[so someone requested i make a rebloggable version of this - i’m guessing because it’s so old and they found it on my blog they couldn’t reblog it [original all-text version here]]
Hoo boy, I could probably talk about this a long time. But yeah I consider myself sex-negative. It just means that I don’t like how sexuality operates in a hetero-patriarchy. It’s hard (and some would argue impossible) to have good sexual experiences as women and fem-id’d people in a sexist society. Plus, the constant sexualization/objectification of women and sex-coercion and rape culture make simply being a woman extremely unsafe. I don’t believe in sexual moralizing or shaming or disrespecting people for having sex or expressing their sexuality. Just that I want to disassemble the force of sexual coercion and rape culture in our society.
I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with all sex positive feminism… Like I think that if sex positive feminism was done right more often, both us sex negative feminists and sex positive feminists could work together to fight both sexual coercion and sex shaming in our society (I often link people to this article about misunderstandings between sex negative feminists and sex positive feminists). But a lot of sex positive feminism, unfortunately, is easily co-opted by the sex-coercive patriarchy (making feminism “sexy”). Or it winds up being sexually coercive itself, shaming survivors for being sex negative, silencing sex workers with bad experiences in the industry and victims of sex trafficking, or silencing/dismissing critique of the porn industry/celebrating the industry despite its sexist, racist and coercive nature, etc. Or it focuses, too much on sexuality as empowering without addressing the fact that mainstream conceptions of sexuality are currently degrading and harmful to women, or that many women do not find sexuality empowering (so it alienates people like me).
There are a lot of harmful and oppressive kinks and fetishes, I couldn’t provide you with an exhaustive list. A big and obvious type are racist kinks and fetishes. Some people even go as far as trying to turn POC or POC culture into fetishes and fetishizing/sexualizing certain people of certain races. Another example is people using tools that were originally designed to torture African American slaves in their kink, also racist and offensive. There are also devotees who fetishize people with disabilites, which is incredibly demeaning and offensive. Then you have men who fantasize about harming women or even killing and eating women, humiliating women, raping women…and the scary part is, while the kink community says one should never judge someone’s fantasies: (tw: violence, cannibalism, violence against women) these men sometimes try to enact them (or have at the very least very misogynistic attitudes often underlie them). But I’m also very critical of vanilla sex practices in our society, which is often oppressive, too. it focuses on the missionary position and penis to vagina penetration, and is thus heteronormative, cis-sexist and misogynistic, rendering the insertee a passive object or fuck hole for the cis man. I disagree with people who act as if BDSM is inherently more problematic or more unhealthy than vanilla sex. And I am never for people who shame women for enjoying BDSM. But I have noticed that people will cry “kinkshaming!” to stave off criticism of the BDSM community, which can be victim blaming or foster rape culture.
I think one of the scariest trends I see emerging from sex positivism is this expectation that women will cater to a man’s fantasies and desires despite her feelings and should have to listen to his confessions of his fantasies, even if she is just his friend or acquaintance or even if the fantasies are alarming—otherwise she is “kink-shaming”—which is clearly consent-violating and disrespectful. Or you have people like Lacy Green responding to a woman whose partner was trying to coerce her to do butt sex despite her wishes not to, with a video explaining safe techniques to do it! Stuff like that ignores sexual coercion and even contributes to it. So I think sex positive feminists need to be very careful and be mindful of rape culture and how normative sex and sexual values in our culture are often coercive. If the project is to liberate women sexually, then critiquing and tearing down normative sexist sexual practices and ideology and trying to establishing empowering alternatives should be a project. And that is a project I think both sex negative and sex positive feminists can agree on and participate in.