Sex Positive? Not for everyone...

posted by Nikole McDuffie, Advocate

Although Sex Positivity is often seen as liberation from from slut shaming and victim blaming and is an increasingly common idea at the 5C's, not everyone finds freedom in the same way.  Feminist critics of "sex positivity" are generally in favor of sexual freedom, but point out that marking sex as necessarily positive alienates asexuals and others who don't find liberation through sex.  The following piece stresses that sex positive feminism is intended for white women and ignores the intersecting issues around sex for women of color.  

Using the term "sex positivity" or not, Advocates encourage an environment where people can find liberation safely having as much or as little sex of any kind!


What’s wrong with the generalization that more sex = liberation? It locates sexual liberation in an experience of white heterosexual femininity. It does not take into the account the different experienes of racialization and sexualization of women and queer people of color. While straight middle-class women may have been stereotyped as pure, asexual virgins, women of color were hypersexualized as exotic, erotic beings (see hottentot, harem girl, lotus blossom, fiery Latina, squaw, etc.) For women of color and queer POC, adopting a sex-positive attitude does not “liberate” them of such stereotypes, in fact, it fuels them further.