Sex Positivity: What It Is and Why It Matters to Polyamory

I can’t remember where I first encountered the term “sex positivity,” but it seems to be making the rounds these days. Being a poly person and feeling quite liberated when it comes to sex, I feel comforted by the knowledge that such a movement exists and that it seems to be gaining in popularity.

Who knows? It might not be too much longer before we can live our lives fully and unapologetically as the non-monogamous wonders that we are.

What is Sex Positivity?

It’s Acceptance

The sex positivity movement is all about acceptance: acceptance of sex as a healthy normal part of adulthood, and acceptance of the many ways in which people choose to express themselves sexually. There’s no such thing as “taboo” in the realm of sex positivity.

The movement is a response to society’s long-held belief that sex is something to be ashamed of. If it feels good and it’s consensual, then—according to sex positive people—it’s all good.

It’s Knowledge

Sex education is the cornerstone of sex positivity. The more people know about their bodies and how sex works, the more they can make healthy and informed decisions. Unlike other more conservative belief systems that advocate for abstinence over education, sex positivity is all about imparting knowledge that will allow people to enjoy sex freely yet responsibly.

Some sex positive families raise their children under these guidelines, introducing the topic of sex early on, in ways that are age appropriate. The purpose of this approach is to encourage an open and shame-free relationship with sex.

How does Sex Positivity Relate to Polyamory?

It Informs the Poly Philosophy

Without sex positivity, the physical aspects of polyamory couldn’t exist as they do now. There would be too much baggage around sex for us to speak openly about our needs and to seek out partners to expand our poly circles.

Polyamory runs on sexual transparency and autonomy, two principles that wouldn’t hold out for long in an environment of shame and embarrassment. Thanks to sex positivity, we can enjoy the freedom and support we need to thrive as non-monogamous sexual beings.

It Allows for Peace and Understanding

By placing the power of sex in their own hands, many sex-positive people find it easier to reject the notion of romantic ownership. In poly terms, this means freeing spaces once occupied by fear, and filling them with love, support and empowerment.

In the absence of sex positivity, jealousy has a way of taking hold, choking out the feelings of peace and understanding that characterize a healthy polycule. Imagine living your life in constant fear of your body being controlled by one partner or several. If this is your experience, you’re not in sex positive relationships and might want to consider getting help.

What are your thoughts on sex positivity? Please share in the comments!

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