Sex Positive

In connection with something somebody said, I was searching the internet for a simple, accessible, focused definition of  sex positive  which I could link to directly.  

I found many examples of the term in use, many complex, relatively unfocused definitions of it  (most of which were duplicates of each other),  and a few sort of suitable definitions which had no link of their own because they were one amongst many on a single page.

So for my own ease of reference, I made one.   (as I do)

  • sex po•si•tive  [sex-positive]  | ˌsɛks ˈpɑ.zɨ.tɪv |
  • adjective

    Attitudes, language and behaviour which are demonstrably inclusive, equitable and impartial in specific reference to eroticism, sexuality, erotic practices and the individuals associated with them.

    In contrast to such terms as intolerance, exclusion and discrimination, this term covers attitudes, language and behaviour generally considered to be socially beneficial.
    Antonyms  –  prudish, prurient, shaming

    Although  sex negative  is technically an antonym, it does contain some limiting emotive nuances which can be excluding.   Because  sex positivity  by definition requires inclusive and impartial attitudes, language and behaviour, most  sex positive  advocates are likely to prefer more inclusive, impartial and specific antonyms.

    The following ideas are generally regarded as examples of sex positivity.[1]

    General assumptions:

    • All human beings can be sexual.
    • Sexuality can be a beneficial part of the human experience.
    • Sexuality can include much more than sexual behaviour.
    • Sexuality can be a valid part of human life from birth to death.
    • Diverse modes of sexual expression can all be healthy and beneficial.

    Human sexual behavior can be motivated by a variety of valid reasons, including:

    • to express affection, caring and love
    • to experience intimacy and connection with another
    • to share pleasure
    • to bring new life into the world
    • to experience fun and relaxation

  • Unconsensual sexual violence, exploitation, alienation, dishonesty, abuse of power, and the treatment of persons as objects are all behaviours which are harmful to emotional and physical health.
  • Every person has the right to personal sovereignty and self-worth, and to the validity of their own attitudes and beliefs about sexuality.
  • Accurate and impartial information about human sexuality is always valuable and beneficial.
  • Every individual is entitled to accessible diverse, accurate and impartial information about sexuality, and to appropriate and relevant answers to questions about sexuality.
  • Penis-in-vagina sexual intercourse is only one of many valid forms of human sexual expression.
    Etymology [2]

    “The term sex positive has been in use in academic and research writing since at least the mid-1950s (and probably much earlier) [when] sex positive was most often used as a synonym for erotophilia.   […] the definition of sex positive continues to develop, and no one has made much of an effort to argue for a unified vision of sex positivity.

    The term sex positive began to be used with greater frequency during […] the 80s and 90s.   […] Sex positive was used interchangeably with the term “pro-sex” and it began to include the idea that that sexual expression could be transgressive, that people can attain sexual freedom through the performance of sexual acts and sexual ways of being.

    Dr Carol Queen [is] an author and activist who has long been associated with the term sex positive, and whose 1997 collection Real Live Nude Girl was the first mainstream book to use the term sex positive in its title.”
    Etymology from
    Copyright © 2009
    All rights reserved.


    [1] The examples of ideas representing sex positivity were based on Seinneann‘s contribution to this FetLife thread.   When I asked Seinneann for permission to reproduce them here  (which she granted), she referenced this website as her source, which in turn credited SIECUS  (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States)  and the policies itemised in their Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education fact sheet.  

    [2] I welcome any specific source material which verifies, confirms, and/or expands on the etymology quoted here.   If you have access to such information, please do send it along to  LubyankaBlog  at  gmail  dot  com.   Thank you.

    About Lady Lubyanka

    I am a 45 year old musician, and also a multisexual, polyamourous, Jewish, socially dominant woman within my romantic BDSM relationships.
    This entry was posted in definition, Human Beingness 101, inclusion, Psychology, Respect. Bookmark the permalink.

    2 Responses to Sex Positive

    1. Curvaceous Dee says:

      Having finally made it over to read this post, I think it’s absolutely awesome. Very thoughtful, and I appreciate the work that’s gone into it.

      xx Dee

      • Oh, wow, thank you! Your comment is especially meaningful to me in the context of recent discussions. I super extra appreciate that you came by to have a look for yourself, and that you took the time to comment so very favourably.

        You’ve given me a great big juicy smile, yummy! :)

        And just because I’m still grateful to you even after writing all this, I thank you again. :)

    Spill yo oh-PIN-yunz after the tone ...

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