Beyond Sex Positivity

What Curiosity and Non-Judgment Can Teach Us About Ourselves

Christina Tesoro, LMSW

--

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

This past weekend, I took part in a discussion for ANTE UP’s The Edge of Sex speaker series. In it, a participant raised the question about creating a sex positive environment when practicing with groups in a substance use addiction context. The participant noticed that, within the context of practicing folks recovering from addiction, they noticed a tendency toward some sex negativity. They postulated that this was because folks in recovery might need to distance themselves from behaviors they associated with addiction — “promiscuity” being one of them. The participant wanted to know how to help facilitate a sex positive and sex worker affirming environment, while not invalidating group members who might need to practice and voice more rigid viewpoints with regard to sex. The question, to me, was an interesting one.

What do we mean when we say we are sex positive? I think in “mainstream” sex education spaces — however mainstream sex can be said to be, given ongoing and increasing online censorship of both sex workers and sex educators on social media — sex positivity often gets boiled down to, sex is good, and pleasurable, and healing, and you should be having it, if you want to be considered a healthy, well-adjusted, and sex positive person. However, as Loba and Cariño, the…

--

--

Christina Tesoro, LMSW

Christina Tesoro is a New York City-based writer, sex educator, and therapist.