With the growing number of Instagram educators, unabashed bloggers, and raw online platforms, we are witnessing a new era of sexual positivity. Much of that is due to the internet.
This always handy tool, constantly in our hands and on our laps, has created opportunities for a like-minded community based on evolution in education and having a deeper understanding of what it means to be a sexual being.
The internet is expanding access to life-changing information and breaking down barriers around sexuality.
With this new decade, a new era of sexual positivity, understanding and acceptance begins.
Before we look ahead, we need to look back at the sexual revolutions that made this possible.
While cultural movements in the 1920s encouraged growing numbers of women to openly explore their sexuality, those efforts were largely mitigated in favor of the more humble eras that followed.
When people think of sexual revolutions in general, they think of the 1960s. Hippies, free love, widespread access to birth control – all factors that have helped fuel this engine.
The leaders of these movements pushed for abortion reform, educated research on women’s pleasures, access to STI tests and treatments, and broadened our ideas about female sexuality.
Over time we have seen progress and regression. Some areas appear to have moved forward while others stagnated or even moved backwards. * cough * we’re looking at your abortion reform * cough *.
In recent years we have seen a big push to expose the widespread prevalence of sexual violence in the “Me too” movement and how sexual trauma affects sexuality in all genders.
Sexuality, like humans, is complicated, it encompasses so much of who we are and what drives us, which means that sexual positivity will look different to different people. At the same time, there are fundamental principles that can be maintained across cultures and that are based on understanding, evidence-based knowledge, respect, choice and freedom of judgment.
The new twenties
The foundation of this era of sexual positivity is education. It requires that people have access to information about their bodies, their pleasures, their health and their choices, as well as about what societal influences are influencing them.
The outdated models of sex education that suggest abstinence as the most effective form of birth control are shameful and ineffective.
Education doesn’t have to be formal, it can be assumed that most sexual people these days are not from textbooks.
While it is important to look at things through a critical lens, there is a lot of power in anecdotal and peer-based education. Especially given the lack of research on women’s sexual health. As well as the inherent prejudices that often inform about what research is out there.
Learning from a person’s experiences in communities, online forums, and social media gives young people the opportunity to ask questions that they would normally not be able to or even feel safe.
Educational sexual positivity means looking carefully at what it means Destigmatize sexually transmitted infectionsjust understand What is the cervix?, and examine the paths Hormonal birth control can affect your mental health.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, but it speaks of the importance of asking in-depth questions and using the tools we need to find answers.
Intersectionality and inclusivity
Looking at people and society through a cutting lens means examining the many factors that make them what they are.
This means that sexuality is not just a matter of who you like to have sex with, but also takes into account the environment, culture, health, potential trauma, and much more that shape the ever-evolving sexuality.
We don’t live in a bubble and there are so many things that affect our sexual identity and our relationship with intimacy. Recognizing the need for intersectionality creates space for inclusivity.
Sexual positivity nowadays means recognizing and understanding the nuances of gender and sexuality and respecting the different identities and desires of people.
Inclusivity doesn’t mean that you have to share or practice the same views and ideas as someone else, but it does mean that you encourage acceptance as long as they are not harmful.
With health and wellness one of the fastest growing industries, people care more than ever about their wellbeing.
Sex can be a powerful tool in any wellness kit.
To be sexually satisfied, to break down scars and judgments and to know the inner workings of your own body are all components of well-being and health.
With sex positivity, Vibrators are just as important as face masks, masturbation is as powerful as a soothing bath, and sexually transmitted disease testing should be as routine as going to the dentist.
As we delve further into this new era of sexual positivity, we urge you to get to know your body. Examine what sexuality means to youwhat areas would you like to deepen your knowledge, what stories to share, and how to incorporate sex into your wellness routine.
We still have a long way to go, but times are changing and the world is embracing the variations in human sexuality to an ever greater extent.
It is time we shift the narrative from sex as a taboo to sexuality as one of the most fundamental parts of being human. That is sex positivity.
Natasha’s passion for reproductive health began at the age of fourteen when she was present at the birth of her youngest sister. Her incredible experiences as a birthing doula gave her insights into the magical realm of childbirth, pregnancy and everything in between. Your role as an obstetrician is her way of serving as an activist. She uses writing as an important educational tool to bring about changes in our view of reproductive health as a whole.