I could write an entire article on this, so I’ll try to keep it short and simple: Not everyone in a movement defines the movement in the same way.
And just like there are some really awesome definitions of feminism, while others are horrendous or misguided, sex-positivism has that same issue.
I try not to label myself in this way (or most ways, really), but I would say that I, personally, am sex-positive only to the extent that I am not sex-negative. And if I can only choose between the two, then I guess I’m the former.
But I believe that sex is inherently neutral (neither good nor bad) and that we should educate and listen to others regarding sexuality from a comfortable, safe, and honest space. But that because sexuality doesn’t exist in a vacuum, that it’s worth thinking critically about rather than indiscriminately accepting.
I think that the movement of sex-positivism is a noble one; I just don’t always think that it’s executed well.
Communicating about sex can be really stressful because we’re never really taught how to do it. So something as (seemingly) easy as giving someone a heads up can feel really, really difficult — especially when it’s compounded with a fear of being judged. Trust me. I totally understand you.
So think of it this way: You’re letting a potential partner know about an important part of your sexual history so that your sex can be more comfortable, safe, and just overall better. And that’s a good thing.
You can even make it into a passing thing if you want to, rather than a big deal. “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that part of why I’ve been hesitant about sex is because I’ve actually never had intercourse before. And I really want to! I just didn’t want to go for it without talking to you about that first. What are your thoughts?”
And boom. Conversation, started.
I can’t promise that people aren’t going to be judgmental. But the thing is: If you’re thinking about having sex with someone who’s going to judge you based on the kind of sex you’ve had (or not had) in the past, then maybe that’s not someone you want to have sex with. Better to find out now.
Because the proper response to someone saying they’ve never had intercourse before is, “Oh. Okay. Let’s talk about it then.”
And hopefully that’s exactly what will happen. :)
Hey! I’m really sorry that you’re experiencing this. It’s definitely a big problem, and it’s frustrating to be there. Trust me, I know.
This is the result of what we call biphobia — the fear that people who are interested in more than one gender are somehow greedy or less committed to monogamy. And when wielded manipulatively, it can be an abusive tactic. So I think it’s great that you’ve caught it and want to talk to your boyfriend about it.
Because the truth is — as much as you want to believe that he isn’t acting in a homophobic manner — if he’s threatened by your queerness, then he is. And we need to address that that is the issue here. The root issue is that your boyfriend has fallen for some myths about people who have relationships with more than one gender, and that is biphobia.
And truly, the way to combat this isn’t “to make him feel better.” Because you’re not doing anything wrong. He is. Using your sexual orientation and/or identity as an excuse for irrational jealousy is his issue, not yours. And I think that if you want to address this, you have to do it from an honest perspective. Your boyfriend isn’t being fair to you. And he is the one who has the change his attitude.
So now that we’ve named it, I think you know what to do. Try doing some research on how biphobia presents itself in relationships, the facts behind the myth-busting of stereotypes, and how to discuss biphobia and jealousy with your partner. And then address it head-on, using ‘I’ statements.
For instance, try “I feel _____ (hurt, confused, angry, frustrated, insecure) when you _____ (use my sexuality as an excuse for jealousy, feel uncomfortable with my orientation, put the pressure on me to fix an issue that you have), and I’d like to talk about how the social pervasiveness of biphobia is affecting our relationship.”
And then see what the two of you can come up with in terms of compromise.
Good luck! xxx