In search of feminism | Sex positivity as a WOC

By
February 9, 2016

(Emily Mibach)

(Emily Mibach)

Hello, everyone. I am a queer Black feminist, and I love sex and expressing my sexuality.

I would like to acknowledge that sex-positivity involves more than just sex. For me, being sex positive is about ownership of my identity, my sexual desires, sexual health and my pleasures. Sex-positivity also calls for acceptance and love of others, from their stories with sex (positive or negative) to self-love to creating communities.

According to many, my identity appears to be problematic for sex-positivity. Why is that, you might ask?

For starters, the thought of me as a woman holding ownership of my sexuality is troublesome. If I were paid a dollar for every meme and post about womanhood, virginity and promiscuity — especially regarding Black women — I see on a regular basis on social media, I’d probably be able to pay off my student loans and get my mom a house.  Also, with the posts that I see on Facebook or Twitter on propriety or the lack thereof (especially for Black women and women of color), I HAVE to be one (innocent) or the other (a “thot”), and that is something that I REFUSE to do.

The fact that most of these posts are circulated by my friends and family shows the impact the patriarchy has had on society. I have had conversations and debates with my partner about that impact, leading to a stalemate of sorts. Now I think my partner understands that no one can tell me what to do, especially in regards to my body.

This leads to the BIGGEST part of my problem: being Black and owning my sexuality. As I have stated before, my Blackness makes it more difficult to gain ownership, due to centuries of the issue of hypersexuality versus sainthood of Black women, the sexual abuse of many Black women in slavery, objectification and exploitation of the Black female body, the list can go on for miles and miles.

Because of the deep-rooted complexities for the Black female body, I’ve decided to take my own body back over the past few years. Currently, some of the ways that I do that is through my fashion choices  and “thirst trapping” photos on Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.

To add on to this, I also have an hourglass-shaped body. I’ve had this body type since I was twelve years old. I was ashamed of it because I was told to be most of my life, especially from my family. Because of this, multiple family members and friends (including women) have told me to “cover up” those assets to not give the “wrong” impression, that I am attracting the wrong kind of person to my feed.

Just what the hell is the “wrong” impression in the first place? I’m not here to impress anyone but myself every day. No one is entitled to my body but me. I dress how I choose, whether you like it or not.

The final portion of my supposed oxymoron for sex-positivity is my queer identity. For clarification, I am pansexual, dating whoever makes me happy at that moment, regardless of sexual orientation and/or identity. My identity as a queer woman is already a defiance of heteronormativity. What makes matters worse is that I am supposed to be ashamed of my queerness, that I am supposed to be too “kinky” because of my choices. “Kinky” or not, I am proud to express my sexuality with the love that I choose to have. And whatever I decide to do, that is not your issue.

Apparently, I can’t live as a woman of color in society and promote sex-positivity, especially with the tangled web woven for Black women. This made me decide to devote my time into reclaiming myself, especially for sex-positivity as a queer Black feminist & womanist.


In search of feminism | Sex positivity as a WOC was published on February 9, 2016 in Column, Opinions

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