I want to start this off by making a statement that I have always believed to be true and that I was raised to believe to be true: sex, in any consensual form, is a healthy and positive thing.
On the upside, our generation seems to be making strides, evolving past the viewpoints that we were raised on, and that were forced on us and coming to the realization that sex is not something to be scared to talk about. It is not dirty. It is not something to be ashamed of (despite what the church or your sex ed. teacher might tell you).
I went to a public high school in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and much like public schools all over the country, we were essentially taught abstinence-only sex education.
I remember they would take a piece of tape and stick it to a number of people in the room and then show that after each time it became less sticky—as if previous sexual encounters makes you less worthy of love from somebody, like you can’t form a bond anymore because you’ve been intimate with other people.
Let’s not even talk about their blatant disregard for same-sex and multiple-partner interactions. Wait, sex can be more than male-to-female penetration? Whoa. Cunnilingus, anyone?
Anyway, all of this seemed like such a load of crap to me, so I went searching for more open views of human sexuality: enter sex positivity.
Sex positivity is simply the idea of finding a person (or people) that share similar sexual interests and consensually doing whatever you want to each other and not feeling judged for it. This could mean everything from whipped cream bras and panties to a sock-puppet orgy.
Additionally, and bear with me here, this includes the idea that if you don’t want to have sex, don’t have sex. Refrain from sex because you want to, not because some repressed old bitch came in and showed you pictures of genital warts in high school and told you that if you open your legs you’ll get an STD and end up pregnant.
There are so many different forms of birth control available in the modern world that aren’t even being discussed in the classroom—male condoms, female condoms, IUDs, hormone shots, NuvaRings, birth control pills, sponges, spermicide, etc.
In the words of Sean McClain, a friend of mine who studies astrophysics at Alleghany College in Pennsylvania, “We have a sexual dysfunction in this country, an inability to talk at its most fundamental level, about sex and about a healthy sexual lifestyle.”
McClain also said, and I thoroughly agree, that the easiest way to fight the repressiveness and inability to talk is to change sex education and start teaching kids about sex, in all its forms, in a positive way. Teach them that it absolutely does not need to be a bad thing when you are with the right person (or people) because, after all, knowledge is power.