Sekspedia: The sexually explicit sex-ed we’ve been waiting for

Posted on May 1, 2024

By Jennifer Lyon Bell

Jennifer has been working on the Dutch series "Sekspedia," which aims to highlight how consent, communication, pleasure, enjoyment and skill join together to create responsible and fun sex.

Lisa and Marvin in Season 2 of BNNVARA’s Sekspedia.

 

Jennifer’s work on BNNVARA series Sekspedia

 

I am both unreasonably proud and humbly grateful to have been involved in the making of this groundbreaking new Dutch series Sekspedia by broadcaster BNNVARA.

 

For the non-Dutch-speakers among you, I bet you can already deduce where the title came from: Sex + Encyclopedia = Sekspedia. 🙂 I fugured that, done well, this would be something that many of us could use.

 

Sekspedia’s mission

 

From the creators at BNNVARA:

 

From kissing to handjobs, and from ‘going down’ to anal sex, “Sekspedia” is an explicit, educational online series from BNNVARA which gives young adults a realistic image of what real sex looks like.

 

How do you communicate in bed together? How do you choose when to ask for consent? And what does real sex really look like? Young adults currently rate the sex education they receive in school a 5.8 out of 10, and queer young adults rate it (not surprisingly) only a 4.2. At BNNVARA, we think we need to do better. With a conservative approach towards sex, and a society with unrealistic porn available 24/7, we run the risk that young adults grow up with incorrect impressions of what sex really is and what it can be. “Sekspedia” aims to change all that. The online series shows what really goes on between the sheets: That sex is pleasurable, that it requires communication, and that it’s fine to be awkward.

 

Perhaps you can see why I am so in love with the program: “Sex is pleasurable, requires communication, and it’s fine if you’re awkward” is pretty much the longstanding Vision statement of Blue Artichoke Films. (See the real Blue Artichoke films full Vision statement here.)

 

Sekspedia’s two kinds of videos: Word and Action

 

Sekspedia covers both sides of the perspectives of young adults: Those who are most interested in hearing the honest impressions of other folks their own age about sexual positions and acts, and those who are also ready to see a realistic, fun, and consent-based re-enactment of those activities.

 

From the creators at BNNVARA:

 

Sekspedia is created from two kinds of segments: Word and Action. “Word” is an interview series in which young adults with some sexual experience chat about what different positions and activities have been like for them. What was enjoyable and what was absolutely not? In the “Action” videos, these positions and activities are shown by professionals. Different videos show us combinations of consent, communcation, pleasure, fun, and technique. In this way, the series demonstrates how to have responsible and fun sex. A voiceover over each of the videos leads the viewer, step-by-step, through how the videos and discussions combine and bring all thes esexual activities into clearer focus.

 

In Season 1, I was asked to be a consultant. It was fascinating to hear about the structure of the program, with two kinds of videos, and to realize that Sekspedia is the fruition of many of my hopes for the intersection of erotic media and sex education.

 

In Season 2, I was very pleased to take a greater role as their on-set intimacy consultant and, at BNNVARA’s request, to take on some of the casting in advance. As you probably know, at Blue Artichoke Films, casting is the key to great chemistry and a satisfying mutual performance. So I was very pleased to bring in Dante (Germany) and Aaron (UK). I’ve known Dante for years from the alternative porn scene, and Aaron was new on my radar but highly recommended by several performers I respect.

 

Aaron & Dante before the shoot, on the set of Season 2 of Sekspedia

 

What was the intimacy coordination on Sekspedia?

 

I was the intimacy coordinator on Season 2 of Sekspedia. Intimacy coordination (intimiteitscoördinatie) is a new discipline created to insure the comfort and safety of performers when filming/performing nudity, kissing, sex, or other intimate experiences. It involves coordinating between the creative decision-makers on a production (director, DOP, managing editor, etc.) and the performers. If the intimacy coordinator truly understands the creative vision of the director, can suggest lots of thoughtful preparation for the crew and performers, and can create a  safe supportive environment that allows the performers to do their best work, everyone on the production has lots to gain.

 

Normally intimacy coordination is integrated on a set where the sexual experiences are completely acted/choreographed.  More recently, intimacy coordinators can also be hired on true porn sets. The case of Sekspedia, is more unusual. Sekspedia is a mainstream production incorporating unsimulated explicit sex, so the stakes go way up. The expectations, communication styles, and skillsets can vary a lot between people who are comfortable working with explicit sex, versus those who are comfortable and experienced on traditional sets.

 

As an erotic film director withe experience on choreographed-sex sets, I found myself deeply at home in this kind of environment. I found it a privilege to help mainstream crew members understand the point of view of porn performers, their priorities and needs. When I planned ahead, I could smooth the way before the performers even became aware.

 

I’ll probably write a whole separate post about this kind of intimacy coordination, but suffice it to say that it was very rewarding.

 

Sekspedia – Wide reach of young adults

 

The Sekspedia team expanded the reach of the show to find more young adults, including broadcasting the SFW (safe-for-work) “Word” segments on Both TikTok and YouTube.

 

TikTok

(Playlist)

 

Translation in English: “I like getting rimmed.”

 

YouTube

 

“What should you do and not do when you go down on a woman?”

 

Watch Sekspedia!

 

Interested to see this groundbreaking program?

 

Note: The “Action” episodes only play from 20.00 in the evening until 06.00 am in in the Netherlands time zone (CET aka Central European Time), to protect viewers.

 

Click on the images below:

Sekspedia “Word” discussion videos

 

 

 

Sekspedia “Action” real-sex videos

 

Remember: These will only play after 20.00 (8pm) Dutch time, otherwise known as Central European Time!

 

 

 

 

 

When will Sekspedia be available in English?

 

Since BNNVARA is a Dutch production company making videos through national broadcaster NPO3, unfortunately there aren’t any plans to subtitle these videos in English or bring them to a wider audience.

 

However, I’d love to help if they do. And if you know anyone who wants to create a similar program outside of the Netherlands, drop me a line and let’s talk!

 

Trailer: Sekspedia Season 1

 

Although it doesn’t include any footage from Season 2, you can see the Sekspedia Season 1 trailer here

 

 

 

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