Sex positivity is an attitude towards human sexuality that regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, encouraging sexual pleasure and experimentation. I consider myself to be a sex-positive person who enjoys the interactions of many sexual activities, but I wasn’t always sex-positive.
One day I came home from the club and I didn’t want to look in the mirror.
I had just come back from Club 2020 and decided to confess my thoughts to an outreach worker doing work around HIV Testing. I told her that I needed some help. I felt I had been having sex with too many people and that something was wrong with me.
She asked, “How old are you?”
“18,” I replied.
“Oh you’re young and that’s what young men do.”
“I think I could be a sex addict.”
“No, that’s normal,” she said.
I took that and held onto it, believing that there was truth to her statements. I felt she could’ve been right because that is what the culture and scene were like. There were people having sex with multiple, interchangeable partners in bathrooms and behind buildings.
I felt I differed from those people for various reasons; including my desire for an overall enjoyable experience that exceeded a momentary orgasm. I wanted to prove my own self-worth.
I left Club 2020 and headed to the club Big YO’s where I was greeted by the bouncer. As soon as I walked up, the bouncer leered at me, making various derogatory statements. ‘Oh, you are cute.’ ‘Where are you from?’ ‘Who’s your family?’ ‘What you packing?’ Before I could respond, another worker instructed the bouncer to ‘leave the young boy alone’, which allowed me to enter.
Due to my appearance and physical features (my long hair, my height, and skin complexion), I was oversexualized. People tended to gravitate towards me in a very overtly sexual manner. As I navigated through my own coming of age and personal journey, I had to learn what sex meant to me as well as what it meant to have healthy and positive sex practices.
Sex positivity is an important topic to me; having spent a large part of my life using sex as a form of communication and a way to relate to people. It became the only thing of value I felt I could offer. The fleeting feelings often associated with sex were my way to connect.
The only time I can fit in or be with someone is through sex. I used sex as a getaway; giving pieces of myself away until I started to lose sight of my wholeness and who I was. I didn’t know myself enough to even measure my self-worth.
It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that took a stand to learn what sex meant to me. It could be
used as a tool of communication, an educational experience, or healthy and pleasurable escapism. Sex positivity can reach deeper than penetration of the flesh. Sex doesn't have to be shameful.
When I go out to the clubs or queer spaces, I still find myself being sexualized. Now, however, it doesn't bother me like it used to. I feel empowered; I took to understand what sex meant to me by the time and effort. I allow sex to be a teachable moment of passion. Sex can enjoyable, passionate, scary, and rush among many other things. I had to liberate myself from the box of expectations of others so I could find my own path to sexual freedom. You can find your own path to sexual positivity by first liberating yourself from others’ expectations, and carving out your own path.
Life is full of experiences and I feel like sex positivity is a lifelong journey to grow through in your own way.