Curated from: Learn - shy
You’re probably no stranger to the recent news which placed the topic of sexual wellness and pleasure in the spotlight. The most high profile one being the OnlyFans saga with Titus Low — showing us how a platform where creators upload content based on their own free will, reducing consent and exploitation issues, can be considered illegal in our city-state. Next, sexual health education made headlines when MediaCorp actress Jacelyn Tay posted her talks with her son on social media.
Time and time again, we are reminded by the media and society that embracing one’s sexuality and talking about it freely is a big no-no. But the truth is, all of us will have sex or engage in some sexual activities at some point in our lives. The difference in whether or not the experience can be as enjoyable and safe as it can be is how we choose to approach it — either by taking charge of or repressing these feelings and desires.
While we’re not saying that everyone should go out there and have random hookups for the sake of it, or that being a virgin is a bad thing, what we hope is that everyone would be able to freely acknowledge their sexual-related desires while not feeling the need to be ashamed of them.
Having such conversations and knowing how and where to safely obtain sex educational information from will equip people with more knowledge and awareness on what they personally would like to get out of their sexual experiences and this can in turn reduce the instances where one get’s taken advantage of simply due to lack of awareness of their own personal sexual boundaries. And if anything were to go wrong, in a society where people are willing to speak out about their sex experiences, victims would also not need to fear the stigma associated when trying to reach out for help.
Be sex-positive: A good way to take charge of one’s sexual pleasure
By definition, sex-positivity places no moral value on sexuality, be it sexual orientation or different types of sex acts. When one is sex-positive, it means that the only concerns they have relating to sex are the consent, pleasure, and well-being of those directly involved.
Unlearn sexual guilt
Adopting the mindset of sex-positivity starts with unlearning sexual guilt. You might not have realised it, but the sexual guilt you feel is a form of learned behaviour that you probably picked up from your surroundings when you were younger. The good news is that it can be unlearned.
Unlearning sexual guilt means dropping other people’s or society’s programming of your mindset towards sexuality, and the result is that you become free, creative, and confident in experiencing pleasure in the way you choose. This way, you can receive the pleasure that you want while still having it within your own respectable boundaries based on your personal values.
Dig deeper to find out why you feel the way you do, where it stems from, and how you view sex from a big picture perspective. Try putting your thoughts and feelings into actionable words to take ownership of your own thoughts, and know that they are not anybody else’s.
Here are some tips for learning to be more sex-positive!
1. Learn more about sex-related topics
We understand that it can be quite awkward to try and search for such topics on your own (we were there once!!), but a lot of what makes us uncomfortable is because it’s still unknown to us. However, once you know more about topics relating to sex and sexuality, the more familiar it becomes, and you realise it’s not that awkward to think or read about anymore! Reading articles or hearing podcasts on these topics is a good way to know that you’re not alone in your experiences, and that someone out there is definitely going through the same thing at the same time, no matter where you are at on your sexual pleasure journey. Having more knowledge on the various ways people can explore sex and sexuality helps you to broaden your understanding of alternative experiences, leading to the development of a more open and non-judgemental mindset.
And if you’re up for it, you can try consuming alternative types of porn or media so that you can be exposed to different types of sex and intimacy, beyond the mainstream ones that are mostly catered for the male gaze.
2. Self-pleasure can help to increase sexual confidence
Once you know more about the different ways to experience pleasure, trying it out on yourself before doing it with a partner can really help to boost your personal sexual confidence. When you are sure of what you need and want, we get to build on our emotional and physical connection to ourselves.
And with more comfort in our own skin, partnered sex becomes more about mutual pleasure instead of going with the flow to please your partner, as that sense of seeking validation or permission diminishes. In turn, this also helps to create stronger boundaries with a partner.
3. Stay body positive as well
Sex and your body pretty much go hand in hand, so if you want to feel positively about sex, it is rather important to have a positive view of your body as well. Here are some tips for feeling more comfortable with your own body in bed! And once you do develop a more positive body image, empowerment becomes a big underlying theme in your sexual exploratory habits, as you take the time to tune into how and where your body wants to be touched.
4. Talk to those around you
While it’s not the most dinner table friendly conversation starter, learning about experiences other than your own from the people directly in your life is another life-changing way to explore sex positivity. However, once the initial ice has been broken, you will learn that everyone has something unique to share about their own experiences or stories they previously heard.
By discussing these stories, you get to voice your concerns, uncertainties, vulnerabilities, and desires more openly with people that are either trusted friends or partners. You all then get to embrace a life where sex is celebrated as another part of it out of all the other things you may be going through, and it does not have to be hidden anymore. This is a greay way to transition from putting your thoughts about wanting to be sex-positive to taking actionable steps towards achieving it in real life.
As you explore sex-positivity, do note that there is no one set path that everyone has to take, and the journey will be unique to you. What you should strive towards is cultivating a holistic approach to sex and sexuality that helps to enrich your intimate life while also destigmatising sex from its opressive outlook in society. And that no matter how you choose to express your sexual identity, you have the right to feel great about it!