Body of work

‘Sex-ed queen of YouTube’ with more than 100 million video views says critic is out of touch

Laci Green (YouTube).

Laci Green has come to dominate YouTube with her sex education videos. She is perhaps the most successful among an emerging new wave of sexperts that have carved out niches and gained followings made up of loyal (and young) internet users. Green’s entire body of work on YouTube, known as “Sex Plus,” has amassed a staggering 131 million views. A former Mormon, Green doles out advice on all aspects of the sexual experience — everything from the joys, health benefits and gender politics of masturbation to the “Truth About Herpes.” She even has tips for guys on “How to Help Her Orgasm.”

With all of that success, naturally, comes some wider attention. Green’s exploits — along with those of some of her contemporaries — caught the attention of the Arts section of The New York Times, who ran a profile of the YouTube sex-ed trend. Green was described in the piece as “the sex-ed queen of YouTube.” One of the key points explored in the story is that, unlike sexperts of yesteryear, Green — along with Eileen Kelly and Shannon Boodram — are amateurs and not degree-carrying doctors, like Dr. Ruth or Dr. Laura. That distinction did not sit well with Green, who, following the Times piece published a scathing rebuke on Medium, blasting the “out-of-touch” profile as “a sloppy hot-take [written] at the expense of educators.”

Green, who describes herself as a feminist, goes on to deconstruct the Times profile, casting a disapproving eye on the amateur vs. academic elite theme that surfaces throughout the story and accuses the article of “slut-shaming.” The passage that struck “the sourest note” with Green was the article’s closing line: “For the internet’s sex-ed personalities, getting older may be the only taboo.” Green wrote that the quip amounted to sexism. “The most compelling thing about our work is…our youth? Women are constantly told that as we get older, we become useless to society. Our youth and beauty will wither, our vaginas will dry up, and our careers will suffer,” she wrote.

Green did devote a few sentences to acknowledging “the only nugget of honesty and insight in the article,” but otherwise her response is a thorough indictment of the article. Green may not have noticed that the article was featured in “The Critic’s Notebook” column — so, yeah, by definition, a little criticism is going to be in order.

Read the full story at The New York Times and Green’s full response at Medium.

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