The Circle of Life: Sex Positivity Through All of Life’s Stages
Challenging common myths about the sexuality of people young and old – and everyone in between – is part of our work as sexuality educators, counselors, and therapists. Doing so while maintaining a sex positive orientation is integral to the mission of AASECT as are the shared principles of pleasure, social justice, and research-informed practice. At this moment in history, young people are speaking out about consent, reproductive justice, and human rights. Many adults are seeking to raise, teach, and reach young people to support their sexual literacy and healthy development. Meanwhile, research on the sexuality of older adults is demystifying earlier notions of the de-sexualization of aging. Seniors and their caregivers are working toward honoring, respecting, and understanding the biopsychosocial effects of aging. While it is an exciting time of change, several questions emerge: What are the stigmas attached to age and sex? How can the circle of life enhance the fullest expressions of human sexuality? What can we learn from each other as we work throughout the lifecycle and uplift voices often hushed? What are the social and cultural dilemmas that we must discuss to truly embrace sex positive human development?