Everything I said in those videos I believe and agree with. So because I agree with both, does that make me sex critical?
To be honest, I find it quite hard to let go of the label “sex-positive”. It’s the movement that brought me in to sex education, gave me the language to talk about diverse sexualities and fuelled my passion. Sex positivity taught me so much and made me truly understand the importance and necessity for comprehensive inclusive sex education in schools.
Whilst I still stand by sex positivity at it’s core, it has limitations. Maybe it’s time for me to evolve and grow. I’m now imagining this is sex-ed Pokemon and I’m Hannah Witton 2.0: Sex Critical Edition.
One of the best ways I can describe being “sex critical” is if we take the topic of porn. Consenting adults choosing to perform in porn and people watching porn for pleasure and learning new things about their desires is all good, right? But just because all parties involved are consenting and having a positive experience doesn’t mean we can’t still be critical. What gender roles are being perpetuated by the scene? Are any problematic behaviours being shown? Yes, the performers may have chosen this work but do they feel like they have the ability to choose to leave if they want to? Are they being paid fairly?
I love that even after 7 years of making videos and sex ed advocacy I’m still learning and changing my mind about things. It was actually my trip to Austria and the sex education seminar I attended there that inspired these videos. One of the workshops was about sex positivity. So we split into groups and I was on team NOT sex positive. We had articles to read (which is where I first came across “sex-negative feminism”) and debate our side.
I had gone into that seminar as a beacon of sex positivity – it was my framework for understanding sex. But that workshop changed everything. I had to consider things I’d never really thought about before. And I’m so grateful for it because it’s made me a better thinker, educator and person.
To be honest, I don’t want to tell you what you should be: sex positive, negative or critical. What I advocate for more is being open to learning new things that might change your mind. It’s a strange feeling. Like I said I’m still finding it hard to let go of “sex positivity” because it has meant so much to me. But with everything I know now, this seems to be the best way going forward. “Sex Critical” has been around for years and I’m kind of ashamed I didn’t discover it sooner but better late than never!
What do you think about all this? About being sex critical or simply about changing your mind about things? Let me know in the comments!