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The Scarlet & Black

Laci Green Speaks About YouTube, Sex and Fame

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, Susanne Bushman ’16 interviewed Laci Green about her experience as a social media celebrity and sex positivity speaker. Green has a YouTube channel called Sex+ with over 725,000 subscribers, where she regularly posts videos describing healthy sex and relationship practices and correcting myths about sexuality.

 

When and how did issues involving sex positivity and the other kinds of issues that you discuss in your presentations and on your YouTube channel become so important to you?

I think a big part of it was my upbringing, I was raised Mormon … there’s a lot of sexism in the religion and I sort of started to notice that at a young age. That was accompanied with this bizarre abstinence-only Sex-Ed—if you could even call it that. It was very inadequate from my experiences. Also, being in school, the public school system really didn’t teach me much. I had a lot of questions that weren’t answered. I was really into video blogging and video productions since I was in sixth or fifth grade, and I decided to just start learning stuff on my own and creating a resource for other young women that were like me who thought ‘Hmm. I have no idea. I’m in this sexual relationship and I have no idea how to approach these or answer these questions.’ So I, essentially, just wanted to make the resource that I didn’t have.

 

What pushed you to make your YouTube channel, Sex+?

I created the channel for all those reasons. I wanted to create a cool online resource and I liked making videos. So those two interests collided basically—my interest in feminism and Sex-Ed, and my interest in video production and social media.

 

You do talks like the one you gave today all across the country. What have you found, in your opinion, are students most eager to be talking about on college campuses?

Depends on the campus and it also depends on the talk that I do, but I think a lot of people just want to be able to feel like they have a space to freely talk about their sexuality, and kind of ‘what’s normal and what’s not normal’ idea, and to feel like they’re normal. So, just talking about the ins and outs and just sort of being frank and honest. I think most people are just looking for an open space to talk and to listen to peoples’ experiences and stuff.

 

When you’re talking to students, what are some issues that you have found are really misunderstood by different students or people that you give talks to? 

I’m not really sure because I don’t really ask people what they don’t know. But something that a lot of people talk to me about—the main ones would be about sexual anatomy … there’s a lot of sexual anatomy myths. The second would be about … coming into your own sexual identity, your own sexual orientation or gender identity. Feeling free to be who you want to be and sort of feeling like this space or the channel or whatever was one way that they were given permission to do that.

 

What are some things that you’ve learned since you graduated college that you wish you would have understood earlier, or known about during your time at school?

A lot of things. Mostly pertaining to, not necessarily Sex-Ed stuff, but feminist stuff. [I would like to have learned] a lot more about feminist movements and how my interest in Sex-Ed intersects with the feminist movement, and how I can make my Sex-Ed project a more feminist one.

 

As an internet celebrity, you face a lot of criticism from different groups and other writers and bloggers. How do you respond to these remarks and how do you stay positive in the face of public criticism?

I think you have to expect, being in front of millions of people, that there’s always going to be criticism and it’s going to come from all directions. Most of my criticism is from misogynists, really. For instance, my last video was about objectification. They’re like, ‘women do this because they want attention, blah blah blah’ and they just say misogynist things. So I just handle it by ignoring it mostly; that kind of criticism and misogyny [I ignore] because I see it as part of the system that I’m trying to challenge … or dismantle, if you want to get fancy with it. But in general I think it’s good to sort of have a healthy relationship with it because you can, when you’re getting thousands of comments and messages and everything every day, it’s easy to sort of get lost in criticism of yourself, and it can be a very unhealthy thing. So you have to figure out how to have a healthy relationship with it. Which for me is only doing it when I’m in a good place in my mind. I have a lot of mental health issues that I deal with, so going and being surrounded with people who are picking me, my physical appearance apart, my ideas apart, everything, can be a really toxic thing.

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