RoSo’s Story of Sex-Positivity

Editors note: I’m trying to learn why some women are more sex-positive than others. So I asked my students, if they were interested, to tell me stories of their backgrounds. 

So far I have found a few things that distinguish women who experience more sex-negativity and sexual dysfunction. They — and in my youth I would count myself among them — are more likely to:

  • Worry that God will punish them for their sexuality 
  • Have sex-negative parents
  • Have sex-negative friends
  • If they are slut-shamed by their peers they feel deeply “wrong” and shameful
  • They refrain from learning about their sexuality and what works for them

RoSo is a straight 24-year-old woman of East Asian descent. Here is her story:

Sex is natural — and pleasurable

Around the age of six or seven I walked in on my parents when they were having sex. I didn’t understand what they were doing but I think partly because of that experience, when I got older I thought of sex as just something that people do. It’s just a human thing.

Plus, when I was around 12 I was playing with the family computer and found some porn that my dad had been looking at. I thought it was hot. The women’s bodies were really arousing and I was really turned on in my genitals (but I didn’t understand what that was). That was another thing that made sex seem like a normal, and very pleasurable, thing that people do.

My parents were not sex-negative

My parents never talked to me about sex. But they didn’t say anything negative about it either. In fact, I still live at home while I’m going to school and sometimes my boyfriend and I have sex in my bedroom and my mom is fine with that. She’s even bought me sexy lingerie! I’ve never really gotten any negative feelings from her about sexuality. I know that she loves me for who I am.

God didn’t “tell me” that sex was bad

I did go to a Christian School but my parents just wanted me to go to a school where would learn to be a good person. My parents didn’t believe in God and they didn’t teach me to believe in God either. And I don’t remember the school saying anything negative about sex.

I explored my sexuality 

I was open to exploring sexuality. As a kid my friends and I would touch each other because we were trying to understand what it was and how it worked. When I was 12 years old a boy and I were touching each other and he ejaculated right away. It kind of shocked me and I figured I wasn’t ready for sex yet.

But I did lose my virginity when I was pretty young. I was only 14 and it was not a good experience. In fact, that was my worst sexual experience ever. He had a really large penis. That hurt!

And then I had my first boyfriend we were together for four years, from age 14 to 18. We were together until I graduated from high school and we explored sexuality together.

It was romantic. My astrological sign is Cancer and we are romantic. So it was very loving. And I felt like he totally accepted me. Sometimes I worried about how my body looked but he would tell me, “Oh, don’t worry about it. You’re beautiful! Just take off your clothes.” So I felt really secure and comfortable with him.

I was slut-shamed and it made me bitter

I was very cool about sex and I was also very interested in exploring sexuality with my boyfriend. But even though we were together for four years we were young and we both had sex with other people, too.

But by the time I got to high school I was slut-shamed all the time, which left me bitter. I didn’t feel bad about myself and my sexuality but I was really angry at the people who attacked me.

Editors note: I find it interesting that this shaming didn’t seem to repress her sexuality. Maybe it’s because she had such an early and sustained sense of sex as a positive, natural human expression. Plus exploring her body early and getting to know it, and then constantly reinforcing those pleasurable feelings through experience could protect her from harm from future shaming. Instead of feeling bad about herself she thought her peers were jerks.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 1, 2018, in sex and sexuality and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Jeniffer Jurado

    Growing up i think i was more open with my mother more than any of my sisters, they always felt like they were going to be judged by my mother, to me that was weird because i always felt like i could go to her for anything and tell her about anything that i was going through. I was 17 the first time i had sex, my mother was not upset with me having sex, i think she was just disappointed with the person who i lost my virginity with, i was dating a very nice guy before the guy i had sex with. The relationship did not last long and i eventually started seeing other people, i had sex with two other guys after that and one of my best friends who was a guy started shaming me for it. I did not understand why till later when he kept begging me to have sex with him and i did not want to because we grew up together and to me, that was just weird. Other guys that i had messed around with also had their moment of shaming but i just ignored them. I was very open about my sexuality and dated guys and we did our thing until i became a Christian. I still think sexuality is a very beautiful thing, i do feel like i am sinning when i have sex with my boyfriend because we are not married but we live almost two hours away from each other so it does not happen very often 😀

  2. Hello! Thank you for sharing this. As I read your experience about the topic of sexuality, I thought of my own. Growing up, the topic of sex was sort of a bit of a taboo in my family’s household. My parents are bit of old fashion when it comes to a woman’s sexuality so I have definitely heard my fair share of slut shaming. Though, personally, I never understood it. I also grew up in a Catholic household which meant we were also suppose to wait until we got married to have sex. So for the most part, sex for me was something that was made to feel like a huge sin. One of the few things my mother did tell me about sex is that if I did lose it before marriage, was to lose it to someone I loved. In the end, I did end up losing it to my first boyfriend who I loved dearly at the time. But the days after I lost it left me in so much guilt because I felt as if I had disappointed God. I think nowadays, more and more women are becoming more open and comfortable with their sexuality. Which I am glad. I know many still get judged for it, but I know that if/when I have a daughter, I am going to teach her that a woman should embrace her sexuality.

  3. Geawna Hernandez


    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    The island where I’m from is very tiny and majority Roman Catholic. My family and I don’t really speak about sex, but my dad did warn me about the consequences of not having safe sex. I was raised by my grandmother and she was extremely strict. Therefore, I knew having sex was not what I was supposed to do in high school. She was very aggressive about it too. Although I love her, I did not follow that rule…

    I lost my virginity at the age of 15. I don’t regret it at all. I lost it to my boyfriend at the time and he truly was my first love. If there is any advice I could give to younger girls is to be really picky about who you lose it to. I think the worst part about losing your virginity is regretting or despising the person you lose it to. I’m grateful I don’t. He was also super respectful and we even talk to each from time to time to check up on each other.

    If my family found out I lost it (at that time) I know for a fact they would have flipped out. Because of the type of person I am, I don’t feel sad that my family never really talks about sex or was open to the idea of me doing it. I’m a little more conservative about my private life and I like to keep it that way from anyone and everyone. I rarely talk to my friends about it because that is just who I am as a person. However, I am so glad I am living in the new era of sexuality and how we are normalizing it. I want to be that parent that my kids can come and talk to about it. I might be a little strict just to ensure they are responsible when it comes to sex and definitely safe!!

  4. I’m not sure I would say that I lived in a sex positive household, my parents just never seemed to bring it up. When I was in eighth grade, my dad had the “sex talk” with me which was extremely awkward and uncomfortable. That was the first and last time sex was ever brought up during my entire childhood and high school years. My siblings and I just never brought it up but I know that if we had my parents would have been perfectly open to answer any questions we had. My best friend was raised to never talk about sex, which has affected her adult life a great deal. She always felt embarrassed and nervous about getting involved in relationships with men because sex scared her. When she and I were in high school, we had just turned 18 so we decided to buy a few dirty magazines, just because we could. I took them to my house first and my mother just thought it was interesting and funny at the same time. Once my best friend’s mother caught wind of it she went ballistic and started calling my friend nasty names. She told my friend that only disgusting pedophiles buy magazines like that. I felt so bad because it was just supposed to be a joke, we were just taking advantage of the fact that we were technically adults. After seeing how my best friend was raised, I always told myself that I wanted to be upfront and honest with my kids about sex. I would rather be open with them so that they feel comfortable enough to come to me with any questions they may have.

  5. In reading this article, it got me thinking to how I was brought up almost in the way where sex was forbidden, it was bad, we didn’t talk about it etc. Now that I have had sexual encounters and am more educated on the subject I feel that it is important to introduce sex in a not so negative light. Yes, there should be restrictions and limitations based on maturity levels, but as far as learning about sex, I feel that it is important to educate our children about it as they are growing so it will not be such a taboo subject as the majority of the world makes it out to be. Growing up in a religious household, sex was bad and anything sexual was bad which made me want to explore it more and made me feel bad for doing so. Now that I am a mother and I know all the facts, I feel it is so important that my children are well educated on this and it is important to share that this is a natural part of life and not something to be ashamed of or to hide from; Of course, all in modesty and maturity. Thank you for sharing this relatable article as I feel it is an important topic of discussion for parents as well as children.

  6. As I read this article, I found it really interesting because I got raised up in the same situation; in my situation, it was more neutral than positive though. Growing up, my parents never told me that I wasn’t allowed to date, but at the same time they sort of gave me the signal that it is not preferred. That’s the approach that my parents took with everything else too. My parents never talked about sex, but at the same time, I knew that they didn’t prefer for me to explore my sexuality at such a young age. Reading this article really showed me how our upbringings or our surroundings can influence how confident we feel about out sexuality and sexual experiences. Although I wish my parents were more proactive in trying to teach me about sex, I respect that they approached it the way they did (they let me learn from my own actions and trusted that I would think about the consequences before doing anything) because it’s not common for traditional asian parents to teach their kids about sex.

  7. As I read this article it caught my attention because I have a lot of work to be done still to make it a more sex positive idea at home with my own children. I never thought about it until now that my daughter is almost reaching that age where her body is changing. I was happy to know that Roso’s story had more of a positive idea and her parents or school never mentioned that sex was something wrong or more like commiting a crime or a sin. That is how I grew up as well, but my mother will be the one talking to me about protecting myself. On the other hand my father never spoke or even let e talk about sex at home. That wasn’t his fault that was how he was raised. That was the time when women were not allowed to speak up or have sex until marriage or else they were considered to be the worse. This topic interests me because there is a lot of men and women who think that sex is negative before marriage or bad. Sex can be bad if you are not taking care of yourself or your partner is not respecting what you like or dislike. My job now is to make that better of an experience for my children and future women, so they will not have negative experiences but enjoy it! Sometimes there are women and men who have had bad experiences because they have been abused before, that will be something in which can affect for the rest of their lives and have more of a negative idea.

  8. Curious, not having delved into sociology lately, is there a consensus notion out there about what percentage of U.S. females are “sex-negative”? And has this changed appreciably since the appearance of the Internet?

    • well, sex-negative cultures lead to sexual dysfunction in women. And studies consistently find high levels of dysfunction among American women, at nearly half (Low or no desire, pain, difficulty with orgasm). And it’s common for American women to need mechanical help like a vibrator, which is not natural. You don’t find it in sex-positive societies like Oceana when Europeans first made contact.

      Our sex negativity stems from things like Slut-shaming, Rape (which colors sex with negativity and trauma), and objectification – leaving young women feeling like they are supposed to look or act a particular way. And that is rampant on the Internet.

  9. I find this article interesting because I grew up in the exact opposite way. So it is definitely interesting to hear the “other-half” lived. Growing up I wasn’t even allowed to date until I was 16 and even then I didn’t until I was a second year in college. I grew up in a very strict Catholic home where sex was something one didn’t explore until they were married. Sex was always something that was never spoken about besides in my fourth grade class when a nun taught us sex education. Due to my upbringing I do believe I have developed a stigma towards sex outside of marriage. However, with that being said I have been with my boyfriend now for about two years and we have sex regularly. My mother is aware and she does not approve. However, I have not been disowned due to my decision. Though I do have sex now I always wish that I would have waited until marriage.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with this. I Suspect your experiences the more common one.

    • I am a male and was brought up in very sex positive home and my mother encouraged me to be promiscuous. I love women and had sex with over 300 women by the time I got married. I must say that I regret having been promiscuous and I’m teaching my 2 kids (both boys) to wait until marriage to have sex so that it will be a very special, bonding experience. I don’t want them to be like me. I want them to be better than me.

      Anyway, what I want to say about your post is this… I grew up as the only male in a house full of women and have had many deep conversations with and have known many different types of women throughout my life. The fact that you wish you would have waited until marriage for sex tells me something about you. It tells me that you really don’t need it or enjoy it that much. If your regret about having sex before marriage is because of religious reasons then I admire your religious conviction.

      I was always attracted to “slutty-nymphomaniac” type women. When I was in school, the only girl that I was interested in having a serious relationship with was the one that was having sex with the whole football team and would flirt with the male teachers. She would wear a very short skirt and high heals to school every day, wouldn’t wear bra or panties, etc, etc. I still have a weakness for sexually assertive and sexually liberated women. “Good girls” bore me. I wish I could change that about myself.

      Just make sure that you marry a man that shares similar views to yours when it comes to sex. My ex-wife was very sexually repressed even though she was brought up in a very sex positive home (I’ll explain more details about that in another post). She was not into frequent sex, was not willing to try new things and was embarrassed to wear lingerie. After 12 years of marriage I opened myself up to relationships with sexually adventurous women and eventually I ended up leaving my wife for a women that had been as promiscuous as I had been throughout my life. I feel in love again with a woman that had a reputation for being a “slut”. We’ve been together now for the past 10 years.

      Again, just make sure that every aspect of sex is dicussed in depth with the person you plan to marry and make sure that your sex drives and sense of adventure when it comes to sex are pretty closely aligned.

  10. Every person has their own experience with their sexuality and it was interesting to read about your student’s mostly positive experience. Sexuality for me was never discussed at home besides the very common “wait until marriage” line that my mom would tell my sister and I. I wish I had a more sex-positive experience growing up so that I wouldn’t feel like I had to hide my sexuality from my mom and I wish I could have had her to talk to instead of learning these things from friends or whatever sex-education I had in high school. I am now sex-positive in my adulthood, but it took me a long time to get where I am today. I want my future children to come to me about these things I want to create a sex-positive home life for them where they are comfortable with their bodies and don’t feel like they have to hide things from me like I felt I had to do when I was younger.

  11. I’m glad you had such a positive experience with sex even going to a Christian school. I was raised in a Catholic family and went to Catholic school and sex before marriage and self pleasure were seen as wrong. You didn’t touch yourself because if you did you were sinning in God’s eyes. I had such a hard time growing up and excepting my sexuality. I was also abused as a child and I was afraid of it after that. I also would hear my mom having sex and it sounded like she was in pain. It’s funny, because when I was in high school and even before that we didn’t so much talk about sex but she had a shoe box of condoms for us to be “safe”. It took me a long time to be more open with my sexuality and realize its ok to tell your partner what you want and what your comfortable with. I feel like for the first 10 years of my sex life I really didn’t say what I liked and it felt like it was more for him then me. Finally at the age of 42, I feel like I get just as much from sex as my partner does.
    You had such a positive upbringing and I hope to do the same for my daughter and that she feels comfortable talking to me about what she might be dealing with. Being shamed for being open about your sexuality is just people not being ready or understanding how wonderful sex is! Thanks for sharing your story.

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