Alexander Liu joins me in a conversation about his documentary “A Sexplanation”, which talks about his journey of coming out as gay in high school and his continued shame and disconnect over sex in his adult life. He talks about his journey into researching sex and sexuality and his changed conception.
Story Behind the Documentary
With society stigmatizing sex between men, in spite of having supportive parents, Alex went through a difficult mental journey coming out as gay in high school. He felt shame around sex, fantasies, his body, and had a hard time communicating his desires with the other person. His research into a healthy sex life began after opening up to his friends and realizing they had the same concerns.
Evolving Conception of Sex and Sexuality with Research
Soon after he began his research, he found normalcy around fantasies, anal sex, pleasure, and more. He had a revelation about his idea of sex and sexuality not centered around pleasure but around risk factors, health concerns, and societal stigmas. He started out by asking questions about orgasm and porn, which then evolved into him understanding sex and sexuality as sacred. Being introduced to gay sex through religion, Alex didn’t realize it could be something meaningful that he could decide how he wanted to express.
He saw the need to normalize sex, masturbation, and pleasure in the right way for kids and started filming a documentary by interviewing experts from all areas, asking them his questions, doubts, and fears around sex and sexuality.
The movie dives into Alex’s narrative and investigates many aspects of coming out, navigating relationships, sexual stigmas, sex life, and communication with a partner. It shows his journey into finding his authentic way of expression and its significance. All of which are relatable to many people of all sexualities who are dealing with issues around sex and meaningful connections.
Examining Porn and Sex Education in “A Sexplanation”
Many seek out porn to see the mechanics of different kinds of sex, but it leaves out the realistic aspect of pleasurable sex. The documentary examines whether kids should be taught about how pleasurable sex works in school, taboo fantasies, and more. It covers talking with people from churches, conservative politicians, and planned parenthood about educating people around these issues.
How can people become sexually literate?
While people can get accurate medical information about oral, anal, and vaginal sex through trusted internet sources and planned parenthood, it’s harder to learn to trust the people closest to you with your fears and doubts. It’s also important to check personal bias and make sure it’s not projecting from a bad place.
Writer, Director Alex Liu’s work explores taboo topics like sex and drugs in order to broaden our understanding of science, morality, and how to negotiate a meaningful life. He’s developed two YouTube channels focused on sex and drug education, with over five million views. After studying molecular toxicology at UC Berkeley and Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting at New York University, he produced video, radio, and print content for NOVA ScienceNOW, CNN Health, and San Francisco NPR station KQED.
Resources and links:
Website: asexplanation.com See the trailer and get tickets to stream online.
@asexplanation — All social handles (FB, IG, TW)
Sex Health Quiz – https://www.sexhealthquiz.com
The Course – https://www.intimacywithease.com
The Book – https://www.sexwithoutstress.com
Podcast Website – https://www.intimacywithease.com
Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass