It's been documented ad nauseam, but you can't deny that millennials are changing what it means to be a parent. Whether it's openly identifying as a feminist (regardless of gender) and using feminism to combat aging and unnecessary gender roles, or it's using social media to openly and honestly communicate with fellow parents, millennials have successfully redefined parenthood for better or for worse.
One of the ways they've made parenthood undeniably better? Millennials are raising arguably the most sex positive generation ever. The "sex talk" isn't considered a taboo, scary and dodge-worthy conversation with kids because millennial parents are more than happy to talk about sex, consent, and the responsibilities that come with safe sex. We're well aware that the only way to combat sexual violence, the spread of sexually transmitted infections and diseases, and ensure that the next generation grows up in a body-positive, inclusive environment, is to treat sex the way it should be treated: like a normal, natural and wonderful part of being a human being. Sex is how we enjoy our lives, and connect with those around us. Sex is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed of, and no one knows this (or is willing to teach this to others) like millennials.
So, with that in mind, here are 10 reasons why millennials are raising the most sex positive generation ever. So, you know, we can stop with all that "millennials are lazy and awful and just the worst" talk now, right?
We're Not Ashamed Of Sex
Unlike previous generations predominantly ruled by religions that emphatically taught that sex before marriage was (and still is) a sin, millennials don't feel ashamed of their sex lives, sexual feelings or sexual orientations. We see safe, consensual sex as a normal, healthy, natural and absolutely fantastic part of life, so we make no apologies for our urges, or how we choose to safely and consensually act on them. Sex doesn't make us "less than" or somehow diminishes our worth, nor is it something to apologize for (to any god or, most importantly, any person).
We're Body Positive
Body positivity and sex positivity go hand-in-hand. When you view sex as a healthy expression of the body, believing your body to be glorious at any size and beautiful regardless of unrealistic social expectations or perceptions of beauty makes the sex you're having, well, just better. It also makes the sex you're having "positive". When you love your body and believe that every body matters, the sex anyone is having (when safe and consensual, of course) is seen as positive and normal. The sex transgender bodies are having, gay bodies are having, short bodies, tall bodies, thin bodies and fat bodies; it's all great sex, because those are all great bodies.
We're Constantly Communicating
Millennials are constantly communicating via social media, email, texting, apps, you name it. We're not afraid to voice our opinion, share parts of our lives, and be open about the topics that were swept under the rug by previous generations. Not only are millennials changing the workplace because we're comfortable with constant communication, we're also changing how sex is viewed and, thankfully, how sex is talked about. We're not shy; we're not going to pretend we don't have sex; we're not going to gloss over important discussions that will ensure sex is consensual and safe; we're going to communicate with partners, healthcare professionals, and our children when it comes to sex and, well, anything else.
We're Actively Fighting Social Stigmas
Sex is usually considered taboo when it is being had, and enjoyed, by women. While our society is extremely successful at sexualizing women's bodies for a plethora of reasons, it's also extremely successful at shaming women who own and express their own sexuality, on their own terms. It's the ultimate conundrum of hypocrisy that the millennial generation is working tirelessly to combat. With slut walks and anti slut-shaming movements and continued education, millennials are fighting against (and at times, successfully breaking) social stigmas and gender stereotypes that have kept people from being sex positive.
We're More Inclusive Than Any Other Generation
Millennials are arguably the most inclusive generation ever, and are constantly cognitive of diversity and the undeniable importance of facilitating it. This inclusion has changed what society considers "normal", and that updated definition has bled into sex positivity. There is no such thing as "normal" sex, whether it has to do with a position, the number of partners any one person has at any given time, or the gender any one person is and decides to have sex with. As long as sex is consensual and safe, it's "normal".
We're Advocating For Informative Sex Education
Even though abstinence-only sex education comprises an unsettling 24 percent of sex education in public schools in all of the United States, that statistic is changing. Most recently, President Obama has cut funding to abstinence-only programs, essentially pushing public schools to do the right thing and provide facts-based, sex-positive sex education for adolescents. We're waiting longer to get married, but not denying ourselves the ability to have sex with one or multiple partners, because we're educated on safe-sex practices, instead of abstinence-only, fear-based tactics.
We're Changing What It Means To Be "Traditional"
"Traditional" has long-since meant white, heterosexual and married. Now, traditional means whatever you want it or choose it to mean. For many parents, traditional means a same sex couple who adopted; for others, it means having a baby before getting married (or never getting married at all). Traditional can mean transgendered and it can mean a blended family and it can mean absolutely anything you make it to mean.
We Believe, And Fight For, Reproductive Rights
Being sex-positive means that sex is viewed as more than the simple act of procreating. Sex isn't just for married couples who want to have children, but for anyone who wants to have it safely with, well, whoever agrees to have it with them. Because sex isn't just about turning women into incubators, millennials believe in and fervently fight for reproductive rights. In fact, 71 percent of millennials believe birth control is a moral right, and six out of every ten millennials believe abortion should be available in all or most cases. We're teaching our daughters that they have the right to choose for themselves, have complete control over their own bodies, and should be the only ones who decide when they become mothers.
We're Emphatic About Consent
Sex positivity is rooted in the idea that the only way you can have sex, is if it's consensual. Sex that isn't agreed upon by both or all partners, isn't sex at all; it's rape. And with astounding and heartbreaking statistics (like 1 out of every 6 women in the United States will be a victim of a rape or attempted rape) millennials are doing more to stop the spread of sexual violence, and educate people (including and especially their children) about consent. Whether it's Amber Rose's slut walk, movements like The Unslut Project, documentaries like The Hunting Ground or unforgettable moments like Lady Gaga's performance at the Oscars; the need to end rape culture and promote sex-positive, consensual sex has never been more obvious or more passionately and unapologetically fought for.
We Don't Judge
The millennial generation has been dubbed the most nonjudgmental generation ever. Simply put, we don't shame people for being their authentic selves, and we most certainly do not teach our children that they should adhere to a certain standard in order to "fit in". We don't attach morality to sexual activity, and we don't push a specific set of "rules" on others. That means that regardless of who our children end up having sex with, how they end up having sex, or how often they have sex, will not be a point of contention. Instead, it will be celebrated as a normal part of life as long as it's safe and consensual.