From my understanding of the Wikipedia page and the 8 Ways to be Positive You’re Sex Positive article, being sex positive means that you know what works for you and are comfortable doing those things, but also and maybe more importantly, that you know what doesn’t work for you. If you say you’re “sex positive” just because you enjoy having sex, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re “sex positive” in the way that feminists use the term. White talks about discrimination against LGBTQ, calling people sluts, and people having fetishes, all as examples of things you cannot do if you’re going to properly refer to yourself as being sex positive. She says that being sex positive and policing other people’s sexual attractions and habits is not ok, but policing your own habits and paying attention to your own comfort levels is a necessity!
“I do think it’s important to always dig into your own emotions/mind/psyche and assess: What is this doing for me? How do I feel afterward? How is my sex life impacting other areas of my life? Just because you like something sexually doesn’t mean it is good for you. Remember, sex positivity is not sexual hedonism. It’s about ethics and self-development rather than simple pleasure-seeking.”
I feel that this quote really sums up the importance of knowing your limits, when to push them and when to respect them. If you feel the desire to try something new or different, then by all means do it, but you should always pay attention to how you feel and how you reflect on your experience afterwards. It is likely that if you have a negative experience in one situation, you’ll have another negative experience if it happens again, which can be pretty psychologically damaging. So just to be safe, if you know just for a fact that you would be uncomfortable with something, and especially if you know from experience, then be careful to avoid it! I also really like the term White uses, “enthusiastic consent - only having sex in which both parties are enthusiastically consenting,” meaning that if you are consenting to sex but not “totally feeling it” then it is not only your job to say no when you don’t want to go any further, but it is hugely the other person’s responsibility to be aware of that fact and to be respectful and stop, and vice versa.
The article on Wikipedia confused and shocked me quite a bit, especially how much of their definition of sex positive feminism was talk about pornography and images of rape in porn, compared to how little porn was brought up in The Frisky. I don’t really know how to feel about this issue, not being an avid porn watcher myself! But personally I don’t care what other people do in their free time as long as it is not being forced upon me in any way. The page says that feminists want certain restrictions on porn, and I agree that any pornography that is actual footage of nonconsensual sex is absolutely nauseating and should be taken off the internet, but doesn’t White’s definition of being sex positive include respecting other people’s sexual activity such as their desire to watch pornography no matter what kind they prefer? Maybe I’m missing something here…