A Casualty of Sex Pozzi Beliefs- Part One, the Beginning

Where do I even start with this? How did I get into Sex Pos in the first place?

When I was a young, feminine looking feminist, I bought the sex pozzie fem (SPF) crap hook, line, and sinker. I didn’t really get into it as an all encompassing philosophy, I just knew that I wanted to be one of those “good feminists” that wasn’t a man hater (no, not me!) and loved sex. I was liberated! I could have sex like the boys did! It was a perfect fit for me, since I had been very promiscuous as a teen and felt the shame and social pressure because of it. Sex Pos let me not only feel good about these sexual experiences (many of which were horrible), but even made me feel free, even superior, for having all this casual sex. It was an antidote to the shame that came from my sexual desire, and gave me permission to have the sex I (thought I) wanted.

There are reasons why there are women that *feel* sex pos is empowering. One of the big ones is that after a lifetime of hearing how women that wanted/had sex were worthless slutty sluts, all of a sudden our sexual choices were considered enlightened and progressive, among our peers. All the people that I respected and liked held these, or similar, ideals. Yeah, the godbag conservatives still thought we were soiled (while buying us in their spare time…), but who cared about those uptight dinosaurs anyway? We knew they were just regressive perverts that hated women (true), and were oppressed about sex, so we would show them! How very rebellious of us!

Other things that we took as empowering were some types of sex work. Stripping was just a job, where I could feel attractive and get positive attention for my looks. A job that could even turn the tables on men, giving me power over them, just like being a Dominatrix could. Every job I had prior to stripping had a huge heaping of sexual harassment, even assault, but required unending hours of drudgery for the most meager of paychecks. It was actually a step up to be making huge stacks of cash, all in a small fraction of the time- with *less* harassment than my low wage jobs. I always said if I sold my body, I still got to keep it, but if I sold my time, it was gone forever, so getting the most cash in the shortest amount of time was paramount. Gross sexual behavior was always part of any job, why not get paid for it?

Plus, SPF meant I didn’t have to change anything; Iooking sexy was great, powerful, so long as I willingly chose it. Make up, provocative clothing, and even plastic surgery may be part of the evil beauty industry, but since femininity was just a put on that you could opt into, it was an acceptable choice. If it improved your self esteem, it was a good choice. Sleeping with many men, and having all manner of sexual exploits, was just a matter of free expression. Experimenting with bisexuality was not taboo, it was exciting, and open minded. Participating in BDSM was edgy and cool, as were any kinks the men had. Best part, I could do all of this, while thinking I was a feminist, helping the cause, expanding minds, raising consciousness.

Of course since sex positive “feminism” mirrored my behaviors, I wanted to think this was healthy and awesome, so I latched on uncritically. I did think about it, but what I heard seemed to make good sense. Girl Power was just starting to get influential back then, so I thought it was what feminism was all about, and didn’t know there was any other type of feminism. I wanted equality and equal pay, the end of double standards, available birth control and abortion rights. I knew beauty myth was harmful, gender was made up, and both were damaging, and I was aware that we lived in a patriarchy.

And that is as far as it went. It’s not like I was unwilling to learn, its just that feminism was not a big part of my life, so I didn’t search any harder than what I happened across. The web was so new that it wasn’t part of my everyday life for years to come, but being among other women like me, (and men, men, always men), was, so it was easy to overlook other feminist thought. SPF was merely one choice among many, chosen mostly for the way it made me feel (which was good), and because of my existing desire to see women have better lives and status.

While believing in SPF is not an excuse for my choices, it absolutely influenced them. At every turn I was told that what I was doing was right, even making empowering and radical (HA!) choices. Any doubts I had were easily explained away as a hang over from a repressive culture, just baggage holding me back. Uncomfortable feelings about sex were things to be worked on, in order to become fully empowered, and open minded- two things I so desperately wanted to believe about myself.

Next up- Part 2. The Damage Done

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3 thoughts on “A Casualty of Sex Pozzi Beliefs- Part One, the Beginning

  1. ellahawthorne100

    “Sex Pos let me not only feel good about these sexual experiences (many of which were horrible)”
    And there it is. The reason for sex-pozz is so that women can decide to “feel good” about being abused, because simply pretending it isn’t abuse means not having to face the harsh reality. It’s women repressing what they know. We need to face it, shine a light on it, and then fight back.

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  2. Lizzy Shaw

    Thanks for sharing. I got into sex-positivity because I live in a conservative state with abstinence-only education where homosexuality is either not mentioned or condemned. My mother on the other hand used to lecture my brother and I from the time we hit puberty that we should wait until we were at least 18 before having sex, to always use condoms, and that if I started having sex I should take the pill. My mom only lectured about heterosexual sex, but 18 is a more realistic boundary than the ambiguous time it takes for you to get married. Also, I knew that most married (heterosexual) couples were using some form of birth control because most of my friends didn’t have 10 siblings so clearly the “birth control/condoms don’t work” line was a lie.

    Anyway, the sex-pozzies I met as a teenager were kind of like my mom and seemed to want people to actually know about their bodies instead of using religion to shame people into not having sex. I still think they were decent people for the most part. They also weren’t hugely pro-porn (I don’t think that topic came up) and seemed to be also into teaching about healthy relationships along with how to use birth control and condoms.

    So, while the whole thing was more focused on heterosexuality, these people were not at all judgmental when I would say things like I think I’m a lesbian and they didn’t shame women who were lesbians or had sex outside of marriage. Most of these people were my age or a little older and volunteered as “peer educators” for the local Planned Parenthood branch. I used to volunteer there in a different way and I did like all the people, mostly women who I worked with. It’s one of the my reasons why the cotton ceiling/let’s rape the lesbians conference is such a huge betrayal.

    It seemed thought that when I went to college and after I graduated the whole thing became what you described in your post. Lots of sex (especially sex with men) was empowering. Being a striper or a porn star was empowering. The more of a sex object you were (for men) the more empowered you were. Watching porn was empowering. I did watch porn for a while and while I don’t think I became hugely addicted to it, it was still bad for me.

    So from my perspective, the whole thing seemed to go from educating people and being non-judgmental into something awful. I read that some of the initial “sex-positivity” was a way to encourage condom use among gay men to prevent STDs and HIV in particular. Kind of like “I’m sex positive, not HIV positive.” This thing may have started off as an educated effort. Nowadays though any woman who doesn’t become straight or plays along with the mandatory pansexuality is a prude. These people are outright hostile to lesbians and women who say no. Not watching porn makes you a prude (even if it’s just because you don’t care for it). Pointing out that it exploits women is a cardinal sin.

    Good thing I’m not one to let other people tell me what to do and I eventually just rejected the whole thing eventually.

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