How To Approach Your Sexual Ethics
A lot of the times, people neglect sexual conversation, especially when it comes to their health.

A lot of the times, people neglect sexual conversation, especially when it comes to their health. Ideally, it is necessary to have that conversation with yourself and whomever you have sex with. These ideals should be rooted in sexual ethics. Generally, ethics are a set of principles that you use based on your beliefs about a certain situation -- in this case, sex and sexuality.


Sexual Autonomy/Agency


Within the principles of sexual ethics, you first need to know that you have sexual autonomy/agency. The fact that you are able to make your own decisions regarding your body are key to your sexual success. Knowing that you can speak up and speak out on what you desire should be part of the core ethics of your sexuality. If you feel that you cannot say or do something that is within your ability regarding your sexuality, then this is a problem and needs to be addressed immediately. For instance, if you feel like you are in an abusive situation and can’t say anything about your sexual decisions, you need to get help with a professional who can help you voice or manage your experiences.


Sexual Beneficence


The next principle within sexual ethics is having sexual beneficence. Having sexual beneficence means that when you approach sexual situations or sexuality, you approach them with a spirit of compassion and that you are out to do good and be the best person you can be for yourself and for your lovers. Using empathy and listening to your lovers thoughts, ideas and encouraging them to be the best that they can be should be key when thinking about your own personal sexual ethics.


Sexual Non-Maleficence


The third principle of sexual ethics is having sexual non-maleficence. This means that you want to strategically do no harm to your lovers. This means having their consent, not being abusive in any way and knowing their limits and boundaries. Not harming someone should be something that comes naturally for you. If it doesn’t, I suggest seeking therapy and figuring out why this might not be the case with you.


Seuxal Justice


Sexual justice is another principle that should be part of your personal sexual ethics. Sexual justice means being fair and negotiating any sexual access that promotes equality. It might look like: “If you have an orgasm, that means I also get an orgasm.” This particular sexual ethic is really about balance in your relationships. It means that even when you want to be selfish and have an orgasm that day, it also means that your partner has the ability to also be selfish when they want. It might not be the same day, but it means there’s a fairness within your sexual relationship.


Sexual Honor


When thinking about your sexual ethics, think about your sexual honor. Having sexual honor means keeping your sexual promises and commitments. For instance, you may not be able to promise an orgasm, but you can surely commit to trying to get one. Honoring your sexual promises and commitments leads to personal dependability when it comes to your sexual life. When people see you as more dependable, that means you are more sexually reliable and basically your stock goes up, you become more confident and more sexually revered in your abilities.


Sexual Veracity


The last principle that you should have when it comes to sexual ethics is having sexual veracity. Sexual veracity means that you are being honest with yourself and with your lover, that you are being truthful at all times and that your lover can see you as sexually trustworthy. This last principle helps to encompass the rest of the principles of sexual ethics. When you are trustworthy and honest with yourself and with your partner, you can manage just about anything.




When you are trustworthy and honest, you act accordingly. Your sexual autonomy allows you to make your own decisions, your sexual beneficence allows you to empathize and promote healthy sexuality, your sexual non-maleficence allows you to be conscious about not hurting your lovers, your sexual justice ethics allows you to promote equality and fairness in your sexual relationship(s), and your sexual honor manifests deep-rooted dependence on keeping your sexual promises and commitments. Remember, honesty with yourself and having strategic sexual ethics are the keys to healthy sexuality and sexual confidence. Cheers to your sexual success!

Marla Stewart

Marla Renee Stewart, MA is a professional sex, intimacy and relationship coach and sex educator. Not only is she a lecturer at Clayton State University, she is also the co-founder of the Sex Down South Conference and the Sexual Liberation Collective. Gaining her reputation for being "The Sex Architect", she created Velvet Lips to empower people of all ages to embrace, educate and enjoy their sexuality and their sexual lives. She has studied human sexuality for more than 16 years at San Francisco State University and Georgia State University, respectively, and has expert knowledge in a wide variety of subjects. She has published academic articles and continues to do sexuality research. She has conducted workshops at conferences, not-for-profit and private organizations, as well as universities in the Atlanta area. She has been featured on many radio shows, documentaries, books, magazines and has been invited to speak at Universities around the country. She also sits on the board for the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition and SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!
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