Sex, Etc. Talks to Laci Green
Originally Published: May 23, 2016
Revised: May 23, 2016
There are many people who work on educating people about sexual health and sexuality, but one of the most famous ones is YouTuber Laci Green. From her own YouTube channel, Discovery Life’s DNews and MTV’s Braless channel, Laci Green has done a lot to help teach teens and others about sexuality. She recently came to Rutgers University to give a presentation on sex, and luckily I got to interview her!
Sex, Etc.: What inspired you to start making videos about sex and sexuality?
Laci Green: Getting really bad sex ed myself when I was growing up, I just wanted to create a resource for people who were looking for answers like I was, to have a safe welcoming place to find them and talk about this stuff.
Sex, Etc.: What impact do you think your work has on the public’s understanding of sexuality?
Laci Green: Well, I think there are a lot of myths about sexuality, and our understanding of our sexuality is tinted with the “isms.” Right? Like heterosexism, sexism, racism, homophobia and those sorts of things. So I think that by having a more open conversation about sexuality where we address some of those issues that come up, we ultimately create a better healthier world, or better sex life.
Sex, Etc.: What impact did you want your work to make when you went into this years ago. What did you foresee back then?
Laci Green: I didn’t really foresee any of this. I just thought like I would start a little blog or something and have some people read it and have a little community around it, but it became much bigger than I originally anticipated.
Sex, Etc.: What impact do you feel education has on dismantling rape culture?
Laci Green: I think that a lot of the problems with rape culture are that people aren’t educated about consent, they aren’t educated about healthy sexual behaviors and we don’t have anything that is challenging sexism. And our understanding of sexuality and all of those problems contribute to not just rape culture but unhealthy attitudes about sexuality and gender as well.
Sex, Etc.: Did you watch the Oscars the other night? Joe Biden and Lady Gaga made a plea to fight back against rape culture. Did you feel like this contributes to the conversation on sexual assault and if so what impact do you feel it made?
…by having a more open conversation about sexuality where we address some of those issues that come up, we ultimately create a better, healthier world, or better sex life.
Laci Green: Yeah, I saw that. I think that anytime there’s someone who is in the mainstream public eye who is talking about this stuff, it makes a tremendous impact. It tells people it’s OK to talk about this. It gives them language to talk about this. It gives them a way to talk about this, and I think more celebrities and politicians need to do that.
Sex, Etc.: In the past you have talked about your own personal experiences with sexual abuse. Do you have any advice to anyone who may be recovering or is currently experiencing sexual abuse or violence?
Laci Green: Yes, reach out; do not go through this alone. Know that you are not alone, and there are people that want to support you, who want to love you, help you and be a resource for you, through your recovery process. I think there is a temptation to isolate because it is so deeply personal and embarrassing and shameful and hard to talk about, but that is something that should definitely be pushed back against because there are warm loving arms that want to embrace you and be there for you through this.
(If you’re dealing with sexual abuse and don’t know what to do, visit RAINN.org or call 1(800) 656-4673.)
Sex, Etc.: A common theme that goes through all of your videos is your talk about feminism. How can feminism help victims of sexual violence of all genders?
Laci Green: Well, feminism is about deconstructing inequalities in the world, and sexual violence is ultimately about an exertion of power and control over another person. So the heart of feminism is also the heart of deconstructing sexual violence. It’s about equalizing power imbalances. It’s about respect for people, respect for people’s bodies regardless of their gender, sexuality or sexual orientation.
Sex, Etc.: Your work and videos have inspired many teenagers, myself included, to educate themselves and love themselves, as well as to take care of their sexual health. What advice would you give to any young activist or educator?
Laci Green: A lot of things [laugh] maybe the most important is to keep pushing. There are a lot of setbacks in this work. There are a lot of times that you feel like people don’t appreciate it—like you’re against a lot, like it’s never going to make a difference but it does. And I know it sounds cliché, but it is actually the single most important thing that I have had to tell myself over and over again is just to keep going. Like don’t let these setbacks stop you. Take care of yourself. Don’t just push yourself relentlessly and burn yourself out. Or you know, just don’t destroy your flame, but also give yourself breaks. Take care of yourself and keep going.
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