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Slutscapades: 7 Tips For Having A Progressive, Sex-Positive Holiday Season

by Dr. Helen Shepard

From dwindling daylight and a pervasive, damp cold, to expectations of tradition and love for even the most racist of distant family members, winter is a time of ever-increasingly maddening depression. It’s not just me, is it?

When faced with family and tradition, it’s easy to get caught up in the shame (regarding our sexuality) that many of us were raised with. So, here’s a progressive and lighthearted look at how we can bring a little sex-positivity to this holiday season.

1. Find The Right Gift

Because we know how much our usual hatred of each other will impact our family gatherings, we give each other gifts, as if to say, "I hate you almost all the time and these months make me want to kill myself, but here’s one straw of optimism to grasp...I hope you enjoy it." This, inevitably, creates a negative feedback cycle of pressure and disdain, as we try to give good gifts and resent people for wasting money on stuff we’ll never use.

Fear not—I have the perfect solution: sex toys. More specifically, a gift certificate to your favorite, local, gender-inclusive, body-positive sex boutique. Your slutty cousin will thank you and your parents will find the spark they needed to learn to love each other again. For your homophobic uncle, I recommend skipping the gift certificate and going straight for a butt plug—maybe one with a rainbow unicorn tail, if you’re feeling saucy [ED: I recommend GlowFuckYourself.com for a large variety of custom buttplugs], or a black studded one, if you’re going to try to keep a straight face while you give it to him. Worst-case scenario, your relatives don’t appreciate the gifts and the result is that you helped support a progressive, local business. Regardless, you sent the message to your family, that they don’t need to be ashamed of their bodies or their sexuality. It’s a win-win!

2. Use Your Ears To Hide A Sexy Secret

There’s nothing quite like having an overtly erotic experience surrounded by thousands of strangers. Since mysterious invitations to cult sex parties are so few and far between these days, I’m willing to settle for erotic stories on my headphones at the airport. An internet search for "sex-positive podcast" will give you lots of recommendations— one of my favorites is Risk! Hosted by a queer man, Risk! is raunchy, devastating, hilarious and bold. I love to laugh, cry and get majorly turned on to it in public, while knowing that nobody knows what’s going on inside those headphones.

Audiobooks work, too! If you want a story of BDSM and polyamory, you should totally check out The Secret History Of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lepore. Shrill, by Lindy West, also demands your attention in a poignant, smart and unforgettably funny way. Also, Audible carries erotica—need I say more?

3. Remember Consent

Mistletoe and New Year’s kisses are a tricky subject in the world of sex-positivity. On the one hand, of course we want to encourage people to kiss and enjoy each other. On the other, we want to discourage pressuring people to kiss and touch in ways they won’t enjoy. So, avoid hanging mistletoe this holiday season—it probably just makes you a creep. And, don’t assume anybody wants to kiss you on New Year’s Eve. If you’re with somebody you’d like to kiss, look them in the eye warmly and open your arms wide. Then, wait for them to come to you. If they hesitate (but allow you to come to them), do us all a favor and give them a peck on the cheek (or a hug), instead of a kiss on the mouth—don’t take any unnecessary risks, where consent is concerned.

4. Tind

Usage of dating apps goes up massively around the holidays. So, the likelihood of hooking up is greatly increased. This seems particularly applicable if you’re visiting a town where you don’t live. Sew some wild oats—people love hooking up when there’s no risk of long-term attachments.

5. Spend Time With Strippers

Spend extra time at the strip clubs and buy an extra lap dance. Everybody can use a little extra excitement during the holidays—you, your dancer and her kids. So, tip well!

6. Explore People’s Pronouns

Don’t just assume everybody you meet embraces the gender they appear to be. Transgender people are becoming increasingly used to folks asking (and being asked) about pronouns—this is a good thing! But, being progressive means taking this conversation forward to all types of people— not just people who are visibly trans. Most people never stop to consider their relationship with their gender, but trans people are asked to question their attachments constantly.

It’s easy—when introducing yourself, give people your name and say, "and I use he/him (or she/her or they/them) pronouns." If somebody new gives you their name, ask them, "and what gender pronouns do you use?" If they don’t know what you’re talking about, this is the perfect opportunity to talk about expectations of gender that are put on us at birth, and how many people around the world do not conform to, or match, these gender expectations. Far from being mandatory, gender can be a fun exploration!

7. Have Sex At Home

Whether it’s broadcasting a webcam of you masturbating in your childhood bedroom, or giving your partner a blowjob in the living room, embrace sexuality and push the boundaries of getting caught. What do you think would happen, if somebody heard you moaning? Probably nothing. Their embarrassment and shame would prevent them from knocking on your door, or ever bringing it up. I’m not suggesting you scream so the whole house can hear—I’m suggesting you push yourself to be a little louder, a little bolder and I think you’ll find you’re rewarded in sexual excitement (and pleasure) many times over your risk.

Above all else, play, take risks, have fun and be safe!