What it Means to be “Sex-Positive”

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Today, the term “sex-positive” has become an entire movement. “Sex-positivity” is a word often used in a positive light to describe a person or group.  It classes together opinions as either “sex-positive” or “sex-negative.”

“Sex positivity” generally refers to someone who views sex and sex education as positive. It is being in favor of healthy sex education, awareness, and an openness to talk about sex without feeling shame.

Today, I think most people would agree that healthy sex education is a positive thing for the world. I’m a firm believer in the saying “knowledge is power,” because the more we know, the more control we have.

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Results of  Sex Positivity

If we’re not ashamed to talk about sex, to educate about sex, and to get answers, we’ll  have the power to make informed decisions.

If we’re not ashamed to discuss and teach how to care for our sexual organs,  we’ll fear them less and know how to take care of ourselves without panic or ignorance. We’re taught as soon as we grow teeth how to brush them. Our downstairs should be no exception, yet many people never learn how to care for their genitals properly. Most of us are taught how to wash, yes, but what about yeast infections? How to prevent them or care for them if they occur? What about how to clean the folds, or what discharge is and what the variations can signify about our health?

We wouldn’t  worry about what STDs looks like, if we’re properly educated on the causes and symptoms.

Many teach STD education to youngsters, but not with enough information. If so perhaps the confusion over an ingrown hair (it isn’t a splinter, promise) wouldn’t be so common.

We wouldn’t worry if pregnancy can result from oral sex, if we’re taught what causes pregnancy and what doesn’t.

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How many sex education classes teach that other part of sex – non-consensual intercourse? The part that happens at least every 2 minutes in the U.S. according to the R.A.I.I.N. Network (which I’d confidently say is a gross understatement considering the sexual assaults that go unreported.) What about the part that saying no means no at any time? The part that forcing yourself on a non-compliant person is a bad thing?

In that light, many label ourselves as “sex-positive” because we want to be fully educated on these things, and want the same for our kids.

Sex-positivity simply means embracing and enjoying ourselves as sexual beings.

Written by: Kendra Richards is a writer, pet lover, aloe vera-eater and a woman of many talents. If she isn’t passionately typing away, she’s more than likely spending time with her family, pets, boyfriend or attempting to sew something. It’s also possible that she’s buried deep in some type of activism work. Writing anything and everything from beauty, health, fashion product reviews to informational articles, she loves variety when it comes to reading and  writing. A people and animal lover, she believes cats are super heroes in disguise.

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Relationship

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As the hot days of summer drag on, you may be feeling like you need a pick me up. The heat just gets to you after awhile, causing you to feel weighed down by everything–your job, your bills and even your relationship.

While the bills aren’t going to go away and your job can’t be shaken unless you want to start the grueling job search, your relationship can be turned around. It just needs a little added spice. However, when we think about spicing up a relationship, we automatically switch gears into sex, but in reality, keeping your relationship spicy can go well beyond the confines of your bedroom. Check it out.

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Spice up your relationship by being an adrenaline junkie.

That overwhelming feeling you get when you first all in love is actually adrenaline, so an easy way to bring that back is to try new and exciting things with your partner. It also heightens attraction, so go out and try something new if you’re feeling like the two of you are losing that special spark. Summer is the perfect time to do this. Go out and try a little zip lining, rock climbing or white water rafting. You’ll have fun, get some exercise and leave feeling closer than ever.

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Spice up your relationship by being inventive in bed.

We have the tendency to fall into sexual ruts after awhile. It’s normal. You learn what the other likes and stick to it. But always doing what works doesn’t necessarily mean your sex life is hopping. Consider throwing out what you know and throwing in some new techniques, toys and positions. Warm weather means you can get frisky outside or you can beat the heat by staying in and exploring different rooms of your house. If you’ve been there done yet, consider getting a toy (or a few) from Adam and Eve or getting into a little role playing.

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Spice up your relationship by working on a goal together.

Everyone has life goals, whether they pertain to your career, your health or even a hobby. Find one that you’ve both been talking about for while and set out to do it. Turn your talk into action. You’ll build new levels of trust with each other and feel incredible once you reach it. For the best effect, think of a few short term goals and one long term goal, doing so will help you build a strong foundation in your relationship.

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Spice up your relationship by cooking new recipes together.

Much like the bedroom, it’s easy to fall into a cooking rut. You learn a few dishes that work for you and stick to it. You may not be bored with what you’re eating, but you’ve forgotten what an amazing food experience can be like. Take the initiative to find a few challenging recipes that look and sound amazing, then go out and buy the ingredients and invite the main squeeze over. Make a night of cooking and working together to make this meal. You’ll bond over the process and get rewarded with a new and amazing dish that you can both enjoy and recreate. Find recipes that include summer vegetables or the grill so you can make the most of the season.

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Spice up your relationship by exercising together

You may be feeling lethargic in and outside of your relationship because you haven’t been exercising. Make a pact that you will both start exercising and work as each other’s motivation. Find fun activities that you can do together that won’t feel like exercising Many coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial offer great deals on exercising packages, whether they be Krav Maga or aerial work. In turn, you will both feel more confident, reduce your stress levels, and be more attracted to each other.

Let’s Talk About Sex

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Mixed Messages

Sex. Yes, I said it. It can be such a taboo topic yet it’s all around us. We have vicious debates about whether we should include sex education in schools, some parents are mum on the topic, and when it comes to educated and sophisticated ladies, well that’s something that’s kept in private. On the other hand passionate love scenes are the norm in television and film, celebrities have made careers out of home movies, and sex sells. It is ironic how sex can be a faux pas?

U Blush Magazine has too been caught in this irony. We cater to the contemporary, professional, stylista, yet there has been no discussion of sex. Well, there have been private discussions but it has yet to venture into editorial content. Like many professional women we struggle with defining ourselves as sophisticated and empowered women while maintaining our rights to express our sexuality.

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Recently, Beyonce and Rihanna posed in a sexy spread for GQ magazine. I love Queen Bey but I must admit my hesitation with placing the image on the magazine. This created quite the stir among the U Blush team. Was the photo too sexy? Was Beyonce’s spread classier than Rihanna’s? Perhaps image and reputation had more to do with that thought? A myriad of questions and opinions filled the conversation, which leads to an important discussion about women and sexuality. In a time where sex is everywhere, yet taboo, where’s the line between hyper-sexuality and a healthy sexuality?

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As a child my parents never talked about sex. Approaching adulthood the conversations were to “be careful” and reframe from sex before marriage. Other then this I did not hear much else from my parents or any adult for that matter. But in popular media and conversations with friends sex was always a topic. Like many developing women I received mixed messages: “Sex is great everyone is doing it” and “Don’t have it, it’s bad.”

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A Historical Perspective

The nineteenth century cult of true womanhood valued chastity. For women of color, stereotypes and racial prejudice represented an additional burden. I recently read a review on black sexual politics addressing the middle class Black women’s attempt to counter negative stereotypes by being civil and minimizing their sexuality.  “Conservative sexual behavior is the foundation of the performance of middle-class black womanhood,” then it dawned on me, these standards are still prevalent today.

Women have a long history of being expected to subdue their sexuality in the name of respectability. It is no wonder that even in the 21st century professional women must still negotiate where to draw the line of sexual appropriateness. Compared to the Victorian era, sex has made its way into the public domain with a preponderance of sexual imagery in media, fashion, and popular culture– we love our sex scandals. Within a society where women are often hyper-sexualized, in a quest to be treated as equal to men, to be treated with respect, and taken seriously, professional women may feel the need to cling to the politics of respectability.

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The Contemporary Woman

As a professional woman, I too must contend with mixed messages that are sometimes hard to reconcile. My religious upbringing has a strong stance against sex before marriage. Additionally I value the perception others have of me as a respectable professional and it often seems public expressions of sexuality are antithetical to this image. However,  I am human. I enjoy talking about sex with my girlfriends. I have sexual urges, desires, and interest. What is a woman to do when she has all of this to negotiate?

I am not here to change your moral compass. What I am calling for is a healthy discussion about sex because it is a part of human nature. I grew up with little to no discourse beyond “don’t do it,” because of this I must admit I have been ill informed, unprepared, and uncomfortable when I have had to make decisions about sex. It is a disservice to raise a generation of women who have minimal knowledge of sex and their bodies. This is particularly important in regards to HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Women account for one in four new HIV diagnoses and deaths caused by AIDS.
  • African Americans and Hispanics represent 26 percent of all women in the U.S. but they account for 82 percent of AIDS cases among women.

Sex is real and has real life implications. Silence and our decision to ignore reality is not only emotionally and psychologically costly– it can be deadly.

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 “A Healthy Appreciation for Sex”

U Blush magazine is the premiere platform for the contemporary, professional woman. We cannot be a voice of the women of our generation if we ignore a central part of what women negotiate. We all make decisions about the clothes we wear, who we date, whether or not we will have sex, with whom, and if we will use protection. Our choice to have sex and how we express our sexuality is a personal decision that each of us must make. Our morals, values, and comfort levels may differ but we all must traverse similar terrain. How can we embrace our femininity, sexuality, and womanhood without falling into the tramp of being either hyper-sexualized and exploited, or being rigid and desexualized? Where does the line lay? How do we move away from monolithic images of women and sexuality to images that are multidimensional and multifaceted? These conversations belong in this publication.

U Blush Magazine is joining the movement to empower women to take control of their bodies, their images, and their lives. Sexual agency and exploration is central to the lives of today’s women. Integral to our womanhood is being the creators and authority of our own realities. U Blush pledge’s to embrace our sexuality in a healthy manner and respect each woman’s ability and right to define and express herself as best suits her.

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