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Welcome to #AskCam, a column where sex and intersectionality are not divided but welcomed together.

Dear Cam, I'm seeing polyamory and non-monogamy hyped up a lot in media, and it seems awesome, but how do I know it's for me? Growing up, I only ever saw relationships being between two people, but I've never felt ~quite~ right about that fitting my life, especially as a POC. Help? -So Many Options So Many Options, Non-monogamy is having a moment here, it seems like media has finally caught wind that heterosexual, monogamous relationships aren't the only valuable ways to create relationships and show love with other people. But if you're new to non-monogamy, it can definitely be overwhelming to figure out where you lie. To do this topic justice, this is going to be the first of a mini-series on non-monogamy. Here I'm just going to break down the basics of what exactly non-monogamy is and how you know if it's right for you. Non-monogamy, as I'm using it here, is referring to a variety of relationship structures. Many of us grew up only knowing about one relationship style, monogamy, and seeing that as the ideal. In traditional monogamy, we're presented with a two-person relationship style (usually these people are heterosexual, able-bodied, neurotypical) where the goal is to be married, have children, and raise a family together. There's nothing at all wrong with this structure, but it's presented as a one-size-fits-all model that everyone should fit into, and that simply isn't reasonable.
Related: #ASKCAM: DECOLONIZING DESIRE AND DESIRABILITY

Welcome to #AskCam, a column where sex and intersectionality are not divided but welcomed together.

Dear Cam, I've always been a sexual person, but I haven't been dating in the last few months because of life – school, work, family, that kind of thing. Because of this, I've been unintentionally celibate for a few months, and sometimes I feel like something is wrong with me. Is celibacy still valid even when you don't plan for it or have a super deep meaning, like for religion, attached?  -Accidentally Celibate   Accidentally Celibate, Celibacy doesn't often get enough love in the sex education world, but sex positivity means empowering everyone to make the best choices for themselves by providing information on everything. And if other sexual acts can be pleasurable and valid, why can't celibacy? For those who are unfamiliar, celibacy has a variety of definitions, but it's best known for being interpreted as the abstaining from sexual activity. Google dictionary defines it as "the state of abstaining from marriage and sexual relations", but that seems very detached from how we regard other forms of sexual expression in our lives. Where sexual activity is often connected with other parts of our lives, celibacy is too often seen as separate, disconnected, and "less than". It's a looked down upon choice because the norm in our society is that everyone should want to and be able to have sex. That simply isn't true.
Related: #ASKCAM: NAVIGATING COMMUNICATION AND CASUAL CONSENT

Welcome to #AskCam, a column where sex and intersectionality are not divided but welcomed together.

Cam, I'm interested to hear your thoughts on manifesting and channeling your sexuality in a positive way. How to own your own sexuality and confidence without succumbing to extremes? -Spiritually Sensual Spiritually Sensual, This question got me really excited with its complexity. Firstly, it's important to understand exactly where your sexuality is coming from? These are questions that you can write down and figure out through journaling, meditating, or talking to a trusted person in your life (to yourself works as well) but some places to get started:
  • When you think of your sexuality, what comes to mind?
  • Do you associate mostly positive or negative emotions to it - and how do you want to be feeling about it?
  • What areas of your sexuality do you want to change? What areas do you want to celebrate?
These are just guiding questions to get you thinking, of course. But it's important to understand the totality of our sexuality; they are not passive, one-dimensional light switches that we turn on and off whenever we choose. They are part of us, just like our fears and other desires. Sexuality is a healthy, natural, human spectrum of desire and action that deserves to be celebrated! Of course, the ways in which we're allowed to celebrate and own our sexuality have varied throughout culture and history. BIPOC - women and femme folks in particular - have often been demonized and punished for expressing their sexuality. Today, while mainstream feminism acknowledges the need for everyone to feel as sexy as they choose, that privilege is often extended solely to cis white womanhood, as if sexual liberation is the height of oppression for all.
Related: #ASKCAM: WHEN’S THE RIGHT TIME TO HAVE SEX?

Welcome to #AskCam, a column where sex and intersectionality are not divided but welcomed together.

Dear Cam,  I've been dating for a few months, and there's one person in particular that I've been really into. Our dates have been fantastic, but I'm ready for something more. When is the right time to move to getting physical with someone new? -Taking The Plunge Dear Taking The Plunge, For many of us who date and have sexual experiences, this is a frequently asked and pondered question. In monogamous culture, there's an assumption that there's a timeline that folks need to hit to ensure that the relationship is "on the right path"; at certain times, we're expected to date, kiss, become exclusive, and everything after. There's an expectation that everyone who dates has the same goal of falling in love, getting married, having children, and living happily ever after – there's nothing at all wrong with these things – but isn't it kind of fucked up to assume that everyone will want these exact things, in that exact order? Whether you're monogamous or not, there's no escaping the cultural pressure to subscribe to this kind of dating and relationship model. The first part in my response to you, TTP, is something that you might already know but is worth reiterating: you don't have to hit a timeline or do things by a certain time for them to be valid. Every relationship – romantic, platonic, monogamous, non-monogamous, and everything in between – evolves at its own pace, and placing a one-size-fits-all model to how relationships should look does a disservice to our individuality and places unnecessary pressure on the folks in that relationship.
RELATED: HOW SEXUALITY IS CRUCIAL FOR INTERSECTIONALITY: AN INTRODUCTION

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