In “Unscrewing Ourselves,” our first annual Sex Month on Broadly, we explore the state of sex ed today by highlighting the individuals and ideas changing our sexual health for the better. Read more from this series here.

Andrea Barrica grew up Catholic Filipino—meaning, she explains, the only sex education she received was being told not have sex before she got married.

“That was pretty much it,” the 27-year-old tells Broadly. The message was that “all things that you do before marriage is a sin. I never learned about consent. The reason why I never learned about consent is, why was I even thinking about it? It was all or nothing. Whether you make out or go and have full-on intercourse, that’s like, burning in hell.”

The harmful effects of this fear-mongering, abstinence-only approach to sex ed made Barrica realize that sex positivity is crucial for effective sex ed. Motivated by this realization, Barrica and her team are launching O.School, an online platform powered by live streaming and live chat, this October. O.School aims to give people a safe space to learn about sexual pleasure, identity, and communication in bed.

“The vision is to become the most trusted place online to talk about sex, to solve intimate problems, and to explore your sexual identity,” Barrica says. “That’s really different from the fear-based stuff you get in school: ‘Here’s how you avoid getting pregnant; here’s how you avoid getting an STI; this is menstruation; this is your body.’ That’s all really important, but that doesn’t even begin to cover what learning about sex and pleasure is. The fact that we even talk about pleasure is something you probably wouldn’t get outside of purely anatomically explanations in a science class.”

Read the full article:

Understanding Sexual Pleasure Isn’t Just Fun — It’s Crucial by Kimberly Lawson

October 4, 2017