I suppose I would call myself sex positive. I have all these positive feelings about consenting adults enjoying their own sex lives, whatever those sex lives may involve. So one could assume that would be the end of that.
But, of course, there are different ways to interpret the term. While sex positive feminism was, in its vintage 1980s form, simply pro-consent and alternative choices, it seems that there are an awful lot of sex positive people insisting that everything would be better if everyone had lots of sex. Upset because someone keyed your car? Engage with a nearby boner! Was that friend you’ve been intending to cut out of your life mean to you about your latest achievement? Run a hot bath and give yourself a good rub (watch out for that scented soap, no one wants a UTI). Feel bad because you were a total dick to everyone at work all week? Relieve yourself of all that tension by compelling your partner to tickle your fancy.
Of course, the problem with this mentality is that not everyone wants to have sex all the time, and most people don’t like having their sexual dos and don’ts prescribed to them anyway. When preaching sex positive bedroom philosophy, it’s criminal to ignore all those people who don’t want to do very much, if anything at all, in bed. I am often up for a shag, but, just as I am uninterested in train sets and James Joyce, not everyone else is necessarily interested in smooches and fumbles. And I would feel super mad if a whole faction of society started telling me that I’d feel so much better about my life if I read Ulysses. I’m not reading it. I’m just not going to.
Then there’s this idea about what constitutes ‘real’ sex, which is nothing to do with sex positivity, but exists and is daft. A friend told me recently that the more intimate of her saucy endeavours tend to be the ones that avoid P[enis] in V[agina] altogether. Preach; the worst sex I ever had was a textbook in-out-jig-about affair. And if one’s in the habit of porking both ladies and gentlemen, why have one penis-less rule for the former and a mandatory pocket full of cock for the latter? It’s been a long time since I thought of sex in terms of four bases, but now I’m considering it as a spectrum. Or a spider web. Or a paddling pool full of toys. Actually, the paddling pool analogy is my favourite.
The sex positive movement is obviously great, but I’m not necessarily pro-YOU-having-sex. Not if you’re not into it. And perhaps not if you have wronged me and I’m still mad, but generally I don’t really want to get involved in anyone else’s wiener demeanour. I propose the term ‘sex apathetic’ instead: have your consensual sex and enjoy yourselves. Who am I to get involved? I don’t give a flying toot, unless you get a good dinner party anecdote out of it.
Originally published at The Erotic Memoirs of Crystal Chandeliere