Why I'm proud to be sex-positive
Eve*, 29, from Liverpool, is proud to be ‘sex-positive’, freely pursuing pleasure and having liaisons with many of her friends. She is bisexual and loves having a variety of 'adventures', attending sex parties and dating or sleeping with 10-15 people a month.
"For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by sex. I grew up in a normal, loving home. My parents owned a fancy dress shop, so role play and expressing myself is just something I’ve always done, so it's no big surprise I'm 'sex-positive' now. In all my childhood photos I am either in a fancy-dress costume or running around naked.
My parents were quite liberal – especially my dad. As I’ve got older, I’ve learned more about their lifestyle before me and my brother were born – for example, that my dad was a strip-o-gram – and so the way I am today make total sense.
When I was seven, my dad started to take me to an annual hippy camp where people wandered around naked, danced around fires and generally expressed their authentic selves. I loved it and have been going ever since.
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At the camp, they did sexuality workshops and I used to pretend I was older than I was so that I could go to them. They talked about things like connection, boundaries and pleasure – none of which I got in my normal sex education lessons!
Even now, those things are the key values for me about being ‘sex-positive’, which for me just means that I honour my natural sexual urges rather than being ashamed of them, whilst at the same time practising safety, compromise, connection and boundary-setting.
I treat sex as an exploration and an adult playground with so much to discover. I feel like society has put shameful barriers in place when it comes to exploring our sexuality and I am proud to say that despite these obstacles, I feel I can be open and vocal about my experiences and hopefully inspire others to do the same.
I was certainly a very inquisitive teenager. I had lots of male friends and would ask them direct questions like, 'How big is your penis?' and 'What does it feel like to ejaculate?'. I was always asking my parents questions too and read everything about sex I could get my hands on.
When I was 14, I was dared to run around a field at the hippy camp, naked. At the time I was terrified, but after I did it, I felt so exhilarated. After that I just started taking my clothes off at every possible opportunity.
Despite being a really sexual person, I was an awkward teenager who didn’t feel like I’d ever get a boyfriend or girlfriend (I’ve always known I was bisexual).
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Eventually, I lost my virginity at a party in a field when I was 18 to someone I wasn’t in a relationship with. Just previous to that, I’d encouraged my friends to run a naked mile with me around the countryside, so even that rite of passage was an unconventional experience!
After that, I suppose I was in a sexual wilderness. I kept having one-night stands but they were all terrible. I remember feeling upset that I’d never get to the point where I could enjoy sex which didn’t make sense because I’d always been such a sexual creature.
Then I met my first proper boyfriend at 21 and that changed everything for me: This was how sex was meant to feel – it just lit me up inside.
I’d always had a feeling I’d end up going down the road of an open relationship and having sex with lots of people, and after two months together, that’s what we decided to do.
I think he expected that he’d be the one going out and having sex. When it was more me, he was surprised but supportive. I don’t think we’d still be friends now if it wasn’t for that freedom we gave one another.
That’s where my sex positivity really took off. I had the freedom to explore other people whilst having the safety net of being with someone who cared about me and it made me feel really good about myself.
Each time I had a positive sexual experience, it would literally make me glow inside and out. It’s the feeling of mutual attraction that I love; the fact we can celebrate and express that through sex and make each other feel great, emotionally and physically.
After that relationship ended, I met a man I had an amazing relationship with until it ended 18 months ago and it’s been hard to let go.
At the same time, I am the happiest I have ever been. After we ended, I made the conscious decision to not get into a relationship until it felt right and to ‘set the bar high’ with my own sexual adventures – of which I intended to have as many as possible.
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The last year has been extremely confidence-building. People have told me I radiate sexuality which makes people more relaxed to radiate theirs without feeling judged or ashamed and that makes me really happy; it makes me proud to be sex-positive.
The number of people I have known for years whom it’s turned out I have sexual connection with never stops surprising me. Some are friends whom I love deeply. We have a strong sexual attraction and a strong emotional commitment and yet, I can sleep with them and not feel like we need to have a ‘relationship’. We can both go out and have that same thing with someone else the next night. It’s been incredibly empowering.
In a typical month I date or sleep with 10 to 15 people. Some are ‘regulars’ and some more circumstantial. There are a couple of couples, too, who I am a ‘unicorn’ for.
‘Unicorning’ means I am a third person in their relationship. It’s more than just meeting up and having a threesome though. I go on dates with them – we like each other’s company.
Some of the couples I unicorn for I’ve met through apps like Feeld or Fabswingers. We might meet at a coffee shop first to see if we click then arrange a sexual meet-up at theirs if we do.
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Some of the people I sleep with I meet at my local sex club called the Townhouse. I go with an open mind hoping just to meet like-minded people who are also exploring their sexuality in a safe and accepting environment.
There are playrooms there to suit all fetishes and desires; for example, a dungeon with BDSM equipment, a ‘dentist’ room, orgy rooms and hot tub rooms. It is basically an over-18s playground.
In terms of my tastes, it’s all about variety for me and differs depending on who I am with. With some people it’s tantric and slow, with others I enjoy getting tied up and spanking. I get bored doing the same thing basically, and believe you don’t know what you’re into until you try it.
You could say I have monetised what I’m good at (sex and getting naked) and my CV has always been what you’d call ‘eclectic’. I was a lap dancer at university; I’ve done naked cleaning, webcam work and normal jobs like babysitting and stewarding.
Life modelling has always been my number one source of paid work though and I still do a bit of webcam work. It makes me realise how lucky I am to be so open about my own turn-ons, since a lot of my clients pay me to feel better about theirs.
They feel more comfortable talking to me than their own partners and that makes me sad. Everyone – as long as it’s safe and consensual – should have the freedom to express their sexuality.
In 2014, I set up a cabaret night in Liverpool called ‘The Secret Circus’ with a friend and lover. I used to do some burlesque as part of it, but it wasn’t solely kinky cabaret!
A few weeks ago though, we did a sex party version at the Townhouse called 'The Secret Circus Positively Sexy Townhouse Takeover'. We had different saucy acts – comedy, naked dance and role play in different rooms – like a festival. After that people had the option of going upstairs to the playroom to have sex.
It was the best night of my life. At one point I was in a room where my ex was spanking someone I was dating last year and there were so many people just celebrating sex and each other’s bodies – it was amazing.
After that night, my dad texted me and said, ‘How was the orgy?!' He is proud of me and I feel proud of myself that I have nurtured that open environment.
Sometimes I’ve wondered if I am addicted to sex but I think it’s more addicted to skin-to-skin contact. I’d rather lie in bed with someone and cuddle and explore each other's bodies than just have penetrative sex. That’s what sex-positivity is all about for me: connection."
*Update: Eve asked her surname not be used in this article.