To Be a Sex Positive Parent

I strive to raise sex positive children and as much as I strive for this, the reality is I don’t really know how. Contrary to what this blog may project…I am not a sex expert. The idea of being sex positive in general is relatively new to me so the concept of sex positive parenting is completely uncharted territory. However, it is not outside my experience and there are some resources like this piece by sex therapist Kristin Hambridge, Sex + Parenting. And this one, This Is What Sex-Positive Parenting Really Looks Like, that I can’t stop rereading.

My children are young, nine and four, as I write these words. Discussing anatomical names and physiological locations for body parts is easy, but what about everything else.

When I’ve asked people, mainly women, they tell me that sex education was largely absent in their upbringing. I believed I’ve mentioned before that my parents never talked to me about sex. Fortunately, I liked to read and had a keen curiosity when it came to my body and sex in general.

The first conversation I ever had about sex, I was in middle school with a group of high school aged girls who took it upon themselves to educate me once they noticed all of the attention I was getting from guys that were in high school.

Being a sex positive parent means giving my children the knowledge and experience I wish I would have had if I had it to do again. And taking all of the high energy experiences I appreciated having and gifting that to them as well.

when a flower doesn't bloom you fix the environment in which it grows not the flower

Confounds of Conditioning

I speak very openly about my desire to educate my children without restriction when it comes to sexuality. There are few people who agree with my methods. I can confidently say, this is mainly due to their own conditioning. The same conditioning that teaches us that sex is mostly (or only) for a man’s pleasure. The same conditioning that accepts double standards as the standard. The same conditioning that teaches a woman that it’s ok for a guy to touch her, but it’s gross to touch herself, or that sex is something you do behind closed doors and you certainly do not discuss it openly. Yes, I experienced the same conditioning. Even though I did not subscribe to all of it personally, I was going right along with it.

However, this is not where I am coming from. First, I am actively questioning and revolutionizing every ideal within my awareness about sexuality (because there are things that I am still unaware of). I am deciding which of those ideals resonate with me, which ones are counter productive to who I am, and which of them are my own formed beliefs. So few of them are my own.

One of my friends said to me, “Victoria, for the sake of your children, I hope you are doing this right.” I’m sure they meant well but I didn’t hesitate to let them know that my decision to raise sex positive children is not about being right or wrong. My children are not some social experiment in a “Most Successful” parenting competition.

Life is about giving your children all the things you never had, right? (Maybe…) For me, I did not have the knowledge to make a well-informed decision when it came to my own sexuality or even the decision to engage in the act of sex, which has had some unwarranted effects on relationships that were very important to me.

I was not very sexually empowered and occasionally found myself in situations I had not been prepared to deal with. Of course this happens in life, but it happened significantly more often for sexual encounters. Situations I had not been prepared for and had not been taught to properly navigate.

Desexualizing Nudity

My body is my body whether I use is for sex or not. I believe this is the most important component to raising sex positive children.

I walk around my home completely nude. Yes, in front of my children and so do my children. I can’t tell you how many people have gasped at this revelation. My son, who is four years old, occasionally plays with my boobs and crawls underneath my dresses. So did my daughter at that age. I mean, why not, it’s completely non-sexual: boobs are fun to play with and ankle-length dresses are like tents. When I was a child, I used to play with my dad’s boobs (Yes, my dad had boobs!), and I’ll hear you say that that’s different but only because we make it so.

My children love on my nudity all the time and I allow it because not only is it good for them, it’s also good for me. When my daughter runs her hand across my tummy, she doesn’t think how gross and ugly my stretchmarks look. She questions where I got them and when she might receive her own. This helps me recognize my own conditioning towards my postpartum body.

When my son nestles his face into my breast, it is simply his way of comforting himself. He nursed from my breast for the first thirteen months of his life, that memory is not so far away for either of us. Motherhood has helped me see that a body is not just reserved for sex. And of course, I knew that already but it was not a part of my conditioning. Therefore nonsexual bodily interactions that occur between me and my children are indeed normal however generally may be perceived by others as inappropriate.

Sexualizing children is one of my greatest pet peeves but it’s something we’ve been conditioned to do. We do it without a second thought as to the origins of such a thought.

Empowerment to the Children

Even though I found myself in those situations, I was thankful that my mom taught me that it is perfectly acceptable to say no in any situation. Although she did not say so explicitly, in my mind, sex was not different.

Now being in a situation where I didn’t know whether I wanted to say yes or no was a whole other issue and a bit trickier. No one ever taught me how to listen to my inner self to make these sort of decisions. That’s a post in itself though.

When I sit with women and talk about these things, most experiences are relatable however outcomes may differ. I try to figure out where our experiences diverge. It is through these conversations that I’ve learned so many women were not taught to explicitly say no. (And I’m still exploring the why of this: Why aren’t women taught explicitly to say no?)…and of course I’m aware of the whole, “Why is the responsibility placed solely on the woman?” I’m so there although I’ve learned to navigate this thing one question at a time…the overlap will eventually reveal itself.

It’s weird to have been taught to stand up for what you believe in and trust your intuition except when it comes to sex. I was always taught that your hormones will deceive you and your emotions will betray you. BLASPHEMY! I know that now.

I was not taught to acknowledge my body at all in any way. Perhaps if I’d been a dancer or an athlete that may not have been the case, however, that is not my story. I was only ever taught to hide and cover myself: skirts below the knee and shirts up to my collar bone. My physical and psychological pubescent changes were never directly acknowledged outside of my menstrual cycle. These conversations occur regularly now between me and my own daughter.

I want to empower my children to explore their sexuality however they choose. I want to teach them that it is perfectly acceptable to reject experiences that do not resonate within. If a thing does occur, willingly or unwillingly, it is not something you need to feel guilt or shame about.

Fearlessly Open

Whenever I encounter bullies in my life, the first thing I’d do is tell somebody. Put them right on blast so everyone would know. I wish I had been taught to be so fearlessly open when it came to exposing the “bully” of conditioning in my own life. Hell, I didn’t even possess the awareness to be so vigilant. I would like my kids to have a different option. Does this mean they’ll make all the right and great decisions? I’m sure they won’t. But once again, that isn’t the goal.

I want my children to know that it is perfectly acceptable to challenge the status quo. You don’t need to go along to get along. Let’s talk about it. What’s done in the dark must be brought to the light or else people will go on just pretending it doesn’t happen. PERIOD.

Sex positive

I’ve had someone say to me, if you teach your daughter to be as sexually liberated as you are, aren’t you concerned about predators. Nope…they exist regardless of whether she is sex positive, sexually liberated, or totally oblivious. They may still come for her and while I cannot change others behaviors, I can make her aware of her every option and right as a human person.

Encouraging my children to use their words, to write what they cannot say, to draw what they cannot write, and to simply be still if they need to is so important to my endeavors of sex positive parenting. No form, of the way you choose to express yourself, is greater than another.

For me, this is so much deeper than intercourse. It’s about fostering healthy attitudes, and relationships, first with your whole self, in order to choose healthy sexual experiences and boundaries with others. By whole self I mean physical, psychological, spiritual, as well as sexual (which embodies all three).

**SIGH**
I could go on and on because the freedom to explore one’s sexuality, openly and safely in the way that they desire, is so important to me. I desire for my children to find strength and sensuality in sex instead of shame, objectification, and health stigmas.

Yes, I could go on but I won’t. I’ll just stop right here and you can subscribe to keep abreast of my sex positive parenting adventures. After all, this is just theory.


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Raising a Sexually Empowered Daughter

My daughter recently turned 9 and is grasping the cusp of puberty. I know without a doubt, she is a confident, responsible, independent, and considerate young person. However, every day I question whether I am raising a sexually empowered daughter. Now, this question might have been easier to answer except I live in a society marred by patriarchy. Not to mention the fact that she spends her school breaks with a misogynist, womanizing fool and entire culture of people who subscribe to “a woman’s place” bullshit. But so did I, and look how awesome I turned out. One fierce feminist!

Sexual liberation begins with sexual empowerment. Sexual empowerment, as with any other type of empowerment, begins with you.

What does it mean to be sexually empowered?

For me, to be sexually empowered means owning all aspects of your sexuality, acknowledging the oneness of your mind, body, and spirit in every sexual encounter, and ALWAYS putting your desires and well-being first. Sexual empowerment means never avoiding the conversation. It means openly exploring desires without judgment. It means putting your health and your personal values first. It means embracing all the things that shape your sexuality.

Once when my daughter was an infant, her paternal grandmother was changing her diaper. As soon as the diaper was off, in normal baby fashion, my daughter reached for her vulva. Her grandmother immediately pushed her hand away and told her not to touch because it was stinky. The statement made me recoil with disapproval as I scolded my mother in law never to teach my daughter that her vagina smells bad. My mother in law looked with a blank stare as if to say, “That was not my intention,” and perhaps it wasn’t. Perhaps she only meant to say the urine soaked diaper made it smell, however, I wanted to make her aware of the message she was sending. A message that could serve as a foundation of insecurity and shame, that could affect her sexual confidence as a woman.

The Talk

The Talk. . .the dreaded talk for many parents, the “avoided until the last minute” talk, the “I’ll wait until they bring it up” talk, the “we will just assume they already know once they get to that age” talk, the “OMGosh she’s pregnant; it’s too late, now” talk. And if you think this is not the truth, I’ll tell you this, my mother or father have never talked to me about sex. NEVER! Looking back at how much my life has been affected by sexuality and sex education, I’m completely shocked. Like, how can you not have this conversation with your child!? This conversation is as important as the “look both ways before crossing the street” conversation.

Should I talk to my 9-year-old about sex? Is it too early? Is she ready? If not now, when should I tell her? If anything, what should I tell her right now? Certainly, she doesn’t need to know everything right now, right? These are just a few of my more pressing questions. Many of my friends of 9 to 11-year-olds express fear and concern about talking to their sons and daughters about sex. I’m not afraid to talk with my daughter, I just don’t want to inundate her with sex information prematurely but I also don’t want to neglect the subject.

Following HER lead

My daughter has always been an inquisitive child. You can often discover her interest and concerns by the questions she asks. My daughter is an early bloomer. She began showing the first signs of puberty at the age of seven which caused her to have a lot of questions.

There were a lot of “oh my goodness” reactions from friends and family concerning my daughter’s prematurely blossoming body and even a mention of birth control. It has also caused a stir at sleepovers as the girls change into their jammies. However, it has made her completely comfortable with openly asking questions about her developing body. This makes the talk much easier to navigate.

Despite all other influences, sexual empowerment begins with YOU. In this case, my daughter. I teach my daughter that differences, ALL DIFFERENCES, are what makes us magical and unique. I teach her to be honest, responsible, and accountable. I focus on empowering her in all aspects of her life, not just sexuality. Everything about her is beautiful and natural and I instill that in her every single day. I let her know how important it is to instill this message in others as well, even though I don’t always practice it myself. Just the other day, I saw a woman and I said, I love her legs (she had amazing legs) and my daughter whispered to me, “Well, just tell her.” These are the things that let me know that I am teaching her well.

Teaching with Love & Guidance

I do my best to teach with intention and in my moments of imperfection, I forgive myself quickly, move forward and do better. Her dad got upset with me because I taught her to twerk. I know I might get a lot of frowny faces and I won’t defend my stance. Yes, I taught my then 8-year-old to twerk. She asked because she saw me doing it in my mirror and so I taught her. I’m also teaching her Spanish. I also downloaded an app that teaches her to draw, which she’s very good at by the way. I’ve taught her to braid hair, do simple computer setups (because I didn’t want to have to keep doing them for my 4-year-old), and a number of other things that she’s asked me to teach her. The point is, I empower my daughter to seek enlightenment and to educate herself without limits. It does not matter who disapproves as long as it is something she desires.

My entire focus must be centered on my child, her interests, and her desires. I invest heavily in gentle guidance, concentrating more on influencing her perspective rather than her behavior.

Welcome to Womanhood

At this point, my daughter expresses no interest in boys or anything related to intercourse. She is, however, going through pubescent physical development. What she is currently experiencing has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with becoming a woman. Too often, we directly associate womanhood with sex, which in term sends a dangerous message to our girls.

And so, I center our conversation around explaining to my daughter the changes that occur while becoming a woman. I explain to her that her journey into womanhood is the most honorable, most powerful, evolutionary change that will ever happen in her life. Women have a divine purpose. Life begins with a woman, as a woman, and physically within a woman. As a woman, you are born with everything it takes to bring life into this world both physically and most of all spiritually in more ways than pregnancy and birth. Womanhood is a continuous journey.

I make her aware that there will be naysayers. There will be individuals who will doubt you and second guess you long after you have succeeded ten times over because of the negative social constructs designed to control women. I teach her that they won’t just be men.

In time, we will add more to the conversation. We will address those things as she becomes aware of their relevance to her life. In the meantime, her journey into womanhood and what this means for her is the perfect segue to her personal journey of sexual empowerment.

Artist feature

“Ball of Light” by Justin Copeland

A digital artist out of Baltimore. Transforming pain while sending love and peace through his work. Visit Justin online to discover how to add his work to your collection.

IG @justincopeland_art

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Free My Postpartum Sexuality

There is relatively universal consensus that pregnancy and motherhood is a beautiful and blessed journey. For the most part, it is a common belief that “A child is a blessing from God.” That is how I’ve always heard it, but you ever notice how pregnancy and motherhood is a huge source of cultural shame?

The Dome of Shame

The moment I became visibly pregnant at 21 looking every bit of 17 as a black, unwed expectant mother, I could feel the difference in energy of the way I was perceived in the world. I could feel the stares and I could hear the whispers. Some of it didn’t come in whispers, just outright questioned expectations, disappointment, blame, ridicule and the like. I was excited to become a mother within myself but as I heard the words “Your life is over,” as I’m sure many women and girls had heard before me, all I could do was cry in spite of the joy that resonated from my womb. I felt weak, vulnerable, and strapped inside the “dome” of shame, referring to my taut, dome-shaped pregnant belly. I felt like I could not fully embrace the spiritual jubilance of carrying my child.

There is so much shame and blame associated with becoming a mother coupled with the details surrounding your journey: How many kids do you have? Do your kids have the same father? Were you married to their father? How old were you when you had your child? Did you graduate college? The list is endless. It was like I had less privilege without a man to validate me, without a marriage as proof of that validation.

God forbid you have three or more children with different fathers, be unwed, and never married. You carry the scarlet letter of shame. This was exactly the case with my own mother. I, her only daughter and eldest child, had to watch as she toiled in the psychological damage that resulted from her self-criticism and the constant judgement she received from others. Somewhere, I made a promise this would never happen to me.

Are you a bastard?

In 8th grade, a girl walked around the class pointing at students asking, “Are you a bastard?”, “Are you a bastard?” “I know you’re not a bastard.” “I’m not a bastard, because my parents were married before I was born.” She stood in front of me, pointed, and asked, “Victoria, are you a bastard.” I recall rolling my eyes and ignoring her as she walked over to the next student and posed the same question.

Of all the things that had happened to me in middle school, why do I remember this so vividly; why was this particular incident so effective that when I think of this moment, a part of me says, “Ha, now I have two children with the same father and all of her five children have different fathers,” despite the fact that I know in the grand scheme of life, it matters not at all. Why do I think this way? Because this type of cultural shame has been reinforced in our lives as women, as mothers over and over and over again.

Sex positive and body positive blog, Subscribe to PrettyPinkLotusBud.org for a refreshing perspective on sex, relationships, and spirituality. Tearing down social constructs one patriarchal perspective at a time.

Postpartum Bodies

Then comes the postpartum body judgement. Your lovely new “kangaroo pouch”, for those of us that don’t snap back or who were never snapped in the first place, means you are no longer suitable for male consumption.

Oh yes, let us not omit the infamous “Ewwww stretchmarks”. Yet another scar-let letter of shame. Pun intended. I watch mothers on Instagram, who flaunt their postpartum tummy (@powertoprevail) get grueling insults hurled at them so much that an entire campaign (Love Your Lines) uplifting the journey into motherhood and the bodily changes that come with it, was erected in their honor.  We shame mothers into hiding through the idolization of perfect bodies and the condemnation of what we categorize as imperfect ones, after they have emerged from the perilous yet miraculous labor of childbirth.

Honor & Celebrate Transition

Author Emily Nagoski proposed a beautiful idea in her book Come as you Are. “Let’s invent a ritual where women celebrate the transition into their postpartum bodies.”

When Maya Angelou traveled to Africa she stayed with a tribe who bathed communally. She said the women began to weep and console her and she didn’t know why. They thought she was childless because she had no stretch marks. In their society, marks are a badge of honor. They said that even if the baby died and she was kidnapped into a new village, if she passed away and could not speak for herself, the marks would tell her story and she would get the proper rites at her burial.

We must guide in a different way, uplift, honor, and empower ALL women and girls on their journey into motherhood. ALL of them and not just a select few who did it the “right” way. It is imperative that we love and embrace our transition into motherhood both physically and psychologically. Now more often than ever, we hear reports on the rise of postpartum depression. I do not wonder why.

The lack of appreciation for being the giver of life is beyond disgusting.

Welcome to postpartum motherhood, the land of “damaged goods”. The place where your shitty baby’s father threatens to leave because no one else is gonna want you anyway. I actually heard one of the guys from TeenMom say that to the mother of his child. All I could think was, “Oh wow, is this what we think of our child bearers?” The place where you get likened to an old car that has lost its value with your “high mileage pussy.” I swear I didn’t make any of this up. Why do we treat women like they’re property and products; An asset that decreases in value over time and sexual experiences?

Postpartum Sexuality

As a mother, how can I be socially barred from being associated with sex when it is the very act of intercourse that brought me to this place of motherhood. To be a mother and to also be sexy creates a feeling of cognitive dissonance from both a personal and social perspective, a dichotomy that artist Michael explores quite nicely in his post “Cognitive Dissonance: Hestia vs Aphrodite.” In his post he talks about Hestia, Greek goddess of the hearth who is a virgin and Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation. In summary, it mentions the way the goddesses represent two extremes of a single spectrum which mirrors the way women see themselves, the way that men view us as well as the way we are expected to exist in the real world. Essentially, it is difficult to accept us as being both; A feeling I can readily identify with as a woman, as a mother, and as a former wife.

There is such a dissociation between sex and motherhood that the thought of a mother having sex and being a sexual being is complete taboo. The idea of fucking someone’s mother is a repulsive turn off and she should tread carefully on any consideration of having sex with anyone who is not her child’s father or any other sexy behavior for that matter as not to be labeled a slut, whore, sorry excuse of a mother, poor example for her daughter, and an embarrassment to her family. And please don’t let a child result from such a union without a solid commitment to redeem her respect. The postpartum period of a woman’s life is a laundry list of things you shouldn’t do, clothes you shouldn’t wear, and people you shouldn’t be.

Free my postpartum sexuality.

Mother Slut

Get you a girl that can do both. We are not one dimensional. Yes, I am a mother. I am still fucking sexy and ****NEWS FLASH**** I also love to fuck. I still wear crop tops, booty shorts, and bikinis,  my stretchmarks proudly on display. Body dresses, stilettos, and brightly colored lipstick, fly by romance and one night stands are still a valid occurrence in my life. I twerk, I flirt, and in the bedroom, trust that I werk *snap, snap*. I wear what I want. I do what I want. I’ll be who I want. I embrace my postpartum body as my version of sexy. I am a single, sexy mommy. Yes, I am a fused duality of Hestia and Aphrodite; mother lover, mother goddess, mother slut.

Get you a girl that can do both. @juiceboxxqueen

Artist Feature

Eve” by artist Eric Heard.

To learn more about Eric’s work and how you can give his art a new home visit his IG. Check out his beautiful work, like, share, and buy, buy, gift.

thatsharveyson

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