Thompson: Sex positivity doesn’t mean hypersexuality

Madison Thompson

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Last semester, I was recounting sexual tales with a coworker during our downtime when they said something that has stuck with me. 

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They told me that just because someone is sex positive doesn’t mean they need to be engaging in casual sex, romantic sex or any kind of sex in order to have this mindset. It seems so simple, but until that moment, I had always equated sex positivity with having lots of sex.

You don’t need to be having tons of sex with whomever, wherever and whenever to be sex positive. Sex positivity is a mindset, not an action. You can be sex positive and be celibate.

Generally, these conversations are run by and for people having lots of sex with different people in adventurous places. This can be an alienating topic for people who are taking a hiatus from sex or if they identify as asexual.

Being sex positive is about inclusivity. It’s about making people feel comfortable with their own choices and trusting that they know what’s best for them. We shouldn’t be trying to make people feel like they have to justify their sexual preferences and habits.

Everyone’s journey is unique, and there’s no reason to assume what’s right for one of us is right for others.”

It’s common for something like frequency of sex to be equated with relationship satisfaction, but this just isn’t the case. Sex is a sensitive subject for many people, and sex positivity is a way to encourage respect, support and celebration of everything from abstinence to consensual non-monogamy and everything on the edges and in between.

The differences I see between people when it comes to sex positivity is that comfort levels can vary greatly between people. Some are extremely candid about their sex lives, and others would rather keep it all to themselves and their partner.

The important thing is to learn how to let each other live our truths in a productive way. There is a time and place for some conversations, and we should be mindful about others’ attitudes toward sex. 

For example, maybe three people who identify as sex positive are in one room together. Two of them are having an open conversation about their sex lives, and the third is sitting by and feeling uncomfortable. 

While I don’t see any reason why someone discussing their sex life should make you uncomfortable (trauma aside), for some people, it does. If this is the case, I think it’s important to speak up and voice your preferences if you feel the need to do so. 

Everyone should have the choice to do what’s best for them. Everyone’s journey is unique, and there’s no reason to assume what’s right for us is right for others.

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Madison Thompson can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter at @heyymadison.