Online How does real sex look? These sites show the awkward truth Does uncovering the vulnerable, clumsy sides of sex make you better at it? These "social sex" companies think so. This story is part of our Turned On special report exploring the intersection of sex and technology. It contains sexually explicit descriptions and may not be suited for younger readers.
In the sunny living room of a Mediterranean-style house in Oakland, California, Rosalind sips coffee through a straw. The year-old research assistant wears a thin green utility jacket and has large brown eyes and dark wavy hair with pin-up-girl bangs.
Sitting on a couch as SLR cameras record her, she gets ready to tell nine people, none of whom she's met in real life before, about the first time she masturbated.
They're filming for OMGYes , a site that hosts a series of online videos about how to sexually satisfy a woman. OMGYes is one of a number of companies ushering sex education for the 18 and older crowd into a new era. Sites like OMGYes, Orenstein says, "have the opportunity to do an end-run around traditional sources of education -- and miseducation. The company is in the process of producing its second season. Other videos are interactive. Viewers can, for example, use their fingers to rub and tap digital renderings of female genitalia on a touchscreen.
These images are created from thousands of composited, high-definition photographs stitched together from some of OMGYes' interviewees, who range in race, age and body type. As you touch, a voice-over softly guides you where to touch and how fast. The lessons end when the screen fades to white. If you do everything "right," the voice lets out a satisfying sigh. If not, she suggests you stop and take a break. Online videos have attempted to educate about sex before.
The year-old YouTube personality has talked about sex and dating since , and has over 1. But while videos by Green and others simply require passive watching, OMGYes infuses its tutorials with a level of visceral interactivity and immediacy that video blogs, books and magazines can't offer.
Women talk frankly to the camera for OMGYes. With this information, OMGYes offers a platform for women to talk about a subject that at worst is seen as taboo, and at best, unimportant. What gets funded generally is pathology. It's anorgasmia or dryness or soreness. For its , current users, OMGYes wants its upcoming second season, which doesn't yet have a release date, to cover internal vaginal touch. It brought in Rosalind to talk about experiences including female ejaculation.
After Rosalind wraps up her onscreen interview, the team breaks for a late lunch of Chinese takeout. Later, Rosalind will shoot her touch-and-talk scene, where she'll masturbate on camera and narrate what works.
At the end of all this, she'll fly back home to DC and return to her job at a university. She hopes her contributions to the project will help form a more sensible, but still joyful, narrative around sex.
These sites raise 'sex ed' to the next level 2: A former publicist and marketer who now heads her own consultant firm, Gallop is everything you'd expect an ad exec to be -- fast-talking, blunt and charismatic. She created the site after discovering many of the men she slept with made false assumptions about what she wanted in bed.
The issue is that we don't talk about sex in the real world. MLNP has two requirements for submissions: One video shows a woman getting into a coughing fit while her partner rubs her back and offers a tissue. Another features an orange tabby cat jumping on the bed, indifferently watching its owners have sex and walking to the foot of the bed to lie down.
There is small talk. There are women with body hair. There are naked men wearing socks. MLNP doesn't consider its videos to be pornography or even amateur, and to label them as either would be a bit reductive. These videos don't feature professional actors contractually paid to have sex. The stars are everyday people experiencing genuine sexual connections. The YouTube channel Fck Yes , for example, shows how people can seek and receive sexual consent.
There are only four complete episodes so far, and while the videos use explicit language, they're relatively safe for work and don't depict actual sex. Our competition isn't porn. It's Facebook and YouTube.
Or it would be Facebook and YouTube if they allowed sexual expression. Anyone with the moxie to whip out a phone and record themselves can spontaneously upload a video and share it with MLNP's , subscribers.
In the five years since the site launched, users have submitted 1, videos. The company likens users uploading their sexual adventures to MLNP to social media users posting their latest meal on Instagram or vacation photos on Facebook. Because there is empathy, sensitivity, generosity, kindness.
All those are as important [in sex] as they are in other areas of our lives where we're actively taught to have those values. Although the majority of its content falls into what you'd typically see on a porn site blond, blowjob, threesome , two of its videos, "Virtual Sexology I" and "Virtual Sexology II," aim to educate viewers about sexual positions and techniques through a first-person point of view.
On the set of "Virtual Sexology II. Sometimes, an omniscient female voice-over gives tips, chiming in about the benefits of pelvic exercises or sex toys. During one scene, when the actress is on her back in a missionary position, the voice cuts in to remind viewers that "pulling the legs back to the chest or close to the ears can create deeper penetration, which can be uncomfortable or pleasurable depending on her body preference.
But while the portal functions more like an info center, BaDoinkVR is creating original and engaging video content. A voice-over gives full context of a sex toy that actress August Ames introduces in "Virtual Sexology I. For the sequel, which is about female arousal, Hernandez enlisted Holly Richmond, a psychologist who specializes in sex therapy and supervised the techniques and advice featured in the video.
Because of its level of immersion, it "gives us the opportunity to teach empathy, facilitate connection and feel more relational" compared to 2D content.