Monthly Archives: February 2010

Sex Positive and/or Anti-Violence

Great conversation happening with Kelly Diels and friends – how do we make sense of the contradictions that make up our core beliefs? Must we side with one camp or another? Or is there space to reconcile beliefs that don’t quite fit with each other?

I’m most intrigued by the contradictions Kelly points out in feminism and sexuality:

Want to be able to discuss violence against women and the importance of claiming your sexual pleasure without setting up permanent camp – or throwing rocks – at either end of the philosophical spectrum.

I’m internally contradicted about how to respond to this. While I absolutely believe that most people under 40 get into rape crisis work because they are pro-sex, I also saw the devastation that rape crisis work wreaked on our sex lives. It’s hard to feel very pro-sex when the thought of sex makes you want to curl into the fetal position. Or when your brain starts replaying scenes from every rape ever described to you just before you reach orgasm. Or when your own past trauma is so close to the surface from all the talk of rape, that every touch is a potential trigger. Rape crisis work is a major hazard to healthy positive sexuality.

What would the rape crisis movement look like if we revolutionized it to be a pro-sex movement at heart? If rape crisis centers were outgrowths of positive sex spaces, rather than the other way around?