YouTube personality Stevie Boebi is on a mission to provide the sexual education that often goes untaught.
On March 20, the creator of “Lesbian Sex 101” spoke about sexual education, content creation, and being queer. The event was organized by campus LGBTQ+ group, LGBTOUT at the Isabel Bader Theatre. The University of Toronto Students’ Union, Victoria University Students’ Administrative Council, and the Sexual Education Centre were co-hosts.
The event began with a 45-minute presentation by Boebi, followed by Q & A session with the Twitter hashtag #verygayquestions, and a brief meet-and-greet at the end.
Boebi gained popularity on YouTube after joining in 2010 to vlog about technology, queerness, and her daily life. Today, Boebi has over 705,000 YouTube subscribers and her videos have garnered millions of views.
However, according to Boebi, YouTube demonetized her sex ed videos last year for being “controversial.” The move came as YouTube faced backlash for censoring LGBTQ+ content. In response, Boebi created a Patreon page for viewers to support her videos.
Queer sexual education
In her presentation, Boebi spoke about her motivations for becoming a queer sex educator, saying that she makes these educational videos because “no one else has, and no one else will.”
She began by defining consent as “respecting other people’s bodily autonomy in every way you could.” Consent must be asked for all the time and it can be removed at any time, she said.
Boebi also spoke on sexual health, sexually-transmitted diseases and infections, and protection. Breaking down the myth that queer women are less likely to get sexually-transmitted diseases and infections, Boebi said that queer people should advocate for themselves when getting tested.
“When I go to get tested, they only test me for two things,” Boebi said. “And I’m like, ‘You’re testing me for everything so I can communicate [the results] to my partners.’”
Sexuality and disability
Beobi has been open about her experiences as a disabled woman. During her presentation, she spoke candidly about having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a category of connective tissue disorders.
Disclosing accessibility requirements, mental health concerns, and past trauma with a partner is just as important in the sexual negotiation process as disclosing sexual desires, Boebi said. “You never have to disclose to someone if you don’t want to,” Boebi added. “But I would highly recommend it.”
When asked how she decides when to share information about her private life online, Boebi said that she considers how useful her content would be for her audience, but she will not share information about her relationships and private life when it “stops feeling good.”
Being popular on social media has also influenced Boebi’s experience with activism. During the Q & A portion of the event, she relayed how she had sometimes felt guilty when she doesn’t post about a cause on social media given the potential influence she has with her large audience.
“I looked at it from a utilitarian point of view,” she said.
However, Boebi now prioritizes self care when engaging in activism. “You have to make sure you’re okay, you’re safe, and taking care of yourself.”