, but also disempower them. In "raunch culture," women are more objectified and oppressed because the sexuality of women is geared more toward male fantasy than around what female sexual energy and power is... in this way women are not more liberated, rather they are more free to shake their booty for men to see and take advantage of. That to me isn't liberation and we preach this attitude to young girls in advertising, magazines EVERYWHERE in the media and sometimes in their own home and friend environments. Hugh Hefner would not agree with me or sex negative feminists on this one!

It was the definition or "raunch culture" and sex negative attitudes in this way that made me decide not to swing anymore. It went against my kind of feminism. I felt used and ashamed of myself for allowing myself to believe that I had been empowered. I realize that I was in a situation whereby I was not empowered as a woman and that is not every swinging situation... just to clarify, but it had been my experience. It has also been my reading of "raunch culture" that has made me feel a need to be more dominant in my BDSM life. I think I have a need to bring back to myself what I have lost... also to choose a more polyfi relationship with my men and to accept the bounds of that in terms of allowing good men to remind me to remember that my body is sacred and a gift. Not that they own it, but that I should choose carefully who I show it to and share it with. It is precious and should not be shared with everyone, but of whom I choose and for ME as much as them...

I try to remember all this when deciding which events to go to, what situations to be in, who I spend my intimate time with and how I behave in sexually charged social situations and with my loves. I have a very high standard of relationship now, not because I am sex negative or sex positive identified, but because a culmination of the two means they cancel each other out somehow for me. The definitions of them mix together for me. I have taken what I need from each understanding of both.
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  #46  
Old 01-12-2010, 05:28 PM
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So clearly, my thoughts need to go in this thread. I asked about how your partners' relationships affect you and the more I type over there, the more I realize that a lot of what's bugging me is related to sex and a residual fear of it.

A part of me - the University academic, social justice part of me - wants to wave a flag and celebrate sex positivity.

The other part of me digs my heels into the ground and thinks fearfully that sex should always be done safely and lovingly.

I know that this has gotten me into trouble. Especially because I feel so awful after having casual sex, I end up either avoiding sleeping with people or I end up "falling in love" with people I don't actually want to be in relationship with.

Casual sex feels like an assault to my body. I know this sounds extreme. I look in wonder at people who enjoy sex and don't get all hung up about it and I would love to be like them.

So, I will explore all the juicy pieces of education about sex positivity and hope that maybe I can embody some of them.
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  #47  
Old 01-12-2010, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolypoly View Post

Casual sex feels like an assault to my body. I know this sounds extreme. I look in wonder at people who enjoy sex and don't get all hung up about it and I would love to be like them.
I tried casual sex and found it lifeless and without meaning or purpose. I also used to look at others who could engage in friendly or random sex and actually got mad at myself for not being able to enjoy it the way they did. I thought I had a problem in not being able to consider it a simple physical activity to be shared and enjoyed with who ever.

Then I realized there was nothing wrong with how it felt for me just like there was nothing wrong for how it felt for them. I don't have "hang ups" or insecurities. I am not abnormal or prudish...I am just me and my approach to sex is just as valid and healthy as everyone else's. It's just different and so I let that go.

How does that affect me in certain situations? A little discomfort in seeing others engage in open sexual activities...it's not my thing for the most part although I have no problem with public nudity at BDSM events and am challenging myself to increase that as it seems to be the environment I have found myself.

It does affect who I would have a relationship with for sure. What my partner does, does have an affect on me. Nothing wrong with that.

Do I judge a little?....sure, I admit that. But I keep it to myself and recognize that judging healthy behaviour is more a product of social conditioning than anything fundamental to my beliefs.

I used to have a much more casual approach to the idea of sex when I was in my marriage and would have heated debates with my ex about how I saw no problem with our daughter experiencing sexuality with who ever and how many others she chose as long as she was in control and healthy.
My opinion changed after my separation and a long journey of self discovery and counselling. My relationship with Redpepper has also changed my relationship with sex and what it means to me personally.
I have become more guarded of my own sexuality for sure. I don't share myself easily.

Am I sex positive?

I accept any healthy practice of sexuality regardless of how different it is from my own. I don't feel the need to understand it or even look at it if I don't want to. I reserve the right to ignore things and people as well as long as my ignorance doesn't impede the rights of others. I accept that others will probably judge me, ignore my own behaviors and in fact ignore me if they chose.

Am I sex positive?

You be the judge...I seriously don't care.
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  #48  
Old 01-12-2010, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolypoly View Post
A part of me - the University academic, social justice part of me - wants to wave a flag and celebrate sex positivity.

The other part of me digs my heels into the ground and thinks fearfully that sex should always be done safely and lovingly.
I think it's important to note that most sex positive practices and philosophies don't see these things as opposed to each other. I think the key is in what constitutes safe and loving in this context. Many people have different ideas about what that means. So I guess this has me wondering: In the context of sex, what does safe and loving mean to you?
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  #49  
Old 01-12-2010, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
There is some stuff that worries me also such as the development of "raunch culture" or "slut culture." This is where I tend to identify with sex negative. Some sex negative definitions seem very Victorian and old school in terms of sexual expression but some of the beliefs really jive with me. Sex can empower women for sure, but also disempower them. In "raunch culture," women are more objectified and oppressed because the sexuality of women is geared more toward male fantasy than around what female sexual energy and power is... in this way women are not more liberated, rather they are more free to shake their booty for men to see and take advantage of. That to me isn't liberation and we preach this attitude to young girls in advertising, magazines EVERYWHERE in the media and sometimes in their own home and friend environments. Hugh Hefner would not agree with me or sex negative feminists on this one!

I don't think many people would say that having issues with raunch culture or slut culture is necessarily sex negative. Sex positivity isn't about saying it's great the everyone can have sex willy-nilly. It's about understanding that sexuality and expressing that sexuality is healthy and that there are a variety of ways to express that sexuality. I've noticed that more and more young women feel that in order to have value, they need to accept being sexually objectified in this culture. Attaching their self-worth to their sexual attractiveness isn't terribly sex positive.

I think swinging runs the gambit on that spectrum. I've seen swing communities and parties that are about embracing sexuality within an open, friendly and accepting atmosphere. These people gather on a set of shared values that bond them together. I've really enjoyed my time in such settings.

I've also been to parties where the atmosphere was misogynistic and pretty unhealthy. One of them was a gathering of the self-professed "sexual elite". As if sexuality was something only reserved for people of a certain size and level of attractiveness according to the magazines. I also found the sex there to be pretty boring and unexciting. And I found a lot of it was about putting on a show...particularly for the women. There are lots of arguments that could be made for saying such a party contains lots of sex-negative elements.

Either way, the practice of swinging isn't sex positive or sex negative in and of itself, it's more about how it's applied in each situation.

The same can be said for any sexual practice, whether it be casual sex, sex within a long term committed relationship, BDSM, pornography, erotica, and the numerous other ways we sexually express ourselves.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
Either way, the practice of swinging isn't sex positive or sex negative in and of itself, it's more about how it's applied in each situation.

The same can be said for any sexual practice, whether it be casual sex, sex within a long term committed relationship, BDSM, pornography, erotica, and the numerous other ways we sexually express ourselves.
I love this. Very powerful statement that I can totally get behind. It's not the activity itself, per se, that is the problem, but how it is practiced.

Would you agree, Ceoli and others, that although the above holds, certain types of sexual relating are more prone to sex-negativity than others, or do you feel that it is equally prevalent across the board of all types of sexual activity?
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