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What Does Sex Positive Mean?

What Does Sex Positive Mean?

As you might have guessed from our new merch, HANX is proudly sex positive. Our attitude towards sex and pleasure that is consensual, shame-free, non-judgemental and inclusive. 

For many of us, our early experiences around getting it on are tinged with embarrassment or lack of knowledge. Sometimes, our questions are answered by being told to ‘shhhh’, handed a book about the birds and the bees or a packet of condoms and expected to get on with it. The reality is, we need to be open, accepting and honest when it comes to talking about the ins and outs - in school, hospitals, group chats and beyond. 

Since quitting our day jobs to start HANX nearly five years ago, talking about the ins and outs of sex has been our life. We’ve hosted Sex Ed sessions in secondary school classrooms, educated investors on the nuances of vaginal health in pitches and unashamedly talked lube ingredients with strangers at house parties. What have we learnt? If we’re awkward, chances are the people we’re speaking to will feel awks, too. Our attitude is and will always be open, accepting and honest (plus accepting that there might be a few giggles to start with) when it comes to our bodies, how to take care of them and how to feel good, too.

What Does Sex Positivity Mean?

For us, sex positivity means encouraging not just ourselves but the world around us to challenge preconceptions, internalised stigma and fears around openly discussing a historically taboo topic. That’s the thing with taboos: they’re social conventions and exist as long as we allow the custom to continue. 

Sex positivity can also include:

“Being sex positive is about accepting and learning about that diversity in order to approach sex with a nuanced awareness of everybody’s multi-faceted, fluid sexual identity.” 

  • Advocating for the rights of sex workers
  • Advocating for respectful, empowering depictions of sex (and contraception!) in the media
  • Supporting friends, colleagues, family - in fact, anyone - with their own sexuality, experiences and journey

Things To Remember About Sex Positivity

  • Sex positivity doesn’t mean that your sex life is up for discussion with all and sundry, or that you have to always be in the mood for sex, either. 
  • Consent is still, and will always be vital in all sexual interactions. That doesn’t mean passive acceptance, but enthusiastic, active and engaged consent that can be revoked at any point without negative consequence. 
  • There’s no set way to practice sex positivity in your intimate life. You can be sex positive and have multiple partners, a steady partner, or none. Expectations, preconceptions and stereotypes about your sexuality, who you’re sleeping with, how often and how you like it are inherently not sex positive. 
  • It’s not an immediate mindset switch. Unpicking and challenging long-held notions about sex, especially when we’re existing in a patriarchal society, can take time. It can be uncomfortable. Be accepting of any uncomfortable feelings or uncertainty about how to proceed. There’s no test to take or checklist to tick off to be sex positive.

  • Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist Kate Moyle focuses on removing shame around sex in her podcast, The Sexual Wellness Sessions. We highly recommend tuning in to discover more about your ideas about sex and intimacy, and how to let go of negative beliefs that are impacting your ability to have a happy, healthy sex life.

  • We’re also big fans of Laid Bare, the sex positive and opinionated podcast, which encourages listeners to send in their relationship and sex dilemmas for famously outspoken and stigma-defiant host Oloni to break down. Side note: her first book, The Big O: An Empowering Guide to Loving, Dating and F*Cking, launches this September - pre-order your copy here!


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