Disclaimer: I am not a professional! If you want to find a professional sex educator please look at my "Resources" page. If you have any questions, feel free to ask on my ask site: FYsexeducationquestions, though check out my FAQ first!
So, I was scrolling down the prostitution tag, and apparently this needs to be clarified again:
Sex workers don’t sell their bodies.
Sex workers. Do not. Sell. Their bodies.
Sex workers sell services, in an equivalent manner to a massage therapist. We are like ANYONE ELSE WHO DOES ANY JOB EVER—we are paid for our time, energy, and expertise. One of the most appropriate euphemisms for “sex worker” is “service provider.” When a guy pays me to fuck him, that does not mean he has any claim on my body. It’s still mine.
It’s also important to note that the johns understand this. They know that they’re not buying the sex worker’s body; they understand the difference between slavery and the exchange of money for the services of a professional. (Since the difference between the two is vast, one would expect it to be easily understood, but unfortunately that is not the case.)
One of the related arguments I’ve heard against sex work, especially prostitution, is the accusation that it gives men the impression that women are always available for them sexually, and are simply there for the taking. This would be true if sex workers’ services were free, but they’re NOT. This assertion is ridiculous; it’s equivalent to stating that people assume that massage therapists are always available to provide physical relief, and that any massage therapist can be stopped on the street and forced to perform.
One of the best ways to illustrate the stigma of sex work is to compare being an escort to being a massage therapist. Both are body-workers who provide a sensual, enjoyable, physical experience that is intended to relax. And yet, which one of these professions is not legal? Which one prompts assumptions and accusations and hostility? Oh yeah, the one that involves the sexual organs; the one that involves sexual pleasure and sexual release.
We (English-speaking Tumblr) live in a society shaped by layers and layers of sex negativity instilled in us as part of the legacy of Judeo-Christian supremacy. Being against sex work as a whole carries that attitude.
One more argument to refute: I’ve often heard the “well 90+% of sex workers are trafficked/exploited/raped” spiel. This is TRUE. The percentage may not be exactly right, but the idea behind that statement is factual. I agree that work needs to be done to change the industry, much in the way work has been and is being done to help agricultural workers gain rights and be more fairly compensated. It’s a parallel problem, and yet no one suggests that agricultural production should be shut down because most of its workers are exploited.
I say, fuck sex negativity.
Making it bigger with links enabled.
How the heck is virginity a social construct? I’m confused, but thanks for the suggestionsAnonymous
Well, think about it this way: what do people perceive as making you not a virgin?
Is it breaking a hymen? Well, that doesn’t work, because hymens as we think of them don’t exist.
Is it being penetrated? With what? Are tampons the same thing as having sex? Isn’t virginity supposed to be about sexual experience? What about masturbation? Am I no longer a virgin if I penetrate myself? If my partner uses their hands? What if my partner doesn’t have a penis? Am I forever a virgin if I only have sex with women? So that doesn’t work because it’s so impossible to pin down.
Is it penetrating something else (for people who don’t have vaginas)? What? Is it just a vagina? What if I’m a gay cis guy who doesn’t like having anal sex and only ever gives and receives blowjobs and handjobs? Does that make me a virgin? So that doesn’t work, either.
Is it having sex? What counts as sex? Some people count blowjobs as sex and some people only count PiV sex as sex. And a whole lot of things can give you an orgasm. So that doesn’t work because there’s no one sex act for everybody that defines virginity.
So not only are those ideas about virginity complete and utter bullshit, let’s look at the societal expectations around it:
Virgins are innocent and don’t know about sex. BULLSHIT. People who are virgins can know just as much about sex as a person who’s had it.
Guys have to lose their virginities as soon as possible; girls need to hold on for it for as long as possible. BULLSHIT. Not only is that a huge double standard on its face, not only does it ignore QUILTBAG and nonbinary people, but why is it shameful for guys to not have sex and shameful for girls to have sex? That’s severely fucked up.
Losing your virginity makes you lose something. BULLSHIT. Lose what? It doesn’t make you lose any inherent value and it doesn’t change you as a person at all.
And the really big one: virginity is the only thing that matters in your sexual development. BULL. SHIT. Why is there no word for someone who’s not a virgin? Why don’t we place just as much emphasis on losing our virginities as we do communicating with our partners or masturbating for the first time or any other number of things that are just as important in a sexual relationship as the first time having sex?
The fact is that virginity is an outdated construct that placed value on women for their bodies, because in a society where property passes from father to son, it is more important for the women to not bear illegitimate children than it is for the men not to create them. Therefore a virgin could be guaranteed (in theory) to only bear her husband’s children, as opposed to a nonvirgin, who could possibly be pregnant with some other guy’s kid. This is sexist bullshit.
For the record, that’s why I use “sexual debut” instead of “losing virginity” where I can. Because you can decide when your sexual debut is and doesn’t rely on heteronormative ideas of sex, your sexual debut can be anything you want.
Rebloggable: Sex Drive Differences In Relationships
So my bf and I had a really long, intense talk tonight (that involved a lot of crying unfortunately) about our sex life. I told him how I really felt about sex - I only really need or want it once a month or so. Whereas he needs it every week if not more. And he said I wasn’t normal, it wasn’t healthy how I felt. I feel like shit because there are times where I think I finally want to do it but I change my mind, and he gets really upset when I do that. I don’t know what to do and I just want him
(continued) to be happy. I don’t know what’s wrong with me and my sex drive, sometimes I think it’s because I used to be on anti-depressants, but that was only for a few months (long story). He’s a depressive and I feel like I’ve just made things worse. He told me he had to “say goodbye to his sex life”. I’m not abstaining from sex, gah, I just don’t want it all the time! I need advice FYSP! :(
Oh, sweetie. Sweetie, come here.
Here’s a couple of things you need to know right off the bat:
- You had a long talk about your sexual expectations and preferences! Do you know how awesome that is? That’s fantastically awesome.
- Your sex drive is not abnormal or unhealthy, and saying so is being an asshole.
- Having a different sex drive from your partner’s is not wrong.
- Your boyfriend’s depression is not your fault.
On that note, I’m going to be honest here. Your boyfriend is being an asshole.
That is not to say that he is an asshole. I’m sure he’s also a lovely person in some respects, or you wouldn’t be dating him. But in this respect he is being an asshole.
First of all, he’s placing the blame for your libido on you, which is wrong. You can’t control how much you want sex. He’s making it seem like your body is a personal insult to him, and he’s making your sex drive all about him, which is very selfish and self-centered.
Second of all, I don’t know what your relationship’s boundaries are in terms of masturbation/other people in your relationship, but if he has a problem with how often you want to have sex, there’s nothing stopping him from booting up his laptop and spending a couple hours with YouPorn and a box of Kleenex. He doesn’t have to “say goodbye to his sex life,” and the fact that he phrased it that way bothers me. By saying something like that, he’s saying that he values his orgasms more than your comfort in the relationship.
And third of all, him being depressed is not your fault. His depression isn’t something that you can control, and if he ever blames you for it, get out of that relationship STAT, because that’s emotional manipulation and that’s wrong.
I think you all need another talk. You need to make it clear to him that your libido isn’t something that you can control, that your libido is healthy and normal, and that if he has a problem with it, you’re OK with allowing him to [masturbate/see other people/whatever you’re comfortable with as a boundary].
If he still shames and insults you for having a low libido, I want you to really, really think about your relationship with him. Because in a relationship, you have the right to not be shamed and insulted, and staying with someone who tries to pressure you into things you’re not comfortable with isn’t a good idea.
Good luck, sweetie! The ask is open if you need it.
Followers, do you have any more advice for this anon? Leave it in the ask.
Why Sex Positivity Doesn’t Always Mean Engaging in Sex
Last April, I had sex with a man for the first time. It was an amazing experience with a man, who I thought at the time, was amazing. From that moment on, my sex life grew tremendously. That was about a year-and-a-half ago and right now I’ve had about 15 different sex partners. Now, that statement in itself is fine. There is nothing wrong with having one sex partner your entire life or more than 100. I, personally, do not care who sleeps with who, how they sleep together and how often they sleep together as long as they are both of sound mind to consent to the sex.
I’m a very sex positive person. I’m always ranting about how people shouldn’t be afraid to be sexual,whatever that means for them. However, at the forefront of sex positivity, I believe, lies concerns with psychological and physical safety. Throughout my entire sex life, I was not psychologically safe. I had a lot of one-night-stands that, afterwards, put me in very dark places. My self-worth and self-esteem plummeted.
If we look at why I had sex, it wasn’t for good reasons… to me. I was having sex because of my constant need of approval from other people, my low self-esteem and self-worth and my need for high-stimulus interaction which is primarily caused by my ADD. So, as the number of sex partners grew, the number of positive sexual encounters plummeted. I was having meaningless, emotionless sex and I didn’t enjoy it. Again, for some people, this sort of sex is fine. For me, it wasn’t.
About two months ago, I began ADD medication. I instantly felt the affects in various aspects of my life. I’m more organized, my attention span has grown and I don’t desire sex as often as I once had. I’ve actually gone about three weeks without sex. This is the longest “dry spell” I’ve had in over a year. And, I’m perfectly okay with that. I’m a lot more stable, psychologically, and I don’t have a desire for anyone’s approval anymore.
So, for me, having a lot of sex and pasting on the label “sex positive” was just a way to justify the psychological damage that I was willingly and, most of the time, knowingly putting upon myself. But, just because I’m not having sex and I’m going out on dates and really trying to get to know people doesn’t mean I’m not sex positive.
Sex positivity means having the decision to have or not to have consensual, safe sex with anyone of my choosing without fear (or care) of being shamed by anyone who thinks differently.
Being sex positive is subjective.
That last bolded thing… I think I’m going to marry it.
Gonna marry it.
Clarisse Thorn ([postsecret] The Despair of Missing Orgasm)
For everyone who has ever sent me an ask that contained words to the effect of, “My orgasms are arriving too fast/arriving too slow/last too long/aren’t long enough/might not exist/whatever, help me!”
Natella, CSPH Library Intern Summer 2012
[Part of our weekly Sex Positive Saturday series! Visit http://thecsph.tumblr.com for more, or to submit your own definitions.]
I continue to read articles entitled “500 Ways to Please Your Man” (because apparently only straight girls read it), even though I know it will be the same tips from the “_ Ways to _ Your _” piece I read last month.
It’s not even that the advice these articles offer is bad — it’s just that there is a tendency to only talk about a set number of sexual activities. Unless I’m reading an “alternative” magazine, the advice comes from a world in which there are never any gay or lesbian couples and no gender non-conforming folk. “Alternative” sexual behaviors are mentioned, but all too often there is an undertone of OMFGSOOOWEIRD.
I am a sex positivist. That means, as far as I’m concerned, if a sexual activity is consensual and safe, then you and your partner(s) should go for it. We all have our quirks, kinks and preferences when it comes to sex. And some of us want to explore our sexuality and find new quirks"
This was the intro to my first piece in the Aggie. Since I’ve been seeing numerous posts about what sex positivity means to people, I thought I’d throw my two cents into the ring (and mix my metaphors to boot).
For the record, I believe that abstaining from sex for any reason counts under the definition of “sexual preferences.”
Here’s what I think about sex: The journey’s the worthier part
I don’t orgasm. Well, as far as I can tell. Sometimes I think I might, but it’s not that mindblowing experience that I read about in fiction or see in porn.
Does that mean that sex is not enjoyable for me?
I like sex, with the right person or people. But I’ve had partners in the past who have taken it as a personal insult that I haven’t had an orgasm. Despite me telling them throughout and afterwards that I enjoyed the encounter, they felt cheated, or that I wasn’t trying hard enough.
And I don’t get that. Some people have a harder time orgasming than others. Some never orgasm. What matters is that all people involved are enjoying themselves, and getting something out of the encounter. Whether that’s physical pleasure, emotional pleasure, closeness, bonding, or all of the above.
The number of orgasms or length of orgasms shouldn’t matter.
Sex is an activity that two or more people engage in together. And like other mutual activities, say for example, watching a movie, going to a museum, bowling, etc., no two people experience them identically. I could watch a movie with you, and when it was done we could have very different interpretations of the story. I could look at a painting with you, and we might see two very different things, and feel very different emotional responses.
I’ve noticed that fictional representations of sex (fanfiction, erotic novels, pornographic films, etc.) tend to follow established patterns. Foreplay -> oral sex -> penetrative sex of some kind -> orgasm -> afterglow/cuddling/talking/leaving. Sometimes they’ll leave out the penetrative sex and it’ll just be handjobs or frottage, or scissoring, or just oral sex. But they almost always end in both people achieving orgasm. And that’s all well and good, but not all sexual encounters follow that order.
We seem to believe that orgasms are necessary in all sexual scenarios. Just look at some of the euphemisms we have for orgasms: climax, arrival, coming, getting off. They all imply an end, a completion. You start with the foreplay and you end at the orgasm.
Why does sex have to end at the orgasm? Why does there have to be a finite beginning and a finite end to a sexual encounter? Can’t a sexual encounter begin and end whenever we want it to?
From what I understand, orgasms are really nice. But that’s not all sex is about. Take it from somebody who’s never had a “mindblowing orgasm” that sex can be absolutely fantastic and wonderful and mindblowing without the “climax.”
Sex is like travelling. The destination’s all well and good, but how you get there can be the worthier part.
I challenge writers and porn directors to create fictional sexual situations without focusing on the orgasm. Show me the slow build. Show me that the characters are connecting, are getting something emotional and uplifting from the journey.
And if you ever encounter a person unable to achieve orgasm, don’t treat them like they’re broken. Don’t assume that lack of orgasm means they’re not enjoying the encounter. Don’t try to “fix” them. If they tell you they’re having a good time, believe them. Do what they like in bed, and let them do to you what you like. Talk during sex, communicate with your partner and partners.
Don’t save the conversation for the “afterglow.” Communication during sex is AWESOME. It’s okay if it feels a little awkward. Some of the best sex I’ve ever had has felt awkward. We believe the lie of porn that tells us there’s rules for sex, and we need to follow the established patterns or we’re doing it wrong. Most of us, in our lives, learn about sex before we have it from fiction. Books or movies or fanfiction or porn. We see established “rules” and we think we need to follow them.
We don’t. Don’t let the media dictate how you have sex. Have sex as much or as little as you want to. Have as many or as few partners as you want, so long as all are consenting.
Remember, everyone experiences things differently. Talk to your partners, make sure you and them are enjoying yourselves.
I don’t think sex needs a “destination” at all. As long as you enjoy the journey, you should do fine.
Can I get an amen?