One of the things I did a while back was ask around about what people might like to see on my blog. Outside of more blowjobs (of course!) one request was to hear more from Sophie. She was quite happy to oblige, so here’s what she had to say in response to an xoJane article about the concept of sex-negative feminism:
Thanks, Camille! I always feel like a field reporter when you have me blog here. This article has been on my mind for a while because I just can’t quite wrap my head around her reasoning, so I finally decided to break down and post about it in some way. I identify as a sex-positive feminist, but it’s certainly not without critical thought, and that appears to be the crux of the problem with the argument she presents: she thinks that people come to sex-positive feminism without questioning it and making sure it’s the right fit for themselves, or that feminism doesn’t truly enter our view of sexuality at all. It’s not that feminism doesn’t play a role in our understanding of our sexuality, but that our feminism allows for enjoyment of sex in spite of a deeper thought process around it.
She says that she calls herself a sex-negative feminist “because it’s a startling term” which I don’t disagree with, but it doesn’t really accurately reflect how she feels. I would assume it was just click bait based on the article, but she does seem to strongly prefer the label. The author paints herself this way, but ultimately espouses much of what is expected of a sex-positive feminist. For example:
Being sex-negative doesn’t mean that I fancy myself the chief inspector of the sex police, or that I am personally judging what you do in bed, or that I’m conservative, or that I’m engaging in repressive moralizing. It doesn’t mean that I hate sex workers, or that I want to ban sex work or porn (and, in general, I tend to leave those conversations to women who do sex work while I shut up and listen to what they have to say). It doesn’t mean that I hate sex or that I’m embarrassed by it.
That’s pretty sex-positive, or at least sex-neutral, to me. You can be critical of sex-positive feminism, and I think that’s incredibly important as someone who regularly looks at my sexual life choices, my position in the pornographic community and my own sexual politics, but the main criticism of sex-positivity (including her main criticism) is unbelievably disempowering; we are sexually enthusiastic and performative not because we as women want to be, but because the patriarchy has forced us to be this way. We can’t possibly truly consent or be unharmed by our “kinks” because this is all a construct meant to keep women down. Our pleasure isn’t real, particularly if it relates to male pleasure or anything that could seem like female subjugation… Particularly porn. To this I say: and?
This may be sound rhetoric. In some ways, I have no doubt that it’s at least somewhat true, but what are we supposed to do about it? Should all women retreat from sex and go generations without it until we can finally create our own sexual dialogue, free from patriarchy? That doesn’t sound very realistic. A much better way is to be active in sexual communities and concepts, making room for women to negotiate the complexities of being women having sex in our culture. We can be kinky, make porn and enjoy our sexuality on a superficial level without ignorance of the framework in which we’re doing so.
Sex-positivity should never be about saying that it’s wrong to not like sex, not like porn or not like certain aspects of our sexual culture, but it is to say that we can’t ultimately shut it down because of the condition it was in when we got here… We just need to be allowed to enjoy it as we can and derive pleasure while trying to gain back some of the power that has historically been kept from us. It’s not compulsory to participate, it’s just important to respect the choices of those who do…
The reason I bring this up is chiefly because, as we’re on a porn adjacent site, we’re in a centre of sex-positivity, and a lot of people seem to assume that goes without critical thought and analysis. We truly try to focus on being intelligent about the way we present our porn and to be the most encouraging and friendly to our audience. As a marketer, I hope we’re doing a good job at this.