Best-case scenario, you’ll get a hyper detailed biology lesson interspersed with some anxiety-inducing descriptions of nightmarish STIs. Or you might hear about all the ways unplanned pregnancies will ruin your life so don’t mess it up, kids. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s “abstinence-only education,” which hardly counts as sex education.
Let’s face it: Sex education in America is … lacking.
For all the progress that we have made on sex and sexuality, it’s still difficult for kids to figure out how to have sex beyond an overly-simplistic understanding of “in and out.” The things they do learn are more likely to come from movies or ill-informed locker room banter than from a trusted adult.
That’s why four L.A. filmmakers are on a mission to change sex ed from awkward anatomy videos to a resounding “F*ck yes.”
Their journey began when co-creators Erica Anderson and Emily Best shared an epiphany over a bottle of wine about how much their sex lives had changed in their 30s. They realized that while the idea of talking about sex induced a lot of anxiety in people, actually talking about sex was sexy in and of itself — and also helped to improve the act.
“We have culturally reinforced the notion that talking about sex ‘spoils the mood’ — that communication is somehow anathema to great sex,” said Best. “Consent is not an arbitrary requirement but in fact quite possibly the sexiest part of the whole deal.”
The first four episodes of the steamy new web series have already been watched by hundreds of thousands of people.
Perhaps most surprisingly, their largest viewership is in India.
Each episode clocks in at around three minutes and uses raw, open honesty to explore the ways that consenting adults negotiate their sexual relationships. How do you find out if someone wants to come back to your place and have sex? How do you handle protection, and what do you do if no one has any? How do you find out what your partner enjoys — or how do you get them to try something a little different?
These moments can be crucial turning points in any relationship, and “F*ck Yes” strives to dramatize it in a way that’s realistic and educational. Sure, the conversations can be awkward, but the show doesn’t shy away from that either — after all, awkwardness is a part of sex more often than not, and people need to know that that’s OK too.
“Who could show girls, women, boys, and men what desire looks and sounds like in a healthy, consensual, and sexy way?” Anderson said. “We wanted to make sexy shorts that show that talking about sex and their desires actually leads to more and better sex.”
The series is honest and real, and its instant popularity just goes to show how important good sex ed can be to people.
“Everyone needs examples of healthy sexual situations and ways in which they can utilize consent and enthusiastic consent,” said Lauren Schacher, a co-creator on the show who also serves as a director and actor. “People WANT to know more about how to be more comfortable with sex and their own sexualities. But this is still only a fraction of the conversation.”
For the show’s second season — which has already surpassed its fundraising goal — the creators plan to include crowdsourced stories from viewers, to make sure that every aspect of sexuality is included in the conversation.
“Consent is for furries, too. Seriously,” said producer, writer, and co-creator Elisabeth Aultman. “People with stigmatized orientations and desires are just as entitled to yes and no as anyone else, and if we can subvert some narratives and do some normalization as part of this project than I’m 100% about it.”
With issues of consent at the center of so many conversations lately, F*ck Yes is just the kind of raw, honest entertainment we need.
While the show was created by women, people of any gender can benefit from the lessons learned in “F*ck Yes” — after all, sexual pleasure and communication should be universal positives. The creators have been collaborating with sex education and rape prevention groups around the country to help spread their message too.
If you want to support the continued production of these sex-positive PSAs by women, check out F*ck Yes on Seed & Spark.