“You’re only sexually liberated if you ______”
What is the Sexual Liberation Movement, who is it for and what does it mean in your
“Between 1960 and 1980, sexual liberation movements flourished in Northern countries, and gave rise to what is commonly referred to as the sexual revolution. This liberation resided in the struggle for a sexual life that was not exclusively reproductive, and that was extricated from the institution of marriage. This revolution consisted of a profound change in mentalities, values, knowledge, and behaviour toward a more optimistic and positive conception of sexuality, based on the acknowledgment of sexual pleasure as a source of fulfilment.”
There’s a lot to write and talk about when it comes to the sexual revolution/ liberation
movement, including treatment of the LGBTQIA+ community, personal preferences vs
societal pressure, symptoms of mental un-wellness manifesting as sexual behaviours,
patriarchal counter-insurgency within the movement and much more.
The bottom line is There is no set behaviour that goes with sexual liberation!
The guidelines we at SHAG want to promote are “Do what is pleasurable, safe and good
for yourself, as long as you’re not harming anyone else.” Clearly, this isn’t always a
black and white issue, for example when applied to conversations surrounding BDSM and consensual non-consent, however, for the time being, we want to focus on some helpful guidance following from the results of our One-Night-Stand poll on social media.
Try to sit with yourself and reflect on what you really want. It can be easy to get swept up in the zeitgeist, regardless of what it is. Try to regularly take time out to think about what kinds of sexual practices make you feel good and happy and why.
Ask yourself whether you actually feel free to behave otherwise. If you don't, your “choices” may not be choices. Example: Z prefers long-term monogamous relationships over one night stands. Is this because of their self-knowledge, healthy boundaries and emotional & sexual preferences or is it because they fear being slut-shamed by their community? Only Z can reflect and get to know themselves. Example: X prefers one night stands over long term monogamous relationships. Is this because of their self-knowledge, healthy boundaries and emotional & sexual preferences or is it because they crave validation in the form of desire from others? Only X can reflect and get to know themselves.
Make sure you surround yourself with loving people who care about your happiness and wellbeing. The best friends to have are those who strike a balance between affirming our personal choices and challenging us respectfully when they’re unsure of whether what we’re doing is healthy. We all need our respective support systems to comprise of people who will fundamentally respect our boundaries, allow us to change our minds and grow, promote our wellbeing and understand that not everything about us is their business.
If you have more questions, feel free to join SHAG’s support sessions on Saturdays (check out instagram).