Securing Sexuality is the podcast and conference promoting sex positive, science based, and secure interpersonal relationships. We give people tips for safer sex in a digital age. We help sextech innovators and toy designers produce safer products. And we educate mental health and medical professionals on these topics so they can better advise their clients. Securing Sexuality provides sex therapists with continuing education (CEs) for AASECT, SSTAR, and SASH around cyber sexuality and social media, and more.
Links from this week’s episode:
OnlyFans as a Tool for Sexual Learning
Comprehensive sexuality education is a crucial aspect of a well-rounded education, yet it remains a topic shrouded in stigma and controversy. Many traditional educational institutions struggle to provide comprehensive and inclusive sex education to students, often leaving them ill-equipped to navigate the complexities of their own sexuality.
However, in recent years, a novel platform has emerged that has the potential to bridge this gap – OnlyFans. OnlyFans, initially popularized as a subscription-based platform for adult content creators, has evolved into a space that transcends the boundaries of traditional adult entertainment. It has become a platform where individuals can share educational content, including comprehensive sexuality education, in an accessible and inclusive manner. Here, we explore the educational potential of OnlyFans and how it can address the gap in comprehensive sexuality education.
1. The Need for Comprehensive Sexuality Education:
Before delving into the educational potential of OnlyFans, it is crucial to understand the need for comprehensive sexuality education. Traditional approaches to sex education often focus solely on the biological aspects of reproduction, neglecting important aspects such as consent, healthy relationships, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
This omission can lead to a lack of understanding, misinformation, and even harmful behaviors among young people. Comprehensive sexuality education, on the other hand, aims to provide accurate, age-appropriate, and inclusive information about human sexuality. It goes beyond the mechanics of sex and addresses topics such as consent, body image, gender identity, sexual orientation, contraception, and sexually transmitted infections.
By equipping individuals with this knowledge, comprehensive sexuality education empowers them to make informed decisions about their own bodies and relationships.
2. The Rise of OnlyFans as an Educational Platform:
OnlyFans, originally created as a platform for adult content creators to monetize their work, has seen a significant shift in recent years. Many individuals, including educators, activists, and experts in various fields, have recognized the platform's potential as an educational tool.
OnlyFans allows creators to share content directly with subscribers, creating a personalized and interactive learning experience. Creators on OnlyFans have started utilizing the platform to share educational content related to sexuality, relationships, and sexual health. They can provide in-depth explanations, answer questions from subscribers, and create a supportive community around these topics. This personalized approach enables individuals to learn at their own pace and engage in open and honest conversations about sexuality.
3. Benefits of OnlyFans for Comprehensive Sexuality Education:
OnlyFans offers a level of accessibility that traditional educational institutions often struggle to achieve. It reaches individuals who may not have access to comprehensive sexuality education in their schools or communities. OnlyFans transcends geographical boundaries, allowing individuals from different parts of the world to access educational content and engage in discussions on sexuality.
OnlyFans promotes inclusivity by allowing creators to tailor their content to specific audiences. This is particularly important when addressing topics such as sexual orientation and gender identity. By providing a safe and inclusive space, OnlyFans allows individuals to explore their own identities and learn from diverse perspectives.
OnlyFans enables creators to deliver educational content in a personalized manner. Subscribers can interact directly with creators, ask questions, and seek clarification on topics that are relevant to their own experiences. This personalized learning approach fosters a deeper understanding and engagement with the material, ultimately leading to more informed decision-making.
By utilizing OnlyFans as an educational platform, creators challenge stigma associated with comprehensive sexuality education. They are reframing the narrative around sex education, presenting it as a valuable and necessary aspect of personal development. This shift in perception can contribute to the normalization of comprehensive sexuality education and reduce the shame and secrecy often associated with discussing these topics.
Comprehensive sexuality education is an essential component of a well-rounded education, yet it remains an area of neglect and controversy in many educational systems. OnlyFans, with its unique features and growing popularity, has the potential to address this gap and revolutionize the way we approach comprehensive sexuality education. By leveraging the accessibility, inclusivity, and personalized learning opportunities offered by OnlyFans, creators can provide individuals with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate their own sexuality and relationships in a healthy and informed manner. It is time to recognize the educational potential of OnlyFans and embrace it as a valuable resource for comprehensive sexuality education.
Stefani Goerlich: Hello and welcome to Securing Sexuality. The podcast where we discuss the intersection of intimacy-
Wolf Goerlich: -and information security. I'm Wolf Goerlich.
Stefani: He's a hacker and I'm Stefani Goerlich.
Wolf: She's a sex therapist. And together we're going to discuss what safe sex looks like in a digital age.
Stefani: Today we are joined by Christine Leistner, a sexual and relationship health scientist and assistant professor at CSU (California State University) Chico. Her background is in community development and public health with a focus on sexual and relational health. She is my people. Her research interests include investigating the ways in which individuals and couples maintain satisfying sexual lives. Dr. Leistner is passionate about promoting comprehensive sexuality education and about addressing issues including sex trafficking. Christine, thank you so much for joining us.
Christine Leistner: I am so happy to be here. Thanks for having me.
Wolf: Yeah, when I started seeing some of the research you put out, I had to reach out because we hear about OnlyFans from time to time. And one of the things I don't really have good visibility into it is, um how people are using it. What benefits people are getting out of it. You know, of course, this being the securing side what are some of the risks out of it. So I really wanted to have this conversation because I know over the past couple of years you've been looking very closely at this platform.
Christine: And it's not just workout videos. Um, they say So that's good. Yes. So we've been doing some research the last couple of years on people who use the platform or have used it in the past three months. Um, so our data set was over 400 people, and it was, um, people who just were over 18 and had used the platform for at some point in the last three months since we collected data. Um, and our study that's published in sexuality and culture, um, was about learning. So what people learn on OnlyFans. And it turns out that people learn a lot of stuff on OnlyFans and that it's mostly, at least in our data, a positive experience. So we had very few people who said they didn't learn anything from engaging with the platform.
Stefani: So when you say people who use OnlyFans, do you mean users, as in people logging in and viewing content people have posted on OnlyFans? Do you mean the people, the content creators that are using OnlyFans to post their content? Or do you mean both? Who are the people you were who were in those 400 people?
Christine: So the inclusion criteria is people who have used the platform for sexually for sexual purposes in the last three months, so it could be both, and it likely is a combination of both. And so we asked them questions about what they learn, what kind of topics they learn about so like and how much they learn. Um, and people report learning about their sexual health, sexual preferences, learning about relationships, and then we ask open-ended questions. So we asked them about what specific kinds of things they were learning. I was- We were really not surprised, but happy with the results that we found right? So they were. They talked about how they learned about new sexual configurations. So thinking about trying threesomes and things like that, learning about new sexual activities that they could engage in, there was a lot of like fetish, BDSM kind of things and then specific, like learning how to create a safe word and learning how to use it properly and learning how to gain consent in that situation, there were also people who talked about using sex tech. So how to Cam, for example, learning how to do things like that. And in general, people talked about just having better sexual function so they would say things like How to last longer was something they learned on OnlyFans. They talked about more sexual pleasure and satisfaction from their engagement on OnlyFans and then safety and sexual health kinds of things. So, like consent, using condoms, things like that, or other forms of contraception. So those are some skill-based things. But then they also talked about sexual expansion. So as a sex researcher, sexual expansion is one of those things that it has positive outcomes or is correlated with sexual satisfaction, for example, in couples and it just means trying new things basically. And so people talked about, you know, all these ways they tried new things because of OnlyFans, so in a sexual way, but then also in a self-related way, so they talked about how engaging with the platform increased their self-esteem and sexual identity like sexual self-esteem. It increased their knowledge about their self so they would explore their sexual orientation or their gender identity a little bit to see what felt good to them. The platform, Um, and then there were some couple related things. So in a relationship, they talked about having better communication because of engaging on OnlyFans or more knowledge about their partner, um, more boundaries, better intimacy, and more openness to trying new activities. So there were a lot of positive things that people were saying about their learning and their experiences using OnlyFans.
Stefani: And I love that because so often, when we talk about or even hear about OnlyFans, people only think about it as sort of the source for ethical porn, right or it's an alternative to the hub sites. We know that the people are as far as we know voluntarily and enthusiastically posting their content. We know that they are receiving the funds that we are paying for that service, but people tend to think about the site as an erotica distributor. We don't think about it as an education provider. And that, I think, is what is so fascinating about your work and about your findings. Specifically, I think that even for other people in my field, I don't think I've ever heard a sex therapist mention OnlyFans in the context of sex and relationship education before.
Christine: And I think that the reason why people are using it for learning is because they're not getting it anywhere else, you know, So, like, we don't live in a country where sex education is something that's provided, let alone things that these people are learning, like how to do something in BDSM or how to think about what kind of fetishes you're interested in, You know, like those are just These are very pleasure focused things, and we, as a society don't value that upfront. You know, we have a lot of value for it on the down low, but we don't value it in mainstream society. Um, in policy, at least. And so you know, I mean people like, what was the statistics? The Guttmacher Institute. Only 17 states require that content that's taught in schools like K-12 be medically accurate, right? That's like a very small percentage of the amount of states in our country. And, you know, 19 states require stuff on contraceptives. So this is even just like basic level information that people are not getting, that young people are not getting. And so there's no focus on sexual skills or exploration or pleasure or any of that type of thing, even though it is in the definition of sexual health from the World Health Organisation. Pleasure is in the definition of sexual health by the World Health Organisation, and so it should definitely be a focus of sex education, um, and sexual health. But it's really not in our culture. So I think that's one of the main reasons why people are turning to things like OnlyFans and, of course, just pornography in general, to learn because there's nowhere else to get that information from.
Wolf: We oftentimes hear “Oh, people are learning about sex from pornography, and that is terrible. It's unrealistic. It sets bad expectations.” I don't know one way or the other. I haven't seen the data, but let even suppose that that's all correct. Well, then, where else are they gonna get it right? What other avenues do they have? So one thing that happened with OnlyFans relatively recently, I want to ask you about right, because so OnlyFans gets founded. Like I think it was 2016. And the most recent stat I saw is they have around 2 million creators. They have around 200 million users and they produce, uh, or collect and transact close to $2 billion. So it's quite a big economy there. And I heard a few years ago that they tried to, like say, Oh, no, we're not gonna allow any more, um, adult or sexual content, be it education or, uh, other content providers doing their work. We're not gonna allow any of that. And I remember hearing that you looked into that at the time. Of course, OnlyFans pretty rapidly changed their mind on that. But can you tell us what did that moment in time look like?
Christine: So that was in the fall of 2021 where OnlyFans basically said, We're getting rid of all sexually explicit content. And then there was a humongous uproar on Twitter and just online from the many people who create content and others. And so they quickly I think it took about a week for them to rescind that, um, and to go back to sort of to normal. Um, and we do actually have a paper that's under review right now. Hopefully, it's gonna be out soon. Um, with just content creators asking them questions about their perception of that ban, why it happened, and how they think it will impact society. Um, how will impact them And many of them, you know, say what they've said before when things have happened like this with Tumblr and other kind of platforms is that, you know, it's the meta kind of things, like we feel undervalued, disrespected, stigmatized as sex workers, you know? And we also, you know, really appreciated OnlyFans. I mean, many of them talk about appreciating OnlyFans because of the way that it's so popular and kind of culturally accepted. More than many other explicit platforms. Covid really – it gained a lot of popularity with covid. I think it was like a 500% increase in revenue. What during covid that and I think the fact that they can't promote the platform, so they have to kind of they con content creators have to do it with social media. So it's sort of like a mix between social media and pornography. In a lot of ways. I think those features those things have kind of led to a cultural assimilation where people kind of accept OnlyFans as normal. For the most part, they might have things to say about it, but they do accept it as a thing that exists. And there's reasons why and so, OK, so that happened. Um, and it's kind of related to FOSTA-SESTA, so this legislation that's been coming out that's supposed to protect trafficking victims. But the problem is, and I mean, we've heard this before. You know, you can't shut down a whole platform or whole system to protect trafficking victims. Right, there's like, just like with cleaning houses or fishing. You don't shut down fishing because there are trafficking victims, right? You deal with the ways that people are being trafficked in that system and you know, unfortunately, it's kind of rare for people to build policy where they ask the people who it impacts the most, right? So if you ask sex workers, what do you think would be a good policy to protect sex workers or to help with trafficking? They come up with some really good ideas, um, one being decriminalization, you know, instead of some of the other ways that we could go about legislation New Zealand has decriminalization, I think that's the best way to go. And it protects everyone because when it's decriminalized, it's treated like just normal work. And you can go to the police. Um, if you want to, and the police will protect, hopefully, protect you in that situation. If there's a problem, whereas other forms of legislation, even if it's legal, people then have to do it illegally and it didn't. It just creates like a two-tiered system, Um, and so there's that's really the only way to protect people. But so I think FOSTA-SESTA started out as, or is meant to protect trafficking victims. And so it's being used in ways that really shut down people that are normal people doing content creating, you know, over 18, giving their consent, doing it willfully, and that's harmful. And so it's, I think, that that's why a lot of the banks are kind of not wanting to work with these platforms.
Wolf: Your point about, uh, the legislation and and and whatnot makes me think oftentimes, when we try to do these sort of bans, it ends up pushing people into riskier and riskier areas, right? Think about it just from, like a physical perspective, we say we will not let anyone who does this service in this area where then they automatically have to go into a different part of the city, which may be riskier or maybe more dangerous, right? And, you know, that seems like a stretch of a metaphor. But I firmly believe that's a very strong metaphor when you think about online spaces where you know OnlyFans has good content moderation. They've got good, you know, um, vetting processes. They've got ways to get paid. You know, you don't necessarily want to shift a whole bunch of people off that onto platforms which may not have that protection.
Christine: No. Well, I was gonna add to that is that there are people with disabilities on OnlyFans because they're, you know, it's a way to make an income. There are people who are marginalized in a lot of other ways, and when you have that and that's sex workers in general, um, but you But it, of course, makes it more dangerous to, you know, um, either make them go back to or go to in-person type of work, Um, or go to other platforms that aren't as well protected, um, or robust. Um, and so yeah, there's definitely it just pushes people. It's just like abortion, right? People are going to have abortions. They're just gonna be more, um, you know, at risk when they do it. Um, And we've seen that throughout history with laws that try to stop people from doing something that they need to do or that they would really like to do. Um, and I don't think that this is any different.
Wolf: I agree. And so is there anything that we could learn from that moment when on social media, people got together and said, “Uhhh, no.”
Christine: I mean, I think it's just very explicit, you know, they there's more. Um I mean, it has a long way to go, but I think social media has allowed sex workers to unite in interesting ways. Um, and because of that, you know So one of the things I don't want to give too much away about our paper that's under review. But, you know, some of the things that people talked about were having a sense of community. So having people that support you, that advocate for you right there on the platform, you know, you're not alone, Just like any form of social media for people that are marginalized, right? Um, and so there's a lot more quick communication. There's a lot more, um, organizing, you know, in some ways, and that's a beautiful thing, you know, that allows us to tell the truth about what's going on. And, um, one of the people that we interviewed for the, um, content creator paper that's under review, talked about how they believe that this whole stunt was a, um just a publicity stunt. So they were like, You know what? They can't promote, you know, on, like, large platforms. They can't really like have commercials. So this was a huge publicity stunt for them. And so you know, there's That's one idea, Um and who knows really? You know, it could be a combination of a lot of things, but at the end of the day, that pressure, um, and just economic sense. Maybe, um, stopped them from banning sexually explicit content for now.
Stefani: I loved what you said about the social media and the Internet letting people find community. Uh, and the organization piece is huge. We you actually made me think of two separate other people that we've talked to, one that we talked to a while ago, and one that we are we just talked to, I think yesterday and will be coming up several weeks after you. But, um, Kurt Fowler, who is actually a criminal justice expert, has written about the way that, um, erotic content creators and commercial sex workers use social media and use the Internet to form communities and about how they use those communities to advocate for each other, to keep each other safe as, um, safety and risk assessment tools in ways that are really fascinating. And then we just talked to Jane Fleishman about sort of the older generation at Stonewall, like literally the elders who were at Stonewall and the way that they just kind of decided that a system wasn't working for them And that something that had been a pattern this idea of If you go to this place, the cops will charge the owners of the place a fee to not rate it. And if you do get arrested, you're gonna pay a fee to get out of jail. And everybody's just gonna quietly live with the humiliation. Until one day they decided they weren't. And so I love the sort of connection like what you're talking about is that bridge between people in the late sixties and seventies saying we're not tolerating this anymore And the people that Kurt Fowler is studying in the 2020’s saying this is how we're gonna use this to keep each other safe. And your research and your studies of this specific site and its users really feels like the arc between those two. In a way that makes my brain very happy.
Christine: It makes my brain happy too well. And another thing I'll say, too, because, uh, a little while ago, you mentioned research on porn, porn use, right? And how there's so many Oh, jeez, there's so much negative stuff about, um, in the media about pornography. And what we know is that it is a mixed bag. So there are net, you know, of course, there are studies that show negative health outcomes related to pornography. Those are associations. Those aren't like causal studies. But we also see studies, especially with women and queer folks that are like I knew I was queer for the first time when I watched porn when I watched Queer porn. Or I knew, you know, I feel empowered sexually women because of this porn that I watched. Um, And so it is something that I feel. And of course, as a researcher, you can't have a blanket statement about this is bad for your health or this is all good for your health. But we really know that there can be some real benefits to porn consumption or sexually explicit content. Um, by people who, um, are marginalized in some way. And so I think that's important to understand is that it can be empowering, and it can be helpful for some people.
Wolf: OnlyFans is a is a different relationship, right? As I understand it, I mean, the fans is the key part. If you are, uh, an end user, you've established a fan-based relationship with someone You have a relationship with someone, and, uh, I have to imagine it's much harder to, uh, objectify or depersonify a piece of content. If you are following this person over years, if you've got, you know, a ongoing, um, you know, dialogue with them through this platform, first of all do does that track. And second of all, does that create this experience that you're mentioning where people find that they're able to be more open, explore things because they feel that they're doing it with folks as opposed to just watching content of someone they may not even know their name.
Christine: I wish I had that data available, but I mean, I can tell you what I think you know. So my opinion is that that's the way human beings work, right? We're social people, and when you have to subscribe to someone's site, you can ask them for specific things you can pay for extra things. You can look at what they already have. And so you're already engaging in a way that's so much different than traditional pornography. Um, and that's why it really isn't – It's just different. Um, and so I think that And what the content creators say when talking about that is they say things like, Well, I have my followers and my followers will just follow me to Fansly. Right? So, like, there is this, um, sense of, you know, you're they're here for me. They're here for me as a person, um, or my content that create that they really like, um and so they will come with me. Um, not everyone said, You know, some people talked about losing people, and of course, they will. If OnlyFans did kind of put forth a ban on sexually explicit material, they would lose people. But they do talk about how the fans would come. They would follow to different platforms. Yeah, so I think that speaks to what you're saying.
Wolf: Uh, it definitely does. Thank you.
Christine: So I guess I do have some data on that. It's just not published yet.
Stefani: Steering away from the data piece a little bit. But thinking about the personification versus of a live interaction versus a window or, um, a computer screen or, um, a still video still video? That would be a contradiction in terms. It's the end of the day, guys.
Christine: I get what you're saying.
Stefani: You know, a finite video, not a live video. Um, we were in Amsterdam recently, and we did a walking tour of the red light district, and it was fascinating to watch women standing in their windows. And, you know, it's one thing when we are driving across America, and we see the truck stops with, like, shady, kind of creepy, definitely gross looking, um, peep shows. It's another when you're dropping your kids off at kindergarten and there are women standing in the windows right next door because right near our hotel was the red light district and the kindergarten named after the Queen. It's a very different culture, and I can't help thinking, as I'm listening to this conversation, that OnlyFans almost functions as like our culture's version of those Amsterdam windows, right? It's a way to actually engage with somebody before deciding whether or not you want to have a sexual experience with them, no matter what that sexual experience is. When somebody opens a video clip or when somebody opens a magazine, it's going to be a moment in time captured that you can absorb and observe, but you can't necessarily interact with. And with OnlyFans, it's much more of that tap on the window, that what's your name? This is my name, feeling each other out before anything happens. And that feels much more connective and much more like a community to me than other forms of content do.
Christine: Absolutely. It totally does. Um, and I think that that's why people like it so much. To be honest, that's why it has broken the barrier of in – now, you know, there's the papers on. It's culturally assimilated, like it's in our culture. It's embedded now, Um, and I think that that's one of the reasons why and can I just speak really quickly to the Netherlands because they have the best sex education, I would say in the world. And they have the lowest rates of STIs and teen pregnancies. They wait longer to have sex for the first time usually. Um, and when they do have sex, they – you know, the majority say that it was a good experience, whereas here people say things like, Oh, I wish I would have waited longer. Um and you know, they really do. They start in kindergarten. It's embedded in education all throughout until, um, 12th grade, and it is very comprehensive. And I think that what's really interesting about that is that they're ready and that they're way more healthy than the way that we are in our culture by avoiding it. You know, um and I just love that it's right next to the kindergarten. You know, there's all these, like European commercials with boobs and nipples and, like, you know, breastfeeding or, you know, things like that, and we would never have something like that. In our culture, we're way more comfortable with guns and violence than we are with, like nudity.
Stefani: I was just thinking about the like mid-seventies, there was an episode of Sesame Street, where Buffy Saint Marie nursed her baby and she and Big Bird had an entire conversation about nursing and how it's just It's just how she's feeding her baby. And that was PBS in the seventies. And now, to your point earlier, we're not even required to tell your kids that breasts are capable of lactation, because who cares if sex ed is medically accurate?
Christine: Exactly. That's right. There's only six states in the United States that meet the requirements for a, um, effective sex ed. Um, and that means, like, medically accurate, age-appropriate, culturally appropriate. Um, you like ways to avoid sexual coercion, healthy decision-making, and information about contraceptives and sexual orientation. So that all of those things are like the requirements of an effective sexuality education by the World Health Organisation. And only six of our states currently meet those guidelines.
Stefani: Pop quiz. Can you name them?
Christine: Oh, my gosh. I could name some of them. California, of course. Colorado. I believe that. I wanna say Connecticut. Um, I can't say the other ones because I'm not sure, but yeah, six.
Stefani: I mean, if if this were family feud, you would have gotten half the answer.
Christine: Yeah, on the spot.
Wolf: The Family Feud comment, It was was funny. Like wait a wait to put her on the spot. I can't even name six states off the top of my head, let alone six with the right program. Uh, I do have to ask, though, right? Because every time we think about some of these technologies, there's always a little bit of a dark side. And there's the security factor of this podcast. And, you know, we can go in a million different directions, but specifically for what we're talking about. The ability to learn the ability to be more sexually expansive, the ability to to form these relationships. Um, is there anything that a listener should take into account? Because you don't want to just say, hey, you didn't get good sex education? Congratulations. You are now 21. Go forth and with a credit card on this website, right? How do people safely engage and find the right content producers to connect with?
Christine: Well, I would actually say get on Twitter. Um, because you can't I don't think you can search or get on social media Instagram too. Um, I don't think you can search on OnlyFans. I might be wrong about this, but I don't think that you can like search for something specific that you would like to like in other pornography sites. And so that's part of the reason why they advertise on social media so much. And so I think that it's a good idea to get on Instagram and start searching for some things that you're interested in. Right. So maybe you have a foot fetish, and you're really interested in someone who does foot fetish work. Or, um, maybe you're interested in, um, threesomes or other types of things, like genres that people, um, would be interested in. So social media is the way to kind of find these people, and then you can connect with them. I mean, they post a lot of things on social media, so you don't even have to step your foot onto the platform. Um, right away, even, right. You can kind of deal with these platforms that feel more familiar. Um, that many, many people are on and go that way first. And then once you find them, you see their content. You see that they've been building content over time, or that there's stuff that you really like on there. Um, then you can check them out on OnlyFans, and I think that that's a really good strategy. Um, because it shows that they understand the system and they've been doing this for a while. And it also kind of shows that you will probably like what you see, because they post a lot of their content versions of it on social media.
Stefani: Yeah, thank you for offering Instagram as an alternative to Twitter. By the way.
Christine: Yes, it doesn't have to be Twitter.
Stefani: I love Twitter so much and no, no, I know it's so disappointing. I know.
Christine: Yeah, Insta is just as good.
Stefani: I did find the six States that put those in the show note for us.
Christine: Oh, good. Can you tell me what they are? California…
Stefani: Uh, let's see. According to NewAmerica.org, it is California, New Jersey, Colorado, Oregon, Illinois, Nevada… and then the Center for American Progress also had Texas. But Texas does not include gender, so I'm not including them.
Christine: Yeah, the Guttmacher Institute is the one to look at. They know what they're doing. You know, one of the things is when we think about learning, there's like different ways that people learn you know. So there's the conceptual kinds of things, like the “what” ideas. And then there's the how to and what What was really interesting is we found these layered on top of each other, um, in really cool ways so people would talk about like I learned that consent was so important. And here's all the reasons why consent is a very important part of, let's say, BDSM practice. But then they would also say, And then I learned how to make sure that I have consent, you know because I think something that I that is a very specific topic, that our culture has a lot of problems or issues with right now. Um, and I think it's important for people to not only be able to talk about consent and why it's important, but to also be able to have, like, tools in their pocket, like, OK, here's what I can say. Here's how I can make it sexy. I don't have to make it awkward, you know, like, here are some things that I can say and do as part of my sexual practice with partners so that I know that that I'm getting consent. Um, because it's one thing for you know, we barely even teach about consent as it is. But to, like, understand the how, or the skill. Um, I think is really important. Um and so that's the kind of things that people were talking about. Both that, like, procedural, skill-based kind of learning and also the ideas. You know, um and so I mean, I think that our study includes people that use OnlyFans pretty regularly. So they This doesn't I don't I'd be interested to see, um, what people would say if they had, like, just had ever used OnlyFans, you know? So I have used it once how this would be different. Um, but I do know that engaging with the platform makes or or initiates learning in a bunch of different ways, and I think that that's really amazing. Um, and the age so younger people on the platform were learning more. Um, which is also really interesting because another study that I'm working on with college students about masturbation, Um, and reasons why. And this is lifetime masturbation. OK. Reasons why they had or had not ever masturbated. Um, and, of course, only women reported never masturbating in their lifetime. Um, we can have a whole other podcast about that. But they, some of them talked about was not knowing how. And there, you know, if you think about that, where are you gonna get that kind of information from, Like, you know, if you want to fix your toilet in your bathroom, you go to YouTube, and you're like, how do I fix my toilet and you watch it step-by-step. You know, um and so I think that one thing that platforms like OnlyFans could offer is that how-to, you know how to do certain things step by step, Um, that, you know, people report not knowing how to do and then avoiding it, you know? So, um, in that way, I think that it could really be used as a tool for the good, um, for good, for a lot of people. Not to say that there aren't issues with it, Of course there are. But, um, I think that the positives outweigh the negatives.
Stefani: And there are issues with everything. I think that's one of the conversations I've been having more and more is around this idea of Don't let perfect be the enemy of good or perfect be the enemy of pretty darn great, actually, that there are always going to be deficits and there are always going to be mistakes and there are always going to be missteps. But most things are pretty OK for at least one or two purposes. And the more that we learn to look for the good not only in each other but in the technologies that we use and the toys that we buy and the people that we hang out with and the associations that we join in the media we consume, the better off we all will be. Nothing is really, ever – mostly so cut and dry and so black and white.
Christine: Absolutely. That's my parenting motto is good enough parenting. So yeah, haha.
Stefani: James Breakwell, the author of Exploding Unicorn has a book that's got that in his title. And, um, uh, I think every friend of ours we've had that has had Children. I haven't even needed to buy them the book. Although most of them have bought it for themselves. I just sent them a picture of his cover, and they're like, Oh, I feel seen and validated. And maybe I will keep this small human alive now.
Christine: Exactly. Yeah, there's no doing it perfect. You know?
Stefani: So we go for good enough because we all can do a little bit better every time. Exactly.
Wolf: Yeah, While I'm over here being the IT guy going, I know there's a binary here, a zero or a one. Good or bad, we gotta patch all the holes. No, but I've really enjoyed this conversation. Thank you so much for coming on. And I like your point about, uh, fixing a toilet because you're you're right. How often have we read a description of something and not understand the concepts behind it or learn the concepts behind it, but not understood the application or kind of had an idea but had no representation or example that we could look at? And so the ability to go up and down that skill ladder with someone you've got a relationship with? You know, even if it's a, uh, OnlyFans a fan relationship with is very compelling. And I'm so glad you're you're researching this and and bringing this data out.
Christine: Thank you. I really appreciate talking about it with you both today. It's been super fun.
Wolf: It definitely has and thank you so much for tuning in to securing sexuality. Your source for the information you need to protect yourself and your relationships.
Stefani: Securing Sexuality is brought to you by the Bound Together Foundation, a 501c3 Nonprofit, together in partnership with our sponsor Fun Factory. Thank you, Fun Factory. We will see you at the conference in Detroit! From the bedroom to the cloud, we're here to help you navigate safe sex in a digital age.
Wolf: Be sure to check out our website, securingsexuality.com for links to more information about the topics we've discussed here today, as well as that conference Stefani just mentioned coming in Detroit.
Stefani: And join us again for more fascinating conversations about the intersection of sexuality and technology. Have a great week!