The term ‘Red Flag’ is something that gets thrown around a lot in the dating world, especially since the rise of dating apps. It’s become a huge talking point when discussing dating do’s and dont’s, however it’s very subjective, and one person's green flag could be a giant red flag to another—and that's okay.
Here at Love Not War, we love the term “sex-positive.” But what does it mean? “Sex-positive” does not mean that someone is open to anything, it is someone who acknowledges and understands how diverse and beautiful sexuality is, with no judgement. Sex positive people are open to learning about consent, kinks, sexualities and more.
It can be difficult to understand what you want from a partner, and even more difficult finding this once you know what you want, however a big factor in finding a partner, should be ensuring they are as sex-positive as you are, and that there is no judgement involved. It is important, in the long run to take a few extra steps when vetting potential partners to better communicate and get what you want from the beginning. So we asked the team what their dating green flags are when trying to find a sex positive partner, and this is what they said.
Making sure they embrace their sexuality
If someone embraces their own sexuality, then they are more likely to support their partner(s) too. When both partners are open and comfortable in their sexuality, this creates a safe space for both to communicate and learn about others and will also make others feel comfortable around them. Embracing your sexualiy doesn’t have a set form, it can look different from person to person. It can mean openly talking about your own sexuality, or being open to trying new things or simply just being open to learn about others sexuality.
They are always open and honest
It may seem like a given, that people are open, but an open and honest conversation can be quite complex. Relationships have milestones that we all have to talk through at some point, and sometimes it can be uncomfortable. However, finding the right person who will have that open conversation will make this all a lot easier. If your partner creates a safe and honest space, this sets a foundation for you to do the same. These discussions can take persistence, planning, and attentiveness, and both parties need to be open and honest in order for this to work.
Consent is sexy
Consent in sexual relationships is an absolute given. Sometimes, sex can come straight away or can take a while, maybe before we know the person properly, however it’s always crucial to ask for consent first. This sets the foundation for trust, and will make both parties feel more comfortable. No matter how long you have been in a relationship, or what you are both into, whether it is just penetrative sex, using sex toys, or BDSM, consent is always the most important step. It's an ongoing conversation and the kindest thing to do.
Also, consent doesn't have to stay in the bedroom. It should be asked in every aspect of life, including when you want to give a massage, borrow something, or (and this is super important) post a picture of them online - asking consent for even the smallest of things will make your partner feel safe.
There is no narrative to sex
If you find them saying “you should have come”, “you should have been turned on” this is not healthy. There is no narrative to sex, it is an experience in which both should feel comfortable, and enjoy the journey. If you find your partner wanting an end goal to sex, and feeling disappointed if there wasn’t one, they are certainly not sex positive. Should and shouldn’ts tend to bring shame and negativity, something that there is no space for in the bedroom. Remember, everyone's body functions and responds differently to pleasure and stimulation, and sex should never be measured by a big O.
No judgment involved
Finally, and arguably one of the most important ‘green flags’ is no judgment. If someone passes judgement on your sexual turn-ons, this is a huge no. For example, if you want to explore booty play, but your partner doesn’t, that’s fine! However, a positive response would be, "That’s not my thing, but I really enjoy nipple play. Shall we try that together instead?”
You should never abandon your boundaries and make yourself vulnerable, for the sake of judgment. You have to respect one another's differences and turn ons, without disregarding your own. If you’re finding it difficult to understand someone else's likes or dislikes, it’s okay to ask questions. When we are judgmental about something, it's because we don't understand.