F**ks Given is a progressive, uncensored series by Come Curious, exploring everything from fetishes to health advice, sexy tricks and hang-ups
Sex is under attack – whether it’s the crushing, dangerous SESTA/FOSTA laws inhibiting sex workers from doing their jobs safely, or the dire lack of inclusive sex education, how we approach, handle, and talk about sex needs to be unpacked and reset. Enter Come Curious, the sex positive duo utilising their YouTube channel and platform to talk frankly about everything from blowjob techniques to webcam culture, breakups and gender identity. Their new podcast F**ks Given opens up an in-depth, sharp dialogue about sexual histories, on a mission to break taboos and offer profoundly educational, wickedly funny and genuine thoughts and ideas.
Produced by Studio71, each week Florence Barkway and Reed Amber invite a different guest to discuss the best fucks, worst fucks, and the fucks that totally change the game. In their first episode – out today and available on iTunes and Acast – they meet sex and relationship blogger Oloni to talk about exes and role play. Other episodes see the duo talk openly with YouTuber and author Hannah Witton about her relationship with sex and her own body now she has a stoma, dominatrix Mistress Bliss about her clients’ dirtiest fantasies, and an MC from Tonga known as Teef who offers a fascinating insight into staying hard and the male gaze.
“We started Come Curious to extend the existing and limited conversation around sex,” the duo tell Dazed. “Remember when you were a teenager and you had so many questions about sex but there was no one to ask? We’re hoping that we can help people find the answers! Or at least make people feel like they’re not alone.”
Below, we speak with Florence and Reed about F**ks Given, as well as stigmas, censorship and wonderfully vast sexplorations.
So what’s F**ks Given about?
Come Curious: F**ks Given is all about de-stigmatising the conversation around sex, and most importantly your own sexual experiences – with that, how many or how few experiences you have had! We’ve always been about normalising the conversation around sex, sexual health and sexual preference, which is what makes this podcast such a great opportunity to open up the discussion even more, for all genders, sexualities and experiences.
Why is now the right time for this podcast?
Come Curious: We think people are ready to hear more about sex, but there are also a lot of things going on in the world right now that make it seem like society is going against all this sex positive progression. SESTA/FOSTA and other laws around the world are threatening sex workers’ professions, but these changes affect more than just the lives of sex workers. We also have the Age ID coming to the UK which is going to restrict porn access, which means that a lot of what people learn about normalising sex will disappear. Having such restrictions on sex content effects what we do as well, and shapes people’s access to education.
How are you working to bust the stigma surrounding sexual history?
Come Curious: We want to show people that it’s not a negative thing to have past sexual encounters – opening up the conversation around it will only lead to better sex! We want to encourage our listeners to talk about sex, and celebrate their sexual histories, rather than being ashamed or downplaying them. Our biggest tip for everything is always communication. Communicate with your friends and communicate your partners. If we’re talking about it, it suddenly doesn’t feel like such a big deal anymore. You can end up learning so much about yourself, your body and your pleasure – and others!
“We think it’s important to continue questioning and finding out new things about sex well into your adult life – and for the rest of it! We’re always changing and developing as people, and so is our sex life”
What are some of the themes that arise across the guests you have on the series?
We’ve been learning so much on how people interact with their bodies and sex. Everyone is totally different! We feel like people will really connect with the stories our guests – and us – are sharing, and hopefully take away some really positive messages about body confidence and how to communicate what you want in the bedroom.
Fucking is all we talk about in our podcast because hearing from all sexualities, genders, cultures is important to normalise and understand sex all around the world. F**ks Given is the STI you do want to catch – Sexually Transmitted Information of course!
Was there any experience that inspired this podcast?
Come Curious: We both used to live together in a shared flat in south London, our evenings always consisted of sitting there and chatting about sex – including all the things we thought were abnormal or things we were questioning or interested in. Talking about all these things helped us in so many ways, both in our sex lives and just for every day self-confidence! It’s why we wanted to start Come Curious in the first place, and now with F**ks Given we get to expand our knowledge and the conversation around sex with having a broad and diverse set of guests from different communities, bringing their experiences into a studio that is free from judgement. It’s honest, real-life conversations about sex that doesn’t spare any detail, simple as that.
What has your experience of censorship been like?
Come Curious: People love to censor sex related content even when it’s educational or for a good purpose. On YouTube we have a shadow ban on our account which makes us less favourable for people to search for, and often they delete our thumbnails completely.
We also don’t earn any money from posting our videos on YouTube because our videos aren’t advertiser friendly. It’s a good thing we’re not in it for the money! We really hope things like this will stop happening, but it feels like it’s just getting worse. We guess we just need to get out there as much as possible so people won’t be able to censor us anymore! Let’s start with this new podcast!
Who have been your own sex educators and inspirations?
Come Curious: Erika Lust is the creator of Xconfessions which is a website full of beautiful, ethical independent adult cinema, (and) makes porn beautiful and relevant for everyone. Oloni of Simply Oloni, for bringing up sex conversations in spaces where it’s a massive taboo. Alix Fox, an amazing sex educator and speaker at many sex related events! Then Baddie Winkle, a sassy old age pensioner proving that you can be sexy no matter how old you are.
“It’s honest, real-life conversations about sex that doesn’t spare any detail, simple as that”
What sex-related literature, podcasts, or writers you can recommend us to look to?
Come Curious: Oloni’s podcast Laid Bare, Xconfessions for beautiful erotic films, another sexy podcast called Unexpected Fluids, Hannah Witton’s book Doing It, and Sex at Dawn, a book about the science behind non-monogamous relationships.
What are some of Come Curious’ ultimate goals?
Come Curious: We think it’s important to continue questioning and finding out new things about sex well into your adult life – and for the rest of it! We’re always changing and developing as people and so is our sex life. So there are always going to be things we’re unsure about. If people spoke about sex more often, we wouldn’t feel the shame attached these questions.
Our future plans are to grow Come Curious as a sex positive movement to help people feel more confident and therefore more pleasure in the sex lives all around the world. Ultimately, if we just help one more person to feel less ashamed of their sex life, then our goal complete. There are lots of projects in the pipeline that we can’t wait to dive fingers first into. Just make sure you’re looking out for us in 2019.
What is it you ultimately want listeners to learn?
Come Curious: The most important thing is to make you laugh out loud. That’s what sex should be about! Sharing your most personal stories, no matter how crazy or vanilla will make you feel more confident about your sexplorations. We want listeners to come away from our podcast feeling like they can chat about sex in the same way with their friends, partners or what ever sexual encounters they may experience. Communication is knowledge and knowledge is power… and great fucks obviously.