Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sex +

You know how sometimes you feel a certain way, but there's no word or phrase to describe it?

That's the way it's always been for me and my attitude about sex. In lieu of a cool, spot-on phrase I would say things like I'm accepting or non-judgmental, but then at some point during the last two years (Yes, I've been living under a rock and it's name is children) I discovered the whole Sex Positive movement.

Music played, lights flashed and I was like, oh that's a perfect phrase for what I think and feel about human sexuality. Here's the definition that I grabbed off Wikipedia and, kids, if you're reading this, remember Wikipedia is not to be trusted for homework papers

Sex positivity is "an attitude towards human sexuality that regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, and encourages sexual pleasure and experimentation. The sex-positive movement is a social and philosophical movement that focuses on acceptance and advocates these attitudes along with sex education and safer sex as part of its campaign. The movement makes no moral distinctions among types of sexual activities, regarding these choices as matters of personal preference.

Even though it's not included in the above defintion (another reason not to cite Wikipedia) one of the things I find most appealing about the Sex + movement is its emphasis on female self-esteem.

This shouldn't come as a surprise.

I have an eleven year old daughter who is launching headfirst into a culture where girls starve themselves to look like models and even models need to be airbrushed to meet the unrealistic standards of beauty that are set. If you haven't seen the Dove Real Beauty evolution piece, take a minute to watch it and you'll see why this topic gets me angsty.

Enter Laci Green.

She's my new hero (or since I'm calling myself Sex + maybe I should say heroine). Her clips on YouTube talk about relationships, body image and sexuality in a healthy upbeat way. Even more importantly, from my perspective, she's a young, hip, twentysomething who is saying all the things I want my daughter to hear.

As I mentioned before, my daughter is eleven.
Every time I talk to her about things like getting her period she clutches her ears and moans like my voice is toxin.

Which I get. I'm her mom. But Laci Green isn't. While my daughter isn't ready for the videos about losing your virginity, I think she's the perfect age for Period Hatin' and "OMG" - 12 Year Olds Aren't Sexy.

Instead of handing my little girl a book about "The Blessings of Menstraution," and never speaking about it again, we'll pop ourselves some popcorn, fire up YouTube and I'll let Laci Green say all the things I want to say. They all boil down to love your body, love yourself and know your worth isn't determined by what you see in the mirror.

Which, when I stop to think about it, is a message that's just as important for grown ups as it is for little girls.



14 comments:

Michael Di Gesu said...

FANTASTIC POST, Johanna!

This such a healthy attitude. People get WAY TO WORKED up about the whole sex thing. Even in writing. Funny we are one of the largest countries in the world and even after a few hundred plus years, Americans stil have hang-ups and Puritanical thinking.

As for the "model" comment, it is sad but true. I lived that life for fifteen years and I saw SO many young women starve, take drugs, have eating disorders, etc. to be as thin as possible.... and like you have said, THEY STILL alter pictures. AND today is even worse, because it is SO easy with computers.

You are such a GREAT MOM... you should be proud of yourself.

Cassie Mae said...

I'm so glad I found your blog, especially now that I have a girl in my house. This is a great post, I'm bookmarking it. :)

Shallee said...

Loving yourself and your body is definitely an important message! And one that often gets lost in the world.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Yes, this is a tough one. Self esteem in our girls is so important and body image is huge. I read an article that talked about how boys are also being impacted by it. When they showed pictures to a bunch of 6th grade boys of men in various forms of fitness and asked they what they thought the ideal was, almost to a boy they chose the guy who could only look like if he was using steriods.

Emily R. King said...

You're such a good mom, Johanna. Your daughter is very lucky to have you. I hope your chat goes well. No, I KNOW it will go well. You're spot on about this subject and your daughter will see that, even if it is awkward at first.

TL Cooper said...

Great post, Johanna! The Sex Positive message is such an important one. I wish I'd gotten the message as a teenager. So glad you've found a way to share it with your daughter!
Self-worth, self-esteem, and truly understanding the definition of consent are such important messages we need to impart to not only girls but boys as they mature. :-)

Naida said...

Great post Johanna and such an important topic. It's a crazy world we live in and it's only getting worse! I'll be checking out Laci Greens clips. I have a 12 year old daughter myself.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I haven't had the talk with my daughter yet. She's only turned 9. But so far she thinks you make babies by being sexy. I think she realized she might be wrong when her 13 yo brother cracked up at her comment.

Mark Koopmans said...

Awesome post and something I will check out again in a few years as my boys turn double-digits.... ay yai yai...

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I wish that there had been something like Laci Green's videos when I was your daughter's age, but we didn't even have Youtube back then. Instead, when I took sex ed as a young girl, we learned all about the negative consequences of having sex, particularly premarital sex. They were very much into promoting abstinence as if it was the only option.

Chuck said...

Sounds like a big step coming up.., hey this wasn't post for just women to comment on, was it??

Alison DeLuca said...

EXCELLENT - I will definitely file this under the "to be watched" file. Thank you so much for the links!

Carol Kilgore said...

Wonderful post! Sex + sounds like a great movement. Thanks for introducing it here...I must have been under a rock, too. Hopefully it's a beginning so girls won't have to go through quite what most of us did growing up. About time!

jamieayres.com said...

As a mom of an almost 13yo girl and another who is 9, I'm sooo happy I found your blog today! This one is going in my Favorites! ~Thanks:-)