Sexual Diversity is a broad topic regarding sexual attraction, sexual desire, sexual behavior, libido, and sexual intercourse. Sexual diversity includes queer sexual orientations and sexual relationships that are queer in nature (polyerosous, intimaships, casual relationships, etc), however it also includes conformant individuals who have diverse ways of expressing their sexuality and/or preform sexual activities in a way not typically accepted or acknowledged by society.
Sexual diversity has been a very important aspect of the queer community, as it has been a large part of many queer movements.
Kinks and Fetishes
Kinks are concepts or objects that increase ones arousal during sexual activity, while Fetishes are concepts or objects that must be present in order to achieve arousal. The difference between kinks and fetishes is that kinks improve arousal, while fetishes cause arousal.
This can include concepts such as roleplay, physical traits (such as feet), objects (such as whips), imagined situations (such as the concept of body swapping with ones partner,) locations (such as the shower), and other similar things.
Most kinks and fetishes are not dangerous, however safety should always be put first when acting on a fetish/kink. If ones arousal has the potential to lead to dangerous or risky situations, it is best to set up a safe environment (such as setting up safe words with a partner) as a precaution.
There are some kinks/fetishes that have the risk of being physically or mentally harmful if done in an unsafe manner, and this should be thought over (and discussed with partners if they are involved) before going through with it.
Paraphilias are the attraction to anything that is not a sexual organ, which includes most (if not all) fetishes and kinks.
Paraphilia vs Paraphilic Disorder
A Paraphilic Disorder is a mental condition under the attractional disorder umbrella in which one experiences attraction that is disordered in nature, and causes distress to oneself and/or those around oneself. This includes pedophilia, zoophilia, necrophilia, incestual attraction, and similar.
With most paraphilias, consent and positive sexual behavior is available. However, with paraphilic disorders, they are always harmful or mentally distressing in some way, shape, or form. Almost all paraphilic disorders are paraphilias, however not all paraphilias are paraphilic disorders.
Paraphilias are not inherently disordered in nature; paraphilic disorders are.
Is Objectum Paraphilic?
A large number of the objectum community rejects the concept of their attraction being paraphilic, however some do not mind the associated link between paraphilic attraction and objectum attraction. Despite this, it is almost always rejected by the community as a paraphilic disorder (which is not the same as a paraphilia.) So while objectum may be accepted as a paraphilia for some, it is denied as a paraphilic disorder for a majority of the community.
Sex-Positivity is a political position that embraces sexuality and sexual expression, with an emphasis upon safe and consensual sex, as well as advocating for comprehensive sex education and safe sex.
Sex-Positivity as a movement is a very important aspect of the queer community, as it promotes sexual behavior and intimacy of all kind (so long as consent is involved.) It has historical points of overlapping with queer movements as well.
Sex positivity encourages normalizing and promoting women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights, same-gender marriage, ethical non-monogamy, body positivity, better sex education, and more.
Sex Workers or Sexual Workers are individuals who take up jobs where they have sex or preform sexual acts in order to gain money in return. Common subsets to the sex work umbrella include the following:
- Porn Workers/Porn Stars: individuals that have sex or otherwise do sexual acts while being recorded or photographed for the public, in order to make money. Their work is often uploaded to websites dedicated to porn, however porn may also be uploaded on sites that are based around paying for content (such as OnlyFans.)
- Prostitutes: individuals that are hired to have sex/do sexual acts with their customers.
- Strippers: individuals that strip their clothes publicly for money, oftentimes doing so in a performance (such as during a dance) and usually on a stage of some kind. They may do this while pole-dancing, however this is not always the case, and pole-dancing is not inherently sexual in nature.
Sex work does not include sexual slavery and mostly-all sex workers do not approve of minors joining the work.
Queer Sex Workers
Sex work is a common job for LGBTQ+ adults, especially amongst trans-women (especially common for trans-women that are POC) due to a large number of jobs rejecting LGBTQ+ individuals and/or holding queerphobic narratives. This applies to queer individuals all around the world
Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera (two individuals well-known for participating in The Stonewall Riots) were sex workers. Sex workers were also a part of the riot in general, as the Stonewall Inn was a location of shelter for gay/m-spec individuals, trans/GNC individuals, drag performers, and sex workers. This means that the first Pride Parade was including sex workers and their rights as well.
In-depth information on queer sex workers can be found here.
Whorephobia, Slutphobia, or Slut-Shaming is the act of oppressing/discriminating against someone for being sexual and/or having sex. Examples of this include the following:
- Using the terms slut, whore, hoe, or thot in a demeaning or degrading manner (unless it is involved in a degrading kink/fetish.)
- Treating someone who is sexually active and/or someone that has a sexual side of life as less worthy or less important.
- Mocking or insulting someone who is sexually active and/or someone that has a sexual side of life.
- Performing violence on someone based on them being sexually active and/or having a sexual side of life.
- Creating or promoting untrue claims about biology in order to slut-shame someone. For example, claiming that vaginas become 'loose and less pleasurable' if a PWHV has had sex with multiple different individuals.
- Spreading ideology that promotes that virgins are "cleaner" or "better." This can also overlap with victim-blaming survivors of sexual assault/abuse/harassment.
- Claiming that sexual work is "not a real job" or "doesn't deserve to be paid for."
- Shaming someone for wearing revealing clothes.
- Shaming someone for being open about their sex life and/or for making sexual decisions.
Kink-Shaming or Fetish-Shaming is the act of shaming someone's kink, fetish, or paraphilia. This includes insults, acts of violence, laughing, treating ones kink/fetish with disgust, and similar.
Some may try to justify this as it just "not being their thing" and "grossing them out"; however, if one does not wish to hear about/see content regarding a specific kink or fetish, they may tell others not to discuss it around them and/or block or mute content regarding it, instead of taking it out on the individuals that are into it.
Shaming Paraphilic Disorders
While shaming a paraphilic disorder is not kink-shaming, it is still wrong to do, as it is ableist and implies that one who has a disorder is worth-less or "disgusting" simply for experiencing the attraction. While one should not encourage the attraction experienced, shaming/mocking/insulting someone for their disorder is also unacceptable.
Underpaid Sex Workers
Sex workers have a reputation of being underpaid due to their work being seen as "dirty" or as "not real work." This is an extreme issue, as sexual work is not any less taxing or valuable than other jobs, and leaves many sex workers low on money. Most (or even all) sex workers, especially ones that are transgender or in the LGBTQ+ community, face underpayment. Often times clients will leave without paying, refuse to pay, or pay less than they agreed to. Similarly, some individuals may force themselves onto a sex worker (rape/assault/harassment) if they do not give sexual acts for free.
Mistreated Sex Workers
Sex workers have a reputation of being abused, harassed, assaulted, and generally mistreated due to their work being seen as "dirty" or as "not real work." This can take place either in the work space or elsewhere, and it is a concerning issue that puts sex workers at a risk of harm.
Sex workers have a higher chance of rape, assault, and violence against them. This is especially prevalent against black trans-women. Police brutality is another issue faced by sex workers, and they are treated with inequality amongst most or all locations around the world.
Sex work is also still criminalized in most locations, which causes arrests and fines for individuals simply for having consensual sex and doing sexual acts consensually. The decriminalization of sex work would especially help POC sex workers, trans sex workers, and other LGBTQ+ sex workers as they already face higher amounts of police brutality and legal discrimination.
Decriminalization of sex work may save non-sex workers as well, as sex workers may be in a position to have important information about crimes (such as human trafficking, sexual exploitation of children, rape, sexual assault, etc) but unless the work they themselves do is not treated as criminal, they are unlikely to feel safe reporting this information to the police.
Flags and Symbols
The Red Umbrella is the worldwide symbol of the sex workers’ rights movement. It came into existence as the movement’s symbol in June 6th-June 8th of 2001 in Italy, during the 49th Venice Biennale of Art. Sex workers from different countries (Taiwan, Thailand, Italy, Cambodia, Germany, the USA, and Austria) gathered for an event organized in part by the Comitato per i Diritti Civili delle Prostitute from Pordenone, and marched through the streets of Venice with red umbrellas. The meaning of the umbrella varies; for some sex workers, red represents the colour of love, while others state that the umbrella symbolizes protection.
Multiple LGBTQ+ flags have been made to be sex-worker inclusive by including a red umbrella within their designs. This includes two versions of the inclusive pride flag, and the "ultimate queer flag" made by Adora and Anderson of Cryptocrew's system. More information on the flags coining can be found on the LGBT+ page.