TEAM ZOELLA JUNE 8, 2021

13 Questions with Ruby Rare

We caught up with one of our favourite follows on Instagram, the always informing and inspiring Ruby Rare! Ruby is a sex educator who uses her platform to spread education and insight on tons of subjects including pleasure, monogamy, pronouns, the LQBTQIA+ community, consent, body acceptance, ethical porn and so much more.

First off, how are you and how is your 2021 going?

I’m doing pretty good! I moved to the seaside at the start of this year and it’s done wonders for my mental health. It’s given me the headspace to focus on creative projects as well as sex education. Still feeling quite introverted after over a year of staying at home, but I’m focussing on going at my own pace when it comes to social interactions and dating IRL again.

Can you tell us about the work you do online?

I’m a sex educator, and I mostly talk about pleasure, queerness, and non-monogamy. It’s all about challenging preconceptions of what we’ve been taught sex ‘should’ look like, and helping people gain the confidence to have sex in the ways they truly want to. I also talk about body positivity – through showing the (mostly) joyful relationship I have with my wibbly wobbly body on instagram, as well as running Body Love Sketch Club with my pal Rosy Pendlebaby.

BLSC is a body-positive life drawing class where everyone
is invited to pose (nude or clothed) as well as draw, as a way of exploring our relationships with our bodies and celebrating nudity in a non-sexual setting. We’ve been running classes virtually since the start of the pandemic, and it’s been a great way to feel connected to myself and everyone who attends while we’ve not been able to see each other in person. It’s a really beautiful space if I say so myself!

How did you get started in sex positive/sex education work?

I started working for Brook, the UK’s leading sexual health charity for young people, 6 years ago. Before then I’d had an interest in sex positivity, but it wasn’t until I started going into classrooms and teaching young people relationship and sex education (RSE) that I realised just how important it is! A few years later, when I was still with Brook, I ran my first workshop for an adult audience (it was about how to consume porn in a
mindful and positive way). I found that adult audiences had just as many questions as the teenagers she worked with – wherever we’re at in life, there’s always more we can learn about sex.

Just like us you’re a huge advocate for self-pleasure, why do you think it’s so important for us to talk openly about it online?

By denying the existence of pleasure, or stigmatising it, we create layers of
shame which is so hard to unpack, and this has a massive impact on our self-esteem in so many parts of life, not just when we’re having sex. Pleasure is something we are all able to generate for ourselves, how, when, and if we feel like it, and I’m proud to be one of the voices advocating for a celebration of self-pleasure.

What opinions would you love to see change in the mainstream media over the next few years?

I could spend hours answering this… but in short, I want mainstream media to cultivate a more sex-positive attitude, whether that’s part of a conversation explicitly about pleasure, or about broader cultural topics. Oh and if they could celebrate trans lives instead of questioning and scrutinising trans folks, that would be great too!

We’re super excited to see your announcement for a podcast! What can
people expect to tune into?

Thank you! I’m so excited for people to listen. Each episode I’m exploring a topic that’s close to my heart – nudity, kink, non-monogamy, surviving sexual assault – and I talk to several different guests about it to present a multi-faceted experience for the listener. I’m all about showing how nuanced these massive topics can be, and celebrating how varied
our perspectives can be.

Can you tell us about your book ‘Sex Ed: A Guide for Adults’ and how it came to be?

I don’t think sex is talked about half as much as it should be. And the conversations we do have about sex aren’t focused enough on pleasure! I wanted to create a guide where readers felt welcomed into a sex-positive world, full of tips and practical information, as well as a space where they’d feel reassured that their sexual is valid and glorious just as it is. And I’m so grateful to Sofie Birkin for creating such gorgeous illustrations throughout
the book. This isn’t a book about quick fixes to ‘spice up your sex life’. It provides a way of looking at your sexual pleasure with more agency, acceptance, and joy, which I hope will make a long term difference to people’s lives.

What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m in podcast-mode most of the time, you’ll be able to hear what
I’m cooking up later in the year. And I’ve got lots of exciting content planned for pride month, which will be out soon.

Who are some of your current favourite follows?

So many to choose from! @iamrukiat, @squirtingisntpee,
@decolonisingcontraception, and @s3xtheorywithdemi are my current
favourite sex-positive accounts. And @pelillosalamar’s page always brings
me such joy, their brightly coloured images of bodies are gorgeous!

What does your perfect weekend look like?

I spend so much time on screens during the week, I do my best to take a pause from Instagram and emails over the weekend to reset. Now I’m a full-time seaside babe, my perfect weekend is leaving my phone at home, and heading to the beach for a day of swimming and frolicking with my loved ones. I’d want to be in a nude-friendly space, with an ice lolly in one hand and a vegan jelly in the other (I bloody love jelly). And once the sun sets, I’d throw on my silliest sparkly outfit and head to a queer club. Although I’m a granny at heart, so in this dream scenario I either have the stamina to dance all night, or I’d be back home and tucked up in bed by 1!

What do you always carry with you?

I always have my massive pair of orange-tinted sunglasses on me. Even if it’s a cloudy day, the lenses brighten up my surroundings and make me smile! And I have an emergency sachet of cystitis medication in my bag at all times, cos my urethra can go from tranquil to a burning hellscape in a matter of minutes… always be prepared!

What would your last ever meal be?

A ginormous, over-the-top jelly! Vegan of course, and hopefully large enough that I could dive into it.

What is one positive piece of advice you could give to our audience?

Your relationship to sex has the potential to impact your whole life, and it’s worth putting the time in to learn and explore. Be brave, stay curious and communicate with yourself and those around you. Never forget that you are worthy of respect, love, pleasure and FUN!

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