Human Sexual Rights

Katherine Phelps

I feel that with any positive revolution of human thought and behaviour that the ideals contained within that revolution must be reasserted and re-examined at regular intervals. In the intervening years, fear eats away at the landmarks made by one generation. So a new generation finds the need to establish new landmarks which take us further toward becoming a fully enlightened people. I believe it is time for a new sexual revolution. And I believe it is time that we see this revolution as a full validation of each and every person's humanity, as well as a permission we give ourselves to more fully enjoy our sensuality.

I hold these truths to be natural rights:

  1. All people participate in a biological existence. This is a natural part of who we are for the full length of our human lives. Denial of that nature is a denial of ourselves and does not grant us superiority or immortality, it merely diminishes us as whole beings. Life is not a curse. Life is a gift that should be celebrated while we have it.
  2. As biological beings we are sensual beings. Since the senses tell us what we need to know to live happy, safe and fulfilling lives, exercising those senses can only enhance our lives. Finding pleasure through our senses can only encourage us to exercise them.
  3. As biological beings we are sexual beings. This is inevitable for we are born, grow old and die, therefore we must procreate in order to continue the existence of humanity. Our sexuality is not separate from who we are, but intrinsic due to its biological necessity. We have every right to enjoy that which is necessary. We have every right to enjoy sex.
  4. All people have the right to experience their sexuality as a healthy part of who they are. Now is the time to divest ourselves of beliefs and feelings that sex is somehow dirty, shameful or degrading. We have the right to enjoy who we are, as we are, with a clear conscience.
  5. All people have the right to freely acknowledge and accept the full spectrum of their sexuality, and expect others to acknowledge and accept this spectrum as well. We use the defining terms of heterosexual, homosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. when in reality these things are simply part of a continuous spectrum. The fact that they exist at all means that they are natural to human behaviour whether or not they are considered the social norm. Similar behaviours are found throughout nature. As sexual beings we always experience other human beings, to some degree, sexually. We have the right to accept this as natural.
  6. All people have the right to own their bodies. A person's body does not belong to a parent, partner or society. Each person has the right to do with their bodies as they choose, so long as it does not involve harming other persons. Each person has the right to decide how and when they will be touched by another. Each person has the right to refuse human contact of any sort. Each person has the right to accept any human contact.
  7. All people have the right to form and graduate from relationships. Across cultures many relationship structures have been tried. Amongst genuinely consenting adults people have the right to form any sort of relationships they choose whether they be serial, monogamous, polygamous, polyandrous, open marriage, group marriage, polyamorous, etc. When a relationship for whatever reason no longer suits a person, they also have the right to freely leave that relationship.
  8. All people have the right to express their sexual experiences in any media. Expression of our sexuality in media is a good way for us to learn about ourselves and others such that we can increase our understanding of this aspect of ourselves. Suppressing such expression means primarily rebellious forms of sexual media will force their way through the cracks. Allowing such expression means we can more fully celebrate who we are in a free and healthy manner.
  9. All people have the right to use birth control. We are conscious beings and so have the ability and the right to choose when or if it is best to bring children into the world.
  10. All people have the right to expect health and educational support concerning their sexuality. We have the right to have access to all genuine health information about our bodies. We have the right to have access to medical help for all aspects of our biological existence.

Our sexuality is a valuable part of who we are. At its worst it is used by some to assert power and control over people's lives, at it's best it is an expression of love through pleasure and vulnerability. We have a right to our sexuality, we have a right to exercise that sexuality just as surely as we have a right to breathe and to love.