Many people seem to think there is no wrong way to talk about sex with others. Those people usually feel because it is their sexuality, they should be able to simply talk about it in whichever way they like. In a way they are correct, it is their sexuality and they are welcome to relate to it in whichever way it pleases them; however the moment you involve someone else to partake, it is no longer a one way street. A great example of this, is sexual harassment; if you have ever been harassed then you can relate to what I am stating here, if you haven’t then you may or may not agree with what am writing.
The topic of sexuality has always been one of controversy. It is one of those subjects which remains considered taboo by some, while others embrace its power and enjoy a healthy attitude towards sexuality. However when referring to sexuality, it is important to consider approaching the subject with delicacy. One can talk about the subject either way; sex positive or sex negative, that is your right; just keep in mind words are powerful. Let’s start by defining and expanding on these terms.
Sex Negative.- When people have an attitude towards some sex acts as negative, shameful, wrong. Sex negative shames people’s sexuality; it’s the idea what one is doing is okay, however what others may do is dirty and wrong. People who fit in this category see others as disgusting and without morals; they also confuse sexually uninhibited people with people who like promiscuity and are less mature with how they handle their sexuality.
Sex Positive.- It’s the idea all sex acts are beautiful as long as it is what’s truly desire by those involved in it; between consenting adults, where no one is being raped or violated in any way. No one is made to feel ashamed or less than than another person.
We forget people are different and there will be those whose sexual games may be more risky or taboo than others. I am not referring to sexual depravation; which really is when one gets involved in sexual acts which leave you feeling less than a person, ashamed and feeds your wounds rather than heal them. Sex positive leaves you feeling elated, full, content, without any shame.
The best attitude to have is to remember not to judge other’s consenting sexual behavior. Don’t go making negative remarks and labeling people. If you make someone feel ashamed of their desires and likes, it is likely that person won’t open up to you and you will miss the opportunity to see their inner sanctum.
In reality many partners go around feeling unfulfilled because they fear if they open up to others they will be ridiculed for their sexual likes/dislikes, fantasies, etc. We forget the beautiful bond, born out of being able to be uninhibited with someone; to let someone in.
When talking with others about their sexual likes, dislikes and challenges, it is important to maintain a welcoming atmosphere. If what you are hearing is too much, simply state it in a polite calm manner, without any tone, any looks, any judgement.
To become “Sex Negative” will only get people not to open up to you; also keep in mind, someone else may not share your ideas of what healthy sexual practices are. Would you like it if someone made you feel stupid or ashamed of your sexuality?
It is so common to see people who have experience “sex negative” attitude from others do the same to just about anyone else. All this attitude will get you is to be limited when partaking in healthy uninhibited sexual practices which may lead you to reconnect and rediscover parts of you that where left behind; you will want to partake but out of the need to protect your “mask” you will most likely miss out in new experiences. It isn’t healthy to be the person who thinks whatever you are doing is okay and what others do sexually is not. That is insulting, prejudice and frankly extremely ignorant; it shows a very poor social attitude, immature and unenlightened. Let me reiterate; as long as it involves consenting adults and the practices are not born out of low self esteem, wounds, desire to please others, false acceptance; then no sexual practice is sinful.
Try to be objective, consider that you have kinks too. If you actually want to have fulfilling relationships, then you need to cultivate a safe space between you and others where you can communicate about your sexual interests and desires openly and freely. To do the opposite is simply going to limit your sexuality and not allow you to fulfill whatever needs you may have.
“Sex positive” is the only way to achieve this. Work at becoming a non judgmental person who doesn’t make others feel stupid for their consensual choice–this doesn’t mean you are incapable of judgment, it simply means you recognize when you are passing a negative judgement. Keep in mind, you don’t have to partake in conversations or practices you feel uncomfortable with, that is free will. You are you, no one should force you into anything, including conversations which you feel violate your sensitivities, likewise you need to learn to respect the right of others and not be demeaning about their sexual preferences.
I can’t tell you how many people I have talked to through the years, who always express the immense feeling of relief they experience as they are able to talk about a subject as controversial as sexuality, without feeling judged.
I have also conversed with people who are at the opposite end of the spectrum; they would like to talk about their sexual needs and fantasies, however they have been made to feel ashamed of who they are, as a result it is hard for them to open up and to experience sexual fulfillment and acceptance.
The magick about cultivating a safe sexual space is that you will get to experience genuine sexuality. No lying about your needs, no hiding or pretending; that is the way to build a healthy relationship, one where you can be your authentic self.
It does not matter if it were to be a sporadic relationship, a polyamory relationship, a monogamist relationship, etc. All relationships involve the meeting of each other’s needs, and to do so requires of the people involved to be open and honest about what those needs are. You want an attitude that is conducive to a fulfilling relationship.
If someone suggests something that you are not into, you don’t have to be rude about it. You can simply say “That is something I have not tried. I am not sure if I am comfortable with it. I will think about it more and if I ever feel comfortable with trying it, then I will let you know”. That way you are not insulting but you are also taking the time to look inside yourself and see if that is something you would like to try or not. If not stop to ask yourself why not. It may be just fear, if so that is something you can express and a safe partner will walk you through it. On the other hand, if it’s deeper than your natural fears and you know what your partner has suggested is not something you will ever be into, at least you showed them the respect to take their suggestion seriously into consideration. You can then decide how important it is for you both to implement or exclude such practice. Of course there are pretty “black” or “white” lines which should not be crossed; anything that leaves you feeling denigrated, creates extensive fear, puts your physical or psychological health on the line. Remember no one should make you do anything you don’t want to.
Also it is important to emphasize healthy discomfort, it is natural if you have not tried something before, for there to be mental and physical discomfort. Keep in mind it isn’t healthy to live in a sexual box; you want to step out of it and try different things, within the boundaries of self care.
Let me emphasize again…any sexual practice, whether consider mild or hard core, should not leave you feeling ashamed or abused; your soul should be intact. If on the other hand such practice causes spiritual discomfort, then it is not something you should try or be forced into.
That is the big difference between healthy discomfort and unhealthy discomfort!