The sex-positive kink movement means different things to different people, but at its heart is the idea that as long as it’s healthy and everyone’s willing, then all sex is a positive force. Sex-positive is often interpreted as having more sex, but that’s a misconception - it’s about enthusiastically agreeing to the kind of sex you want and accepting that same philosophy when it comes to other people.
S&M is a sex-positive kink as well as a BDSM-positive subculture. It tries to challenge oppressive ideas about lust by encouraging open, honest, consensual practices. Lots of us in the fetish community identify as sex-positive, but how does this translate into the way we treat our partners and other kinky people? No one has to conform to other people’s idea of ‘normal’ sexuality, and it can take a while to accept fetishes, in ourselves or others, but it’s empowering to understand them.
Being part of a social movement is a responsibility. The way we treat each other will dictate whether we are taken seriously outside of our sex-positive kink bubble. Listening to people who have a different take on things is essential. Slut-shaming degrades women and makes an active sex life seem like a bad thing.
Moreover, name-calling and revenge porn sites are yet another way of oppressing personal freedoms and controlling pleasurable behaviour. As a result, some women have chosen to reclaim the word ‘slut’ to signpost a more sexually liberated attitude. For others, it’s a step too far and acknowledging both sides of debates like that is essential.
Cultural notions of attractiveness for both men and women are often informed by porn, where flawless, well-lit bodies perform acts that make sex seem massively glamorous. It can be a fun way to waste a few hours but don’t compare it to pleasure-seeking in real life.
At home, we might enjoy the same satisfying position that we know makes us come. In scripted sex, the position changes every few minutes – that’s to keep viewers interested. Watching porn can lead to feelings of inadequacy about what we do in bed or what we look like, and that way madness lies. Exploration heightens the senses, but if you and your partner are enjoying sex together and you’re both happy afterwards, you’re doing it right.
In clubs, online dating pages, chat sites, and at munches, the BDSM community strives to be inclusive of every type of fetish. There’s a healthy disregard for the conventions of sexuality and that tolerance is extremely cool. We don’t police each other’s bodies or fetishes because we’re comfortable amongst difference. That’s not to say going to play parties or BDSM nights means anything goes - for either gender. Negotiation is a massive part of the sadomasochistic lifestyle. We don’t take anyone for granted, and the sex-positive kink community is seriously into mutual respect.
Sex drives vary from person to person, and that’s why bondage clubs allow bystanders to be part of the night. Watching people have kinky sex can be arousing and beautiful, but not everyone wants to join in with the physical side. They may be nervous. And still coming to terms with their sexuality or simply un-aroused and prefer to be alone.
Interaction between watchers and players happens often. When we talk about owning our desires, it’s important to remember that an absence of desire is ok too.
Finding out what turns you on and makes you feel connected is the most direct route to a sex-positive kink life, but it can take a while. Even in the rarefied surroundings of the bondage community, sex can be draining, intense or unsatisfactory from time to time.
Opening up to a partner about deep or maybe long hidden fantasies can increase feelings of vulnerability. But once you’ve started pushing on that door it becomes easier. A sex-positive partner will accept, respect and affirm your passions, but ultimately it’s only you who can decide what rocks your world.
What does sex-positive kink mean to you? Let us know in the Fetish.com forum.
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