SEX TALK 2.0
New startups offer inclusive sex education
Modern youth are changing the conversation around topics that were once taboo, including the dialogue around sex, but the education system hasn’t kept up across the board. School sexual education programs traditionally separate genders, and many state programs don’t address important questions like sexual orientation and contraception. The following companies are using digital platforms to offer young people inclusive sex education that cover topics that are missing from school curriculums or that they are embarrassed to ask about in person.
The sex education system failed Mia Davis, who unknowingly suffered from vaginismus—a pelvic floor condition that causes painful muscle spasms—for years before receiving a diagnosis. The struggles she faced to identify her condition and receive appropriate treatment inspired her to found a web platform that combines sexual health education, mental health support, and inclusivity. Tabú gives users access to content on a vast range of topics, such as STIs, consent, and gender issues. Through the website, Davis wants to start an honest conversation about the intersection of sexual and mental health and abolish feelings of guilt and shame tied to sexuality.
Dissatisfied with subpar sex education programs, Andrea Barrica set out to create a space that provides free, comprehensive sexual education to people of all genders and sexualities. She founded O.school, a digital platform that offers both evergreen educational content on a plethora of topics as well as live streams with various sex experts. Through the interactive live streams, viewers can chat with educators, share their personal experiences, and learn more about sex. Unlike traditional programs that enforce the dangers of sex, O.school focus on pleasure and teaching students how to have healthy, fulfilling sexual relationships.
Motherlode, a female-founded creative tech startup, launched a three-chapter virtual reality series called Pillow Talk that provides viewers an immersive sexual education experience. Founders Carol Civre, Isa Ghaffari, and Leah Roh wanted to collaborate on VR content that was meaningful to them and decided to create a series about sex, featuring the information that’s often missing from today’s sex education curriculum. The first chapter of the series, called “Lube River,” premiered this past summer at Babeland's Soho, New York location where viewers were able to explore an interactive landscape as they learned about self-pleasure.