Everyone should have the right to safe and pleasurable sex – that’s why we are endorsing the Pleasure Principles developed by our partner The Pleasure Project.

When education and awareness focus on the positive aspects of sex rather than the negative, people feel more comfortable with their sexuality and are more likely to engage in safe and enjoyable behaviors.

Rooted in evidence, experience and policy, The Pleasure Principles are an easy and informative guide meant to be used by individuals, organizations, pleasure activists, health practitioners and educators on how pleasure-based sexual education can be applied in real life. The principles are written in a fun and engaging way with practical examples that describe how to approach sexual health education and programs in a positive, safe, and more pleasurable way.

So, what exactly are the Pleasure Principles?

These seven guiding principles are designed as a guide to inspire sex positivity and a pleasure-based approach to sexual health through different dimensions. Let’s break them down! 

Be Positive: “Remember, when you feel safe and are safe, sex can be very good for you.” Sex positivity allows people to understand that pleasure is a central aspect of sexual, mental, and physical wellbeing. By moving away from focusing the conversation on the dangers of sex, we can open up to the many aspects of sex that are important to education, human rights, and health. Sex–positivity is at the core of all the Pleasure Principles.

Rights First: To enjoy the opportunity of experiencing pleasure, there have to be fundamental rights that are encompassing and inclusive in place. Currently, there is no established universal human right to express and experience sexual pleasure. We as advocates have the responsibility to pay attention to this inequality and do what we can to create a shift. 

Think Universal: Each and every person in our world can experience sexual pleasure if they like to. However, pleasure can look different for different people. By adopting a pleasure-inclusive perspective, we can support people to explore pleasure in a safe way on their own terms.

Be Flexible: Being flexible does not necessarily mean that can you wedge your foot behind your head (kudos to those who can, though!) but that you should be open to adaptation. This principle emphasizes the importance of being aware and understanding of the different aspects of a learner such as their sexual identity, gender, community values, culture, and family. Creating a safe space for learners to discuss the spectrum of sexual health and pleasure, can help increase a person’s confidence when it comes to exploring their sexual experience.

Talk Sexy: Using respectful, conscious, and inclusive language when talking about pleasure, makes people more comfortable discussing their experiences openly, rather than feeling shame and stigma around their preferences. Talking sexy also means adopting clear and transparent language. Instead of saying “between your legs” be precise so the messaging is understood by the receiver like “vulva, vagina”. Here is a guide to talking sexy without judgment.

Embrace Learning:When people address pleasure and sexual health, they are more inclined to engage in a safe exploration of their sexuality and sex. Evidence shows that pleasure-inclusive sexual health interventions can improve sexual health outcomes, such as condom uptake, which this principle is a driving force in establishing.

Love Yourself: Loving yourself can help you understand what your preferences are, including showing kindness to others with sexual pleasure.This encourages women to voice their sexual needs and desires and men to be open and vulnerable with their feelings and preferences.

Call to action

The Case for Her is committed to using our platform to ensure that we communicate inclusively, respectfully, and from a rights-based perspective. We pledge to keep amplifying the evidence on pleasure-based sexual health. 

We encourage others within the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights to  endorse the Pleasure Principles and implement pleasure-inclusive sex education. Everyone has the right to safe and enjoyable sex.