UK Broadcaster Channel 4 Has Just Launched a 'Video Encyclopedia of Sexual Experience'

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Sexperience (http://www.channel4.com/sexperienceuk) shows multiple answers to questions like: 'How do you talk to your partner about sex?' (http://sexperienceuk.channel4.com/videos/answering/how-do-you-talk-to-your-partner-about-sex) or 'How did you know you were ready to lose your virginity?' (http://sexperienceuk.channel4.com/videos/answering/how-did-you-know-you-were-ready-to-lose-your-virginity).

Talking to teenagers, we found that they tend to ignore most government-sponsored sexual advice as it is so far removed from their experience. By creating a video encyclopedia, together with a safe, anonymous, constructive environment showing multiple perspectives on sexual experience, we aim to remove fear and show the wide variety of 'normal' sexual behavior.

In its first 4 weeks, 500,000 visitors have visited five million pages. 11,000 users have submitted questions or answers. Despite attempts to whip up controversy by the right-wing Daily Mail, it seems that even the majority of their conservative readers seem to understand that the project meets a real need for frank, unpatronizing sexual advice: http://blogs.channel4.com/thetvshow/2008/09/18/up-front-and-personal/

Maureen Boland, MPH and trained Health Education Counselor for Sexuality, based in San Francisco, said, "This is exactly the sort of thing we need in the U.S. There is a real shortage of resources where people can access credible information about sex. Sexperience creates a platform where otherwise hidden discussions of sexuality can occur between real people. Most advice information is created at the grassroots level or by students, and is not widely accessible. Research shows that teenagers are more responsible if they are provided with the right education. We need to trust them to make the correct decisions."

Adam Gee, who commissioned the project for Channel 4 in the UK, said, "Sexperience has 6,000% higher monthly traffic than the official government site in this area for teens and has been positively received by Teen Pregnancy Units and other parts of the National Health Service. With thousands of questions coming in from teenagers every week and thousands of articulate, helpful answers arriving in response from the UK public weekly, the site highlights both the desperate need for honest, open information and the power of learning from the real first-hand experiences of real people."

Andy Bell, from Mint Digital, who created the site, said, "Talking to teenagers, we found that they tend to ignore most government-sponsored sexual advice as it is so far removed from their experience. By creating a video encyclopedia, together with a safe, anonymous, constructive environment showing multiple perspectives on sexual experience, we aim to remove fear and show the wide variety of 'normal' sexual behavior."

About Mint Digital:
Generating hits in the Web era requires technological expertise married with creative flair. Mint helps media businesses develop big web ideas around specific content areas or needs. For clients who already have a clear vision, Mint's BloomBox technology allows you to deliver best-of-breed UGC initiatives without the technical hassle.

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Toby Daniels
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