I am a sex positive feminist. I believe that being in control of one’s sexual self involves having access to information that allows for informed decision making. I also believe that it involves access to the medical treatments and technology –from condoms to regular Pap smears to Gardasil to abortion procedures – that put women in charge of their bodies. I believe in sexual self-determination, that each person has a right to determine who she will be intimate with, and in what context, without being judged for her choices or forced into others. I believe that being in control of one’s sexual self is an integral part of autonomous adulthood, and until women are given the right to control our sexual selves we will continue to be treated like children in this paternalistic society.
I reject the traditional representation of all things sexual as dirty or shameful. I do not believe that “anything consensually sexual goes, as long as orgasm is the aim.” I believe that anything consensually sexual goes; I don’t care if you’re doing it or not, how you do it, what genders you prefer to do it with, how many people you do (at once or separately), if you’re using porn or sex toys, or if you like it kinky, as long as you’ve got the information you need to make informed decisions. I stand just as strongly for a woman’s right not to have sex (of any kind) if she doesn’t want to, and I believe that women who make that decision deserve support and protection as well. I do not believe that I am an object belonging to the person I’m having sex with, unless I want to be. I do not believe I am a victim of masculine sexuality.
I also believe that my role is a political one: not just to advocate for freedom-to-fuck, but to advocate for women’s rights over their bodies, access to care, and comprehensive sexuality education, and to keep assholes like Keroack from ruining the progress we’ve made. Without these fundamentals, how can we be in control of our bodies? I don’t believe in the transformation of sexuality, because it is too fluid to mold; it isn’t sexuality that needs to change, but the gendered and judgmental framework within which we view it.
Do I believe that’s all there is to feminism? No. But I do feel the need to differentiate my feminist beliefs from those of women who believe that pornography and sex work are the means by which men are keeping women in their place. I refuse to be a victim of some imaginary universal male sexual sadism, and I refuse to believe the only way women can be equal with men is by denying our sexual selves. I like to be good and fucked now and then (or now and... now). Does that make me a tool of the patriarchy? I don’t think so.
(This post was inspired by Candy, and Andrea Dworkin.)