Tag Archives: monogamy

#MySexPositivity with Abby Rose Dalto

For this sex positive parent, kinky sexuality does not automatically make you progressive….and feminism is not mutually exclusive from the sex positive movement. Part of her sex positivity is turning the term “slut” inside out from it’s negative accusations into an armor of choice. 

Abby Rose Dalto is a freelance writer, editor and social media consultant. She is the author of two books and numerous articles on a variety of subjects. Abby is co-Founder of ESC Forever Media and co-Founder/Executive Editor of the blog Evil Slutopia, where she writes about pop culture, politics, relationships, feminism, sex and more under the pseudonym “Lilith”.

 1) Identify one or two trends, or influential people in the Sex Positive community that you identify with (or are inspired by) and those trends which you relate to not-so-much.

You-can-be-sex-positive-even-ABBEY-Quote (1)A trend I’ve seen lately that I just love is the inclusion of asexuality, “vanilla” sexuality and monogamy into the realm of sex positivity. I don’t think this is something new, but it has definitely been overlooked in the past. So it’s nice whenever I see people who understand that there is a difference between being sex positive and being kink-friendly or polyamorous. It should be common sense, but too often I hear the terms used synonymously and it can be alienating to those who don’t identify as such. We need to stop with the idea that poly relationships are more evolved than monogamous ones or that if you’re not into BDSM or kink it’s because you’re just afraid or too uptight.

There are so many different ways to express your sexuality and they’re all valid as long as everyone involved is consenting.

A trend that frustrates me is the idea that feminism and sex positivity are contradictory or that they’re even ideologically different. Feminism has so many negative connotations that a lot of women are afraid to identify as feminists, but if you believe in gender equality then, in my opinion, you’re a feminist no matter what you call yourself.

I view feminism in the same way that I view sex positivity; it’s about equality, freedom, choice and acceptance. So it annoys me when people act like “sex positive feminist” is an oxymoron.

2) How do you define “sex positivity” for yourself and your work? In other words, what is your primary passion and how do you distinguish your writings and interests from other branches of thought within the sex positive movement?

Follow Abby Rose Dalto @LilithESC

Follow Abby @Lilithabs on Twitter and @Lilithabs on Instagram.

There’s a misconception that if you like sex, then you’re sex positive… or if you have a lot of sex, then you’re sex positive. As I said above, I think it’s more about equality, freedom, choice and acceptance. You can be sex positive even if you’re not having sex at all, as long as you don’t judge others for their sexual choices or try to control their sexual choices. Our society is so obsessed with what everyone else is doing in bed. So to me, sex positivity is about acknowledging that we’re all different, we all like what we like, and that’s okay.

On Evil Slutopia, we’ve written about reclaiming the word “slut” in order to take the power away from those who would use the word against us. I like to think of it as an expression of choice: I’m going to do what I want and as long as I’m not hurting anyone in the process, no one can make me feel bad about that. If being who I am and doing what feels right and sleeping with whomever I want (even if it’s no one) makes me a slut in someone else’s eyes, then that’s fine. The word can’t hurt me if I own it and if I know that I’m living my truth.

I don’t write about specifically sex positivity that much anymore but I find that being sex positive still influences my work and my life every day. Right now, I’m really passionate about sex positive parenting. I have a 13-year-old daughter and I find myself constantly toeing the line between trying to keep her safe and not wanting to attach any shame or stigma to sex. I think that even in the best schools, sex education is seriously lacking. There’s a lot of emphasis on not getting pregnant, not getting a disease – which is really important information – but there’s very little taught about pleasure, about consent, about mutual respect. I don’t want my daughter to have sex before she’s ready, but I don’t want her to wait for the wrong reasons. I don’t want her to buy into some old fashioned construct of virginity  or expect to live “happily ever after” with some guy she meets in high school (nod to Therese Shechter’s “How to Lose Your Virginity”).

(For more about sex positive parenting, Airial Clark aka the Sex-Positive Parent, is an excellent resource).

3) What directions do you think sex positivity will take within the next 5 – 10 years? Or what topics and with what platforms would you like to see sex positivity develop more thoroughly within the next 5 – 10 years?

I hope that within the next 5 to 10 years we will finally see nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage and other strides made in the area of LGBT rights. I think the next logical step is legalization of polygamy or at least wider acceptance of poly relationships (Polyamory Weekly is dedicated to building a socially conscious and healthy non-monogamous community). I don’t think it will happen that soon – because sadly, I don’t think America is ready for it – but to me it’s the obvious next step to marriage equality.

Opinions shared are the author’s own. Want to participate in this interview series? What is your sex positivity?

Reacquainting With Condoms After 11 Years on The Pill

A dramatic contraceptive story that spans over a decade, told in 1000 words.

“Which ones should we get?” I asked my boyfriend. Well, he’s a man and he’s the one that has to wear them, so naturally I assumed he’d know best. “I dunno,” was the mumbled response. I’d not been “hat” shopping in over a decade. For nearly 11 years I was on the Pill and in three monogamous relationships, for the majority of that time, so ‘safe’ meant not getting pregnant.

Standing there, facing a wall of johnnies, there were three main changes I noticed: the packaging of condoms 11 years on was nicer, there were brands other than Durex available, and the price was higher. No wonder the supermarket kept them in security boxes. Ten quid ($16) for 10 condoms, so a pound a fuck essentially, and me and my boyfriend fuck a lot. Giving up the Pill was apparently going to cost me in more ways than I expected!

That said, coming off the pill four months ago was one of the best decisions I’ve made and I’d like to state that this was what was right for me, not what every woman should do, although I do think every woman should take the time to stop and re-evaluate their contraceptive method as their body changes.

The biggest question I’ve faced since is what contraception should my partner and I use instead?

Long term, that’s still a frustrating debate I’m having with myself, my partner and sexual health advisers. For now though, my chap and I are only using condoms and that is how I found myself: Standing in Tesco adding ‘condoms’ to our weekly, big shop shopping list.

Just call me Goldilocks

After much deliberation we went for the clichéd ribs and dots for her pleasure style. You have to start somewhere. They were good, but not quite right. If we’re being honest (and I think we can be here) too much dotting and ribbing can lead to chaffing.

Thankfully, there’s more to safe sex-life than that one style and so the hunt began online to try something new. Scouring the sites we found a ridiculous number of options. Without wanting to sound too Disney about it, there was a whole new world opening up before my eyes. Previously my experience of condoms had been whatever was free and easy to grab from the GP or sexual health clinic as they were only ever used briefly when there was a Pill glitch.FlyingCarpetCondomsAnim

Now though, scouring the various sex e-tailers, there was this whole exotic, rubbery, latex fantasticness that had the potential to be a lot of fun. Maybe shopping for condoms would be a great, new, sexy part to our foreplay?

We came across an American brand called One and they had an interesting pack called ‘Tantric’ with tattoo style patterns and extra lubrication. Oh, they sound fancy and you can never have too much lube, so we ordered some.

It wasn’t long before the boyfriend and I found ourselves back online, looking for something different the next time. We “um-ed” and “ah-ed” over the various boxes, brands, descriptions, shapes and textures for nearly as long as we’d spend trying to pick a nice bottle of wine to go with dinner.

Obviously, sex is a shared experience and if there is the opportunity to choose together, then you should. Like with any aspect of sex you should both get enjoyment out of what you’re using. There aren’t very many things that we put on our bodies that are as intimate as condoms. It’s going on his most sensitive area and in hers, so when it comes to condom shopping it’s important to find some rubbers that you’re both gonna’ love. Generally, that means experimenting.

Getting comfy with condoms

Through shopping around, I’ve learnt more about condoms in the last four months than I ever learnt at school, or was bothered to listen to after that, because they just weren’t relevant to my life. It’s a bad attitude to have, I know. It’s shocking how the “fit and forget” or pill-popping culture we have today means it’s easy to overlook the humble condom. Especially when you’re in a relationship that uses one of the aforementioned methods.

It’s been a re-education: I’m aware now about the importance of fit and how that effects sensation and minimises the risk of breakage, the safest way to take them off to avoid any ‘accidents’ and I’ll admit that I’m still perfecting my roll on method (anything billed as ultra thin is definitely the trickiest).

The biggest adjustment (and I don’t reckon I’m the only woman who’s come off the Pill to feel this) is becoming confident with the idea that condoms can keep me safe. Not from STDs as that’s not an issue in my relationship, but of pregnancy. A lot of people my age and a bit older seem keen to use Fertility Awareness Methods and the pull-out method, but for many of them pregnancy wouldn’t be so much of a disaster. For me and my boyfriend, it certainly would be.

Making the move from the pill to condoms is scary. Anything you get fitted, implanted or swallow every morning has a success rate of approximately 99 percent. Sure, there are some side effects, but you’re willing to put up with them because it’s a shared ideology that now we have these methods, why bother with condoms that have a slightly lower success rate at all if your aim is to not get pregnant?

Living with that mentality for over a decade, then changing what you use and your body changes too, is a lot to get your head around, but it is doable. On the plus side, not only has it led me to take another look at the whole contraceptive menu – not just what the GP would prefer me to use – but it’s made me and my partner look again at correct condom use and I don’t think it’s a bad thing for any couple to do that no matter how long they’ve been together.

Monologues are independent stories. The opinions shared are the author’s own.