What Does Sex-Positive Mean?
Sex Positive = No Slut Shaming
My sex-positive approach means first of all that I view sex as a normal, natural, and healthy activity from which you may derive pleasure. This is an ordinary life activity and need not be a taboo subject. We can talk about it openly! No shame or moral judgment needed whatsoever. You have entered a no slut-shaming zone! Whether you have multiple sexual partners, are a sex worker, or have some kinky fetish, you are welcome here to this safe non-judgmental space.
No Sex is Cool Too!
One may think that sex-positive means that I think everyone should have sex. Nope! If you do not find yourself feeling sexual attraction/desire and are happy without it in your life – temporarily or not at all – no problem! Asexuality is welcome here too! We use the term ‘sex-positive’ (rather than ‘sex-neutral’) so as to specifically counter harmful and pervasive sex-negative attitudes and actions that marginalize people for their sexual activities.
Risk-Aware Consensual Kink / Safer-Sex Practices
Generally, my main concern when it comes to BDSM and kink – whether casual play or in more formal role/relationship – is that you practice risk-aware consensual kink (RACK) and safer-sex. This includes awareness of health risks and psychological risks. Again, there is no shaming for what you enjoy that doesn’t hurt anyone else (exception: consensual BDSM where participants practice RACK).
Why Share about Your Sex Life
Sharing openly about your sexual activity (including kinks, fetishes and fantasies) helps me better understand your needs and desires. We can use these as a resource and ensure you’re attempting to meet those in ways that are safe and congruent with your values. Having said that, I will respect your boundaries. Given the power dynamics that can be involved in therapy, I strive to balance that by empowering you to set boundaries with me.
My Boundaries as a Therapist
Of course, I will never engage in a sexual relationship/activity with a client (including past clients). Period. Full stop. Additionally, I ask questions about your sex life only as they are relevant to your counseling goals and/or treatment needs. Generally, I will explain why I am asking particularly personal questions. However, if you’re still unsure about the rationale or don’t feel I’ve adequately explained, please simply ask me to stop me and we’ll talk about that.
Continued Education / Personal Growth
I am always seeking to learn more about sex and sexuality as these are major parts of most people’s lives. As a clinical member of the American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors & Therapists, I take every opportunity I can to grow in this competency. There’s always something more to learn!
Why this Matters (for all clients)
Whether you’re having a lot of sex or no sex, open about it or private, you’ll feel moral judgments and pressures all around. Having a safe place to talk about these matters is important. Sexual dissatisfaction is a major point of conflict in relationships, whether this is disclosed or not. So let’s freaking talk about it! Put it on the table and let’s address it head on.
Common Questions about Sex Positivity
“Does this mean I have to accept whatever anyone else does sexually?”
In this context, by positive I do not mean that you or others must desire to engage in it. However, it’s important to accept choices others make when those actions are safe, sane, consensual and do not hurt anyone (except in consensual kink play). Given those conditions, we don’t shame or otherwise trying to convince someone else (overtly or covertly) that their behavior is wrong, immoral, and must stop.
“Will I have to answer questions about my sex life in therapy?”
No, however seeing as this is an important aspect of life, this is something that I will routinely ask about. Nevertheless, how much or little you share is always up to you.
Let’s Talk About Sex
In an appropriate manner within professional boundaries, that is. Have you struggled with mismatch libido with your partner(s)? Have a kink/fetish that you feel shame around and need to process? Or perhaps you’re a sex worker and need support. You’ve just entered a sex-positive zone. So, send me a note about what you’re needing and I’ll be in touch.