I'm going to go highbrow on all y'all and start an article about sex by first discussing Milton's Paradise Lost. Sorry. I mean, I know I basically tricked you into thinking this was going to be a light-hearted raunchy good time and now I'm whipping out 16th century epic poetry, but trust me, it's related. (And it still will be a light-hearted raunchy good time. Also there's a surprising amount of sex in Paradise Lost. Literature is filthy, guys.) At one point in the story, Adam asks the angel Raphael if angels have sex, to which Raphael replies, "Yeah, only we don't do it with bodies like you do, so it's way better." I always thought the idea of performing an entirely physical act without physicality of any kind was amusing. It sounds intense. But, alas, until the day we somehow transcend our corporeal forms to partake of amorphous angelic orgies, sex will inevitably be closely linked to our bodies. And so, for those of us who identify as sex positive, that means we also have to be body positive, too.
As I've mentioned before, there's a huge overlap between body positivity, feminism, and sex positivity (which is awesome since feminism could use more intersectionality). The result? Sex positive women pay close attention to their bodies in public, private, and semi-private settings (like how they feel, how they are being treated, etc.) and they learn a thing or two, like these following nine things:
They Know And Honor Their Boundaries
Sex is not an obligation. Sex isn't used to prove one's love or just how chill they are. Sex is for fun (and, sometimes, for baby making, if you so chose) and if everyone isn't having fun then what's the damn point? Sex positive women don't limit themselves in terms of what they think will be fun, and they definitely don't push themselves beyond where they're comfortable with in order to please someone else.
They Know Their Bodies Are Worthy Of Respect
They are aware of the inherent dignity that comes with being a human, and they know that this dignity extends beyond their existential humanity and applies to their physical selves as well. No matter what that body looks like and no matter what situation that body finds itself in, sexual or otherwise.
They Know The Importance Of Practicing Self Love (Or At Least Making A Solid Effort)
Because amid all the noise of beauty standards, racism, ageism, body shaming, slut shaming, ableism, and the rest of that nonsense, it's hard to remember that all bodies deserve respect. Embracing your own body can sometimes take concerted effort, but it's an effort worth making.
They Know The Importance Of Practicing "Self Love"
Yeah, that's a masturbation joke because there ain't no shame in the manual stimulation game. Also, a lot of women masturbate to get in touch with their bodies and sexuality. There's seriously no downside to this much-needed, much-deserved personal time.
They Know What They Like And Are Unafraid To Ask For It With A Trusted Partner
There are a lot of regressive, old-fashioned, ridiculous, and harmful ideas about what "good girls" do (and, honestly, don't do) between the sheets, and sex positive women are buying precisely none of it. Instead, they do whatever makes them happy within the bounds of safety and health and consent.
They Know (Kind Of) When Their Period Is Coming
Whether they're on the Pill (and, in turn, have a built-in, color-coded system to remember when "Aunt Flo" is coming to visit) or they just sort of track that thing with an amazing period app, sex positive ladies are likely to be in tune with their cycles, and unapologetic about them.
They Know Not All Sex Toys Are Created Equal
Because sex toys are classified as "novelties" (which is funny in and of itself, as these things have been around tens of thousands of years so I don't see how there's anything particularly "novel" about them), even those designed primarily for internal use do not have to undergo testing by the Food and Drug Administration, which means that your dildo can be filled with dangerous chemicals. It sounds like an over-the-top claim, but abrasive or even carcinogenic chemicals have been found in sex toys, including phthalates, a type of chemical used to soften plastic, which are banned for use in children's toys because they disrupt hormone levels (among other things). Look, if it's off the market because a kid might get sick chewing on it, you're definitely not going to want to routinely stick it in your orifice of choice. Moral of the story: be sex positive and choose your vibrator wisely.
(Okay, full disclosure: I'm actually sure there are a lot of sex positive women out there who don't know this, but once I learned about it, I made it my mission to make sure everyone knows about it. Only happy things should go inside of our bodies!)
They Know Sexy Comes In Wondrous Variety
Duh, right? Sexy isn't a term you struggle to fit yourself into. Every woman finds out what sexy means for her and then she goes ahead and rocks it.
They Know Sexy Has No Expiration Date
It's not like your body has a little "best used by" date printed anywhere on it. (I'm pretty familiar with my body: if it were on there I'd have found it by now.) It's refreshing to see the body positive movement focusing on the fact that bodies of any shape and size can be sexy. Actually, it's pretty freaking amazing. But one area I would love to see more improvement on this is letting women know that Amy Schumer's "Last F**kable Day" sketch is not, in fact, a documentary.
Nobody's vagina turns into a hermit crab. Sex on, sisters.