6 Things I Do In Bed As A Sex-Positive Woman, & 4 Things I Don’t

Amanda Chatel

In a society that tries to stifle female sexuality and pleasure, it's not easy being a sex-positive woman. To call yourself sex-positive isn't just a rebellious act, but something that can sometimes be met with misunderstandings. Doing sex-positive things in bed is a way to walk the talk and teach others what it literally means to be sex positive, but this practice needs to start long before we even think about having sex.

“We should talk to our daughters about sex because when we don’t, they know there must be a reason," psychoanalyst and author of Modern Mothering, Joyce McFadden, tells Bustle. "Even our littlest understand that the things we’re happy about or proud of are the things we talk about freely. It’s the bad things we don’t discuss. Over time, our silence around female sexuality combined with this vague sense of ‘badness’ gets absorbed into how our daughters see themselves, and it undermines not only their confidence but their desire to feel close to us... We actively help our daughters grow up in every other way — learning to walk, read, make friends, prepare for college and so on — but when it comes to sexuality, they often feel left all alone."

Being sex-positive is a big part of me. It effects how I accept my own sexuality, as well as the sexuality of others, and how I interpret situations and interact with people. Being sex-positive isn't solely about sex-related things, but human dynamics and openness. At least that's what being sex-positive means to me, and it's these factors that contribute to what I do and don't do in bed.


I Don't Judge

Admittedly, I can be a fairly judgmental person. But one of the few places where I'm never judgmental is in bed. No matter what a partner is into or wants to do, I accept it with a very open mind. Even if what they lay out on the table isn't my scene and I don't feel comfortable doing it, I make damn sure my partner knows that whatever sexual fetishes or kinks they have, I'm cool with it. Human sexuality isn't linear, nor is there a "right" or "wrong" way to be turned on or enjoy sex. It's all very complicated, and it's not my place to judge anyone for it.


I'm Clear About What I Want

While it took me a long damn time to vocalize what I want, now that I can, there's no stopping me. Because I don't judge my partners, I hope, or rather expect, that they won't judge me either. It's this expectation that allows me the ability to be completely honest about what I do and don't want in bed. I can put into words what turns me on, what turns me off, and what little kinks I have and would like to sexually explore. I'm not afraid to use certain words, to give my partner direction, or to explain how my body responds to different sensations. To the best of my knowledge, none of my partners have been psychic, so I shouldn't keep them guessing.


I Experiment

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

I love to experiment. Not just because I have a lot of sex toys, but because it's so much fun. You never know what you're going to really like, or even love, until you try it. The human body is a hot bed of erogenous zones, some of which might even surprise people, and to take the time to explore these parts of the body with different toys is really liberating. Even if you think you've covered everything that a person can possibly cover in regards to sex, I'm willing to bet you actually haven't. With the constant onslaught of new innovations in sex toys, you could live your entire existence and manage to continue to find something new with which to experiment in your sex life.


I Don't Freak Out When Things Get... Interesting

To get straight to the point: sex can be gross. I mean, there's a lot going on there. From smells, to sounds, to tastes, to accidental stuff, sex isn't for the faint of heart. Although our tolerance for what's gross increases when we're aroused, sometimes things come up that even a higher tolerance can't handle. But the way I see it, and this is pretty much my take on everything, it's all just part of being human.

Human beings are kinda gross when you think about it. We're not perfect, we sometimes stink, we sometimes wander around for hours with broccoli in our teeth, we sometimes accidentally pee ourselves, and we can be total disasters. I can't expect perfection in bed. I can't expect my human partner to be non-human during sex. And, honestly, I don't want perfection anyway.


I Ask Questions

Ashley Batz for Bustle

Just as I don't assume that my partner is psychic, I, too, don't claim to be a mind reader either. In not having these super powers, the only way to know, for sure, what my partner wants is to ask them. Do they like this or that, or this way or that way? Do they prefer this, do they want that, or how about some pizza with your orgasm? As much as I enjoy being selfish sometimes, ultimately, sex involves two people. Granted, I don't sit there with a clipboard before things get going, but I do make sure to ask questions along the way. up


I'm Comfortable In My Own Skin

As much as I try, I'm not as body positive for myself as I wish I could be. I really wish I could embrace my body with the same gusto that I embrace my sexuality, but I just can't. I know the reason for this is because I'm the product of a culture that has an effed up idea of what beauty should be, but that still doesn't change my opinions about myself. While this is the case in my every day life, in bed I'm completely comfortable in my own skin. I want to be there, I like what I'm doing, and I'm excited to try new things. Even butt-naked in some overly revealing position I'm completely comfortable in my skin and that really makes a difference in how I enjoy sex and share the experience with my partner.


I Share What I Know

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Perhaps I share a little too much of what I know in regards to sex (read: varies STI statistics), but I also share the good stuff too. Some men are unaware of the fact that their perineum is chockfull of nerves that feel amazing when stimulated, while other men actually think they're the only guy in the world who enjoys having their prostate massaged. Although I don't want to ever come off as a know-it-all, I do think sharing what I know about sex and the sex organs isn't just a fun a way to communicate, but something from which my partners will benefit going forward. And, hopefully, benefit without shame.


I Don't Think Anything Is Taboo

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of taboo is "banned on grounds of morality or taste." But here's an important question: Exactly whose morality and whose taste? Even if the answer to that is it's simply the general consensus, that doesn't mean the majority is right or should be in charge of being that taboo police.

Taboo is subjective. What might be taboo to one person, might not even be remotely taboo to another. When it comes to sex, I don't think anything is taboo. Maybe it's not for me, but that doesn't make it immoral or in bad taste. Similar to not judging my partners, it's not my place to decide what's taboo and what isn't when it comes to sex.


I Create A Safe Space

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Because I'm open, honest, don't judge, ask questions, and put consent above all else, I create a safe space for my partner and I when we have sex. I want us both to have a good time, to not have to worry about things, and feel relaxed. Sex, good sex, is very much about what's going on in your brain. If either my partner or myself are stressing out about something that could be resolved with a question or a discussion, then that's what I'm going to do: talk it out.


I Never Fake It

I may not be above lying to get out of trouble, (example: "No, I did not eat that last slice of pizza," although I totally did), but I do draw a line when it come to lying about having an orgasm. Why should I — or any person — lie about having an orgasm? Who actually wins in this scenario? The partner who thinks they have some sort of earth-shattering golden technique that they actually don't have or the liar who didn't have the orgasm? No one wins, that's who.

While I can understand the need to coddle a partner and make them think they've "done good," what I understand (and live by!) even more, is being honest. The orgasm gap alone should have us all realizing that faking it just should't even be an option. If we all deserve pleasure — and we do — faking an orgasm should never, ever be part of any sexual equation.


Not to sound morbid, but we only get one shot at this whole life thing and it's pretty damn short. Wasting my time, or the time of a partner, on bad sex just isn't how I want to go through life. Especially since being open and sex-positive can really make all the difference. It's enlightening to open your mind (and body) up to new things and new people, and I'm big fan of being enlightened.