What does sex positive kink really look like? In mainstream media ideas around sexuality tend to be polarised into what’s acceptable and what’s weird, but we all know our kinky inclinations are more complex than that. The sex-positive 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.

Sex positive kink community


S&M is a sex positive kink as well as BDSM positive subculture. Which 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? Especially when they’re turned on by stuff we think is odd. 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.

Listen to the people around you


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 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. 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.

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Be realistic about sex


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 afterward, you’re doing it right.

Respect difference


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 are seriously into mutual respect.

Sex positive kink means saying no is fine


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.

Accept that intimacy is a work in progress


Finding out what turns you on and makes you feel connected is the most direct route to a sex-positive 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. 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.

Let us know: What Does Sex Positive Kink Look Like To You?


Image by Noise and Color PDX and Billy Bootz via Flickr with CC BY 2.0 license

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