We don’t see Black women prioritizing their physical needs over others’ comforts on screen frequently but when we do it’s a pleasure.
Some storytellers choose to promise grisly punishments or permanent settlements for the choice of having the audacity to engage in and (gasp) enjoy sex. But others have been weaving tales that paint what happens between the sheets as just another another part of everyday life.
As a study in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy determined, “a holistic understanding of female sexuality includes examining sexual expression, pleasure, intimacy, and other dimensions of sex.” The writers, producers, and showrunners presenting sex-positive characters are expressing their ideas about what it means to be a Black woman in charge of your own sexuality smartly with sensitivity and fun.
Crossing education level, ages, professional spectrums, political ideologies and marital statuses these women have each opted to leave the respectability politics behind to develop interior lives that honor their desires and boundaries.
They are less concerned with what people will have to say about their behavior than the ways that it will make them feel. They are not perfect but their sexual appetites do not serve as detractors of their character.
Photo Credit: Run the World Season 1 2021 Starz
As they chase rewarding careers, complete educations, pursue personal goals, and fulfill family obligations these women make time to ensure they are getting what they want in their sex lives proudly discussing their beliefs at happy hours and brunches.
In monogamous couplings, open relationships, casual encounters and anonymous one night stands they each make choices that reflect what is best for them without apology.
See 10 sex positive characters we have loved watching create their own rules about sex and love over the years below and cue up their shows to binge on Valentine’s Day weekend.
Molly Carter (Insecure)
How happy are we that we never had to watch Molly have an existential crisis about the need for her hoeness to get deleted before walking down the aisle with a man she was equally yoked with?
Photograph by Raymond Liu/HBO
Kat Edison (The Bold Type)
Kat refused to allow other people define her sexuality, was honest with her suitors about her values, fears, and experiences. She also experimented with ethical non-monogamy.
Photo Credit: Freeform
Skylar ‘Sky’ Forrester (Grown-ish)
From her bathtub tryst with Junior to her romance with Rodney Skye was fully in control.
Photo Credit: Freeform
Connie Spaulding (Two Can Play That Game)
Sis said “Your (ex) man acting up is not my problem,” and honestly she wasn’t wrong.
Photo Credit: Screen Gems/Sony
Nola Darling (She’s Gotta Have It)
She may consistently fumble finances but she made the rules in her loving bed.
Photo Credit: She’s Gotta Have It – Production Stills
Maxine – The Carmichael Show
Maxine refused to be slutshamed for co-habiting before marriage or practicing ethical non-monogamy and in the end wound up in a marriage that suited her feminist values.
Photo Credit: NBC
Confidence is the name of the game and while Shorty was a whole rat, her faith in her performance between the sheets was respectable.
Photo Credit: BMF Starz
Lynn Ann Searcy (Girlfriends)
Was she co-dependent, immature and slightly manipulative? Yes. But she invented the legendary “Lynn Spin,” along the way so really it was worth it (maybe).
(Photo by Darien Davis/CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
Nicky Koles (Grand Crew)
Nicky is putting on for the new school by swinging from chandeliers with Sex Henry. We’re here for it.
(Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)
Renee Ross (Run The World)
Ross is unafraid to ask for what she wants in the boardroom and the bedroom. Season one of the series saw her ask for – and get- more in both arenas.