I've been reluctant to take on many labels as an erotic romance author and as someone who has participated in nonmonogamy. But one label I happily subscribe to is sex-positive. Here's why:
I started an Instagram account for my Phoebe Alexander brand this
week. (authorphoebealexander if you want to check it out). The two
main hashtags I use are #bodypositive and #sexpositive. I think the
two are very much related. Body positivism has become pretty
mainstream in the past year or two, but I feel there's still some
work to be done about sex positivism. Here are 7 things you should
know about this movement:
1. Sexy doesn't have a color, race, size, shape, maximum age or gender.
Sexy is truly in the eye of the beholder. We've had the media's
idea of sexy shoved down our throat for far too long. It's a very
narrow subset of the population that meets the criteria, yet sex is
something that most humans enjoy. We all have reasons to feel sexy no
matter what we look like or where we come from.
2. Sex is natural.
We are all here because of sex. Sexual desire is natural and
beneficial from an evolutionary point of view. Yes, the biological
and psychological aspects of it are complex, but on a very basic
level we are sexual animals and shouldn't be ashamed to act
3. Sex is so much more than penis + vagina.
Toss out old-fashioned (dare I say Clintonian?) perceptions of
what sex is. Penetrative penis in vagina sex is but a small subset of
the sexual universe. Terms such as "virginity" and "having
sex" are meaningless in some contexts. We need to think much
more broadly so we can include non hetero-normative sexual activities
in our definitions. Part of the sex positive movement in accepting
that others' practices may differ from ours and that is OK as long as
everyone involved is a consenting adult.
4. Sex positive means no slut shaming and no virgin
Gone are the days of the double standard where men are encouraged
to experience multiple sex partners over their lifetimes but women
are not. Gone are the days where it's acceptable to shame, bully, or
look down on someone who enjoys sex or enjoys it differently than you
do. Gone are the days where it's alright to make fun of someone for
choosing not to have sex.
Having sex does not make a person good or bad. Not having sex does
not make a person good or bad. Whether a person is good or bad has
nothing to do with their consensual sexual choices and everything to
do with how they treat other people.
5. Sex positive means no one is being exploited, coerced,
or forced to do anything they don't want to do.
That one should really speak for itself. Everyone determines their
own boundaries and limits and has the agency to enforce them.
6. Sex ed begins at birth by teaching children to love and
respect their bodies.
Fostering sex-positivism begins very early as we teach children
about the value of their bodies and the pleasure they are capable of
giving and receiving. We send messages to children all the time about
sex, whether we intend to or not. It's imperative to teach them about
healthy outlets and relationships from the start in age appropriate
7. Sex is good for you!
There are so many health benefits to sex that are often
overlooked. This is by no means a definitive list, but here are a
- strengthens your immune system
- lowers blood pressure
- reduces stress
- increases heart rate and burns calories
Read more at
The sex positive movement has to do with reframing the way we
think about sex. Is there anything you would add to this list?