(Being sex-positive isn't as kinky as it sounds.)
Admitting you’re a sex-positive parent can feel weird.
The conversation can be flowing along just fine, until you say those words. It’s hard not to feel like you’ve done something wrong.
The term is often misunderstood.
Being sex-positive does not mean always feeling positive about sex, but lots of people assume that it does.
Being sex-positive is all inclusive.
It’s about looking at the whole picture of sexuality; not just sex, disease, and reproduction.
The Journal of Positive Sex lists 8 core elements of sex-positivity:
- “Positive” Refers to Strengths, Wellbeing, and Happiness
- Individual Sexuality is Unique and Multifaceted
- Embraces Multiple Ways of Knowing
- Reflects Professional Ethics
- Promotes Open, Honest Communication
- Positive Sexuality is Humanizing
- Encourages Peacemaking
- Applicable across all Levels of Social Structure
Great explanation, right?
But, hard to explain while being mislabeled as a pervert.
To help keep my balance in moments like these, I like to be prepared with a simple response.
Feel free to use this one for yourself:
Sex-positivity is about aiming for positive experiences.
If the person I’m talking to wants to hear more, I add this:
A natural part of sexuality is feeling good. Teaching about pleasure is honest, encourages healthy sexuality, and keeps kids safe.
Learning to seek out the positive and avoid the negative is the best way to teach sex ed.
Promoting fear and shame doesn’t work.
You want to know more? (Says me responding to the now interested person)
Sex-positive parents teach about abstinence and responsible sexual behaviors. There’s no judgment either way.
We practice having an open mind, an open heart, and model good behavior.
Facing our own fear and shame prevents us from passing it on to our kids.
Sex-positive parents are the coach, not the cop.
We accept that our kids are sexual beings and teach them about responsible sexual behavior. How they express their sexuality is, ultimately, their choice.
Next time you’re having a conversation, and things get weird, know that you’re not alone.
Modern parents are blazing a new trail.
Telling kids the truth about sex and sexuality won’t cause them to become sex-crazed teens anymore than teaching them how to walk makes them suddenly run marathons.
Don’t let the weirdness fool you, you’re doing the right thing.
Now, turn those awkward conversations into normal ones…get Barefaced!