Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sex Positivity: Reading List - "Oh Joy Sex Toy" by Erika Moen - Loving Your Body, Consent, and Sexual Health

Art from the book! I love the art style!

Okay, so if you know me, I mean really know me, I am a very sex positive person. This is something I have fought for my entire adolescent and early teenage years, battling sexual shame, not really understanding what was going on with my body, not really being able to speak openly about it with family members (it is usually difficult for most people though.) But then the worst insult of all, one perception that I myself had to claw my way out of, is that someone like me is inherently non-sexual, and should be "skipped over" in sexual chit-chats.

"How can a 'little girl' as innocent and sweet as you even be a remotely sexual being? So unbecoming!"

When I was already well past puberty and had a pretty solid understanding of the "birds and the bees" so to speak.

When I reached adulthood, I found this to be not only irritating, but somehow demoralizing, and almost shameful. It made things very uncomfortable for me when friends, sometimes close friends, would single me out of conversations regarding sex because I was apparently too "young and innocent" to understand, even though I was just as "adult" as they were.

Now, at age twenty-five as I am writing this, I can say I learned so much about myself and my body since back then, when I was probably sixteen or seventeen and realized that I had remote sexual feelings (not that I had any type of handle on them because I did not.) But even so, I continued to abstain from sex, not because of any oppressive religious beliefs, saving myself until marriage, or because of abstinence only sexual education. No one ever told me to wait to have sex, I just made it my own personal choice not to until I met a person that I felt comfortable enough to be with.

I waited until age twenty, because I guess the mentality at the time was that I didn't want to be a teenager having sex, but it was honestly also because of relationship timing. I just so happened to meet the first person I was interested in, a few months before I would turn twenty.

I guess it was just convenient then, perhaps.

Deciding to go for it wasn't a fleeting thought. It needed to be safe, I needed to trust the person very deeply, and have formed a friendship and a very deep emotional connection. All the above needs to be established if I am sharing my body and soul with another person, but I only speak for myself.

This is not everyones choice, and I completely understand that.

I'm all about choices! And I'm all about safety, consent, and positivity surrounding sexual experiences if you are the person who indulges (because you know, some people don't and that's fine too!)

So that brings me to the most amazing literary discovery I made a couple of weeks ago.

But this book isn't simply about sex toys (though it sure does cover, in detail, a wide variety!) This book covers every aspect of the sexual realm in the most non-threatening, normalizing, body positive, sexuality positive, and inclusive way that I ever have seen in my life. 

I made this discovery, (well actually CelinĂ© did, rather we did together) at a comic book store in Midtown. It was showcased on a high shelf and we immediately gravitated towards it. We took volume one from the shelf and we poured over it for at least an hour. 

We found ourselves screaming things like⎯

"Oh my god where was this book when I was younger?"

"Look at all the diverse representation of sexual people, do you see what I'm seeing? Is this real life?"

"This book needs to be handed out in every sex-ed class in the nation!"

So we weren't able to purchase the books at the time, but we each plan to buy a volume and add it to our book collective. These books are a must have, and volume three is coming soon! 

These books cover everything there is to know about sex. They will leave you feeling informed, empowered, and included! The illustrations, though quite explicit in nature but in a very fun way, are so diverse. There are people of all shapes, sizes, skin colors, hair types, sexualities, identities, 'variantly abled' (they include people in wheelchairs and with prosthetics, people with disabilities are often regarded as non-sexual and I find that to be equally unfair), the list goes on and on. 

I was smiling ear to ear and almost in tears because I couldn't believe such a wonderful book existed. 

I am all about positivity and inclusivity when it comes to sex. I'm so over the notion that only super slim or athletic, conventionally attractive, abled, usually White, heterosexual couples are the only relevant and prevalent sexual examples in mainstream media. This leaves out a massive chunk of people and it's really gotten old. No more shaming of people who don't fit society's "sexual normalcy", and quit the body shaming in general while you are at it. 

I get it, not everyone is going to find everyone sexually attractive and that's perfectly fine, but I'm not down with exclusion of people from the narrative because of your personal perception of the way they look, the identity they uphold, or the amount of partners they have. 


To be able to see yourself represented in a book for all that you are, I take serious comfort in that! Whatever rainbow-multi-colored-confetti-throwing sexuality I feel like calling myself on a given day (it must change every other day and that's fine too), the book had it covered.

But I highly recommend these books. I will hopefully do a more detailed review of them once I actually own them. From what I saw, everything and more is covered, even things I personally didn't know about. You realize that there are key things and experiences that you simply never even fathomed or been exposed to. 

In a world, at least here in the states, where things are warping wildly backward, it is important that we do everything in our power to educate and inform as many consenting adults and curious teens about their sexual health. About their choices and what is safe and unsafe. How to enjoy themselves without feeling shame. Without abuse and mistreatment. 

These things matter now more than ever before. 

It's just as much your choice to abstain as it is to engage, and no one has the right to dictate that. So get out there and learn, because with that knowledge you can decide what paths you want to follow and which you don't. 

I really can't wait to own these books and read them cover to cover multiple times and pass them around to those who need them. You can purchase the book at your local book or comic store (preferred) or online at 

 More Sex Positive topics to come, it's so important right now.

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