“I love men, but I am all about promoting a better, healthier relationship between the sexes,” Liz Goldwyn told theTelegraph’s Francesca Babb back in 2011. The writer and director of HBO’s 2005 documentary film Pretty Things, which explored the lost art of burlesque dance, and author of a Sporting Guide: Los Angeles, 1897, a collection of fictional stories based on real-life news articles about the madams of brothels in 19th-century LA, has been working on her latest project for over a decade. And last month, finally saw the launch of her new digital site The Sex Ed, a sex, health and consciousness platform designed to inform and inspire new discussions around sexual wellness.
The granddaughter of Samuel Goldwyn, who helped shape the identity of Hollywood in the early 20th century, and daughter of feminist screenwriter and novelist Peggy Elliott, LA-based Goldwyn has carved out her own niche as a film-maker, writer and sexual anthropologist. Determined to lift the lid on sex and sexuality, not to make people uncomfortable, she hopes that The Sex Ed will help cultivate a deeper understanding, openness and acceptance of sex. “Women have been sidelined throughout history - and whenever sex is added to the mix, people become even more culturally uncomfortable with it,” she explained in a recent interview with Vogue. “The more we share our sexual experiences, the more we can feel less alone.”
While many believe that the transactional nature of sex on digital platforms has had a detrimental effect on intimacy, Goldwyn is utilising today's technology to encourage communication. Offering up to date, practical advice and a range of resources, the new platform draws on the experience of (s)experts from the fields of clinical sexology and kink, to mindful meditation and sexual medicine. The Sex Ed will also be tackling so-called taboo subjects, both from an academic perspective as well as an Op-Ed #FirstPerson series, and it will host regular podcasts, with contributors including burlesque’s Dita Von Teese and Joshua Gonzalez, MD, who specializes in treating sexual dysfunction with a particular concern for LGBTQ issues.
Stressing the need for an inclusive, cross-cultural dialogue, Goldwyn firmly believes that the mainstream can learn from the gay and other communities. “Consent and boundaries are so clearly negotiated in the fetish and kink community, and on top of that, [STD] testing between partners is a lot more common in the gay community,” she explained to Vogue. “We’re all evolving and on a learning curve when it comes to sexual education.”