Sexy is For Everybody: An Interview with Lupe Sino
One of the biggest problems with the way the mainstream media talks about sex is that we only see a few people being presented as sexy. So I was glad to discover sexyisforeverybody.com, a fun and really useful website that offers realistic, sex-positive, and useful advice and information. They’ve come out with a cute little e-book with plenty of great stuff and it prompted me to get in touch with Lupe Sino, one of the people behind the site, and chat a bit about who they are and what they do.
1) Tell us a little about sexyisforeverybody.com and what prompted you to start the site.
Sexy is for Everybody is a sex-positive, feminist website for men and women. We publish articles on dating, porn, sex, sexual education and art. SIFE was born out of a need for a truly comprehensive, non-intimidating, forum for people to ask their questions about sex and dating without judgment. I feel like too often sexuality sites can be extremely intimidating to the shy or the inexperienced. Too often sex sites have an agenda (don’t have sex kids or you will get chlamydia and you will die) or they’re so hip and edgy and advanced they’re off-putting to a lot of people.
I feel very strongly that if you have ANY questions about sex you should be able to ask someone at SIFE and not find judgment or ridicule, I want the site to be as friendly as possible. We’ve also made a name for ourselves by promoting “ethical porn.” We promote and recommend a very select group of sites and studios that have made a name for themselves by featuring realistic portrayals of healthy sex, treating their performers well and having strong sex-positive values. A lot of women have told me that looking at our ethical porn sites has changed how they view pornography. I feel strongly that pornography can be great art as well as really hot, so I’m glad we’ve been able to share the good stuff with people.
2) Who’s your main audience? What are some of the trends you see among them?
I’ve tried to bring more men to SIFE to even out the numbers and make the conversations more even, but our readership is still predominantly young women. In terms of trends, I see a great interest in sex toys, porn and experimentation. I think a lot of that may be that we’re so open about our love of those things on SIFE it makes women feel normal admitting that they want to try, say, renting a dirty movie. I also see a lot of interest in casual sex and women asking sort of what the sexual etiquette is of hooking up. (Please forgive my use of the expression “hooking up” I realize we’re women not cable modems.) We get A LOT of questions about casual sex, we may have to write a guide just on that. But ladies reading this, it’s pretty simple: remember the golden rule, be safe, don’t be an asshole and ask men if they want to have sex with you and they’ll probably say yes. Easy peasy, have fun you kids!
3) What are three of the most common questions you see on your forums?
Hmmm. The forums so far haven’t had a lot of major themes but when you add in our emails and comments I think almost all the questions I get are just variations on: how can I make sex less painful? How can I have an orgasm during intercourse? and How can I have an orgasm alone? We addressed them all in the book.
I was certainly relieved when I started SIFE to see all the “sex hurts help!” questions started to come in because that’s something I thought only I struggled with. I really thought I was freakish because you NEVER hear people discussing painful sex unless it’s in a sort of humorous context of “my BF has a huge penis.” In reality though a lot of us are having painful sex and suffering in silence because we think we’re unusual. That’s what pisses me off most about the shame or the “I’m so cool and sexy everything is orgasms galore with me” trends in most discussions of sex: you can’t be vulnerable and seek help. I’m here to help, painful sex isn’t a given you can work around it.
4) How does all of the current media focus on young people having sex affect your work? Have you gotten any backlash? Have any of your community members reported any problems because of it?
Because we have such a young readership I think we are on the front lines of the “young people having sex, oh my” war. There hasn’t been any backlash though sadly. I, for one, would LOVE to be denounced by Dr. Laura. You can’t buy that kind of publicity and street cred. But seriously parents: kids will have sex so deal and get real. Because all this pearl clutching is having some pretty serious consequences. One of which is virgins now feeling pressured to have sex before they’re ready.
When the media tells you everyone your age is having sex and you’re not how are you supposed to feel? Left behind and undesirable. I really think the media is partly to blame for this trend of people thinking you HAVE to have sex before leaving high school because if you’re the only virgin in college you might as well be a bedwetter for all your social capital. Teens will always glamorize what their parents condemn if it’s something fun like sex. So this obsession with purity in teens is having exactly the opposite effect than what parents intend from what I’ve seen. No one should feel pressured BY ANYONE to have sex. One thing I stressed in the book is that it’s right for you to lose your virginity when it’s right for you and there’s no special time frame to which you have to conform.
The other alarming trend I see is parents being hyper-vigilant about their adult children and their sex lives. Parents using money as a tool to keep control over their kids to the detriment of their relationship with their kids and the kid’s health. A lot of our readers report their parents watching their bank accounts to make sure they don’t buy sex toys or birth control.
Hyper-vigilence won’t keep a person in a state of protracted childhood forever. All it does, believe me I see the emails, is make you resent your parents and take a lot of risks with your sexual health. We did a whole section on the book about how to find free or low cost birth control or hide birth control purchases from your parents if you’re an adult whose bank account is monitored by mom or dad. I expected a huge backlash from that, and maybe it’s coming, but I’ll stand by it. Obviously in an ideal world everyone would be able to say, “Mom, I’m an adult. I need my privacy….” and everyone could hug and cry and learn and grow. But in this world, without that information, a lot of people would just be having unprotected sex and I’m not letting that go down on my watch. No pun intended.