Surge in Sex Ed Platforms Offers Role for Brand Advisors
A number of sex education platforms have recently emerged to fill a knowledge gap left by taboos and underperforming youth education. We believe there's an opportunity for brands to act as trusted advisors in this space.
US film-maker Liz Goldwyn just launched The Sex Ed, a platform to discuss sexual health, including sensitive issues like period sex and erectile dysfunction. The launch includes the Sex Ed Podcast, which aims to offer "a range of voices sharing their experiences with sex, health and consciousness", according to Goldwyn's Instagram.
In May, digital art lab Motherlode released Pillow Talk, a virtual reality series that immerses users in the full spectrum of sexual exploration. The first episodes, entitled Lube River, "educate users on the world of pleasure and sex toys through a playful, game-like environment", according to Motherlode. Meanwhile, in February 2017, Pornhub launched its own Sexual Wellness Center (suitable for work).
These platforms are arriving at a time when sex education in schools is in crisis: in the US, only 55% of boys and 60% of girls aged 15-19 have received formal instruction about methods of birth control (Gutmacher Institute, 2018). There is an urgent need for serious and safe conversations about sex among Gen Z particularly. Netflix picked up on this education gap with its brash cartoon comedy and sex-ed show Big Mouth, which stars a number of big US comedians and released its second season in October 2018.
As we saw in 2017 with Axe's 'Is it okay for guys...' campaign and Bodyform's award-winning campaign Blood Normal, this is an area where brands can play an active role. While businesses like British condoms brand Durex can obviously pursue this strategy – seen again in its current partnership with US non-profit RED to raise awareness about Aids among Gen Z – we see this as an opportunity for brands in every industry. For more, see Tackling Taboos and New Attitudes to Love & Sex.