On refusing to equate sexual pleasure with freedom.
I first learned about sex positive feminism in a graduate seminar at a large mid-western University. Every Tuesday and Thursday the long bare classroom would fill with students eager to talk about their hook-ups, their predilection for one or another kind of erotica and their general affirmation of the transformative capacities of the sexual act. For those who weren’t there, sex positive feminism stands for the precept that women are not free until and unless they are sexually free. In the competitiveness that graduate seminars breed, my classmates rambled on about threesomes, triumphant and unceremonious dumpings of emotionally attached lovers (who has time for that?) and in general lots and lots of sex. Our smug professor, nose-pierced and wild-haired and duly sporting the scarves and baubles of the well-traveled, encouraged it all. The question of how and when sexual liberation had become not simply the centerpiece but the entire sum of liberation in general never came up. The year was 2006.