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7 Sex Positive Terms To Know, Because Knowledge Is Hot

Because the sex positive movement encompasses so many identities and communities, it uses a wide range of terminology that may get confusing. What does it mean to have erotophobia? And who are these aces, anyway? There are many sex positive terms to know to better understand this community.  

First definition: sex positive. Sometimes the sex positive movement is mis-characterized as a bunch of people who think you should be having all of the sex all of the time. Fortunately, it’s actually a lot more realistic and inclusive than that. Broadly speaking, and according to the Women and Gender Advocacy Center, the sex positive movement is intended to remove the shame from any consensual sexual choices. It recognizes that people are diverse and complicated creatures, and that there is a wide range of healthy sexual expression. Furthermore, it isn’t prescriptive: different identities are accepted and celebrated. Basically, there is room for everyone in this movement, whether you’re trans or poly or vanilla. The absence of judgement is the whole point.

By reviewing sex positive terms you can get a better sense of what the sex positive community is all about, who is included, and even how to get more information about sex ed, because you’re never too old to learn more.

1. Ace

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As AVEN notes, asexual people, also known as aces, may not be interested in sex personally, but they can still be very sex-positive in general. You can still be a sex-positive person even if you'd rather eat cake than have intercourse.

2. Consent

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As the Colorado State University Women and Gender Advocacy Center explains, explicit consent is the cornerstone of sex positivity. Getting an informed and upfront "Yes!" is what it's all about.

3. Diversity

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Adopting a sex positive mindset also means accepting the range of diversity and not shaming anyone for having too much or too little sex, as Refinery 29 explains. Homosexual, heterosexual, pansexual — and so forth and so on — it's all good.

4. Erotophobia

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Feeling squeamish? Erotophobia is a term that refers to a high discomfort with sexuality, as The Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health notes. It isn't a judgement call, but it's important to know that people who are  erotophobic may be more reluctant to communicate openly about their sexual desires, or even seek medical care for sexually related problems.

5. Gender Transgression

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Again, acceptance is a huge part of the sex-positive movement, and this includes people who are transsexual or transgender. Being trans-positive is an integral part of being sex positive for many people.  

6. Poly Positive

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This acceptance also means, more broadly, that you respect the consensual sexual choices of others — without holding one choice above all others. If your relationship of choice includes more than two people, then that's cool as well.

7. Sex Education

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Most sex positive folk advocate comprehensive sex education as a way to combat the general culture of shame and negativity that often surrounds sexuality. This goes beyond the "you will get pregnant and die" rhetoric of some abstinence-only programs and provides necessary information for anyone who needs it.