Following the release of Netflix’s comedy special, Sex: Unzipped, Stylist spoke to featured expert and the internet’s favourite agony aunt, Oloni.
Netflix is starting important conversations – and raising a few eyebrows – with its new educational comedy show, Sex: Unzipped, which premiered this week.
Similar to its Sex, Explained series, the one-off special places its focus on “sex positivity with sex experts, horny puppets of all sex and sexualities that exist in real life.”
Presented by rapper Saweetie, the show features talking heads from the likes of Katherine Ryan, Trixie Mattel, London Hughes and Romesh Ranganathan who ask their burning sex questions and recount the awkwardness of their first times.
However, the star of the show for many is sex educator and the internet’s unofficial agony aunt, Oloni, real name Dami Olonisakin, who served as a series expert, providing insight on everything from how often you should have sex to the importance of prioritising pleasure.
Following the series’ release on 26 October, viewers took to Twitter to praise “the sex positive expert we deserve”.
“Sex:Unzipped on Netflix is so funny & insightful!!! Big ups to @Oloni,” one tweet read.
“Yasssssss just finished it and you were giving facts and funny,” hailed another.
Stylist sat down with the writer, podcaster and presenter to talk the importance of confidence and continued sex education for women.
What was it like taking your sex and relationships expertise from Twitter to a global stage with Sex: Unzipped?
DO: It was really exciting. I’ve always seen so many TV shows with sex experts, but none that I could really relate to. With Sex: Unzipped, not only was I able to bring my expertise, but in my experience as a Black woman who’s come from a really, really strict background, I hope that many women will be able to identify with that.
I hope that women can see themselves in the show and understand that there’s no shame in wanting to talk about sex and allowing it to empower you.
At first, I was finding my voice but then for me, talking about sex was just like having sex: with time it got better and with more experience and more research, it felt phenomenal. I love that when I’m talking about sex, I’m doing it not just with my own knowledge and research, but through the women I speak to from different walks of life every day.
The show is informative, educational and honest, but it’s also got a comedic element. Does that help make sex education more accessible?
DO: Because of the way it was on the show, I was just able to be myself. There was no difference to how I am on my podcast, Laid Bare. What I do is education mixed with laughter and I’ve been doing it for nearly 10 years. It’s about bringing up those conversations and letting people know that there’s nothing nasty, but also that we can talk about sex and be funny, but also learn from it.
That’s the key. In my threads, when I have conversations with women and they tell me about their experiences sexually, you’re kind of like destigmatizing this idea that women aren’t supposed to talk about sex. So Sex: Unzipped also allows people who have burning questions that they might be embarrassed about to get answers. A lot of the topics we feature on the show are the same kind of things I’m asked, from dirty talk to hygiene. It’s touching on the stuff that doesn’t always get spoken about within friendship groups and hopefully Sex: Unzipped can help start those conversations in Whatsapp groups or IRL.
Why do you think ongoing education, not just on sex but also sexual pleasure and intimacy, is so essential for women?
DO: It’s definitely needed. When I was in school, we only learned about the biology of sex; we never really learned about arousal or female pleasure. And what I love about Sex:Unzipped is that in the first half, when we’re talking about virginity, you’ve got one of the puppets there saying “I don’t subscribe to the concept because sex is not something that’s taken away from you”. I wish that was something I was taught in school.
I think that for Gen Z watching this, it lets them think differently. “Why have I always associated PIV (penis inside vagina) sex with losing my my virginity? What has been taken? What is lost?” Because when we speak about our anatomy during sex, nothing gets broken and we’re not taught this. It’s probably something I only knew in my 20s because I thought the hymen was something that rips off or bleeds.
So this starts the conversation and really allows people to unpack the ideas around virginity and sex. But what Sex: Unzipped does is also centre the conversation around arousal, too. We’re talking about female pleasure; we’re talking about the clitoris. We’re using proper words like vulva and vagina and distinguishing between the two because they’re two very different things.
How does the show begin to undo some of the damaging messages women have internalised about sex?
DO: I mean, if you compare Sex: Unzipped to porn, we’re told in porn that sex is something that’s done to women and even when it’s being done to us, it’s not being done properly. But with this show, you get a proper understanding of how we enjoy pleasure.
I didn’t know until I seriously did my research that the penis actually has 4,000 nerve endings, but the clit has double that number and it’s something designed specifically for our pleasure.
Men have always been the ones at the front of the sex conversation and they’ve always been able to dictate it, but now we’re the ones talking.
Your “Ladies, shall we have some fun…” Twitter threads are iconic, and for good reason. After everything you’ve heard, can anything shock you anymore?
DO: I don’t think anything shocks me anymore. I think the thing that shocked me most was when I did the hygiene thread. That was the most horrific one I think I’ve ever done because I was met with pictures. People were so disgusted by these guys who don’t wash their bed sheets for months or brush their teeth.
The most common experiences I get told about are women having sex with more than one partner in a day or in a week. There are definitely orgy stories that I think “oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening”.
I feel like so many women, because of society but maybe culture as well, haven’t been given the grace to enjoy our sexuality. We want to, but we feel like we can’t. So when women tell me about their sexcapades, it’s definitely eye-opening because none of us realise how much sex the people around us are having.
What’s it like for you being the internet’s confidante when it comes to sex and relationships?
DO: It does feel like a lot of weight sometimes. It feels like there’s a lot of weight on my shoulders, but what I do love about it is the fact that my followers have this trust in me. I’ve been doing this since 2017. I was on the phone to my best friend and I remember telling him “I have this great idea, I’m going to get women to share their sex stories with me” and he didn’t think I’d be able to do it.
But then it became this ongoing thing where I would say “Ladies…” and men would get scared knowing what was coming. I think some women were just waiting for an opportunity to share.
It does feel amazing though. I really do love the relationship between myself and my followers.
What has the reaction to Sex: Unzipped been like so far?
It’s been really exciting, especially on my side of Twitter. A lot of my followers have been there from the beginning of my journey from just writing about dating and relationships, coining phrases like “girlfriend fluffer” and talking about situationships. So having them all as a part of my journey on social media, the podcast, as a presenter and now on the show is something I’m just so grateful for.
Sex: Unzipped is now streaming globally on Netflix.
Image: David Yeo