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I sat down with Maia Ledesma, director and editor of Sexplanations, to talk about the last year -- what were our favorite parts of 2018, what did we learn, and what are we looking forward to in 2019.

Many thanks to YOU! Thank you for being a part of our effort to provide sex education to the planet. Stay curious!

Maia Ledesma:

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 (00:00) to (02:00)


L: I'm Dr. Lindsey Doe, clinical sexologist and host of this sex curious show, Sexplanations.  This is Maia Ledesma, who is behind the camera doing all the videography, editing, and directing of Sexplanations, an integral, important, half the show part and so as a tradition, we're checking in at the end of the year to see how the last year went.  Which was really your last year of work.  

M: Yeah.

L: Your first year here at Complexly, the production company who puts Sexplanations on.

M: Right, yeah, when I started last year, and we were doing the end of the year chat, I'd only been working for two months.

L: Yeah, so awesome.

M: So, yeah, now I have a whole year of Sexplanations under my belt.

L: Maia works really hard so a lot of the other teams like SciShow and Crash Course that are produced here, they have somebody who is script checking while the show is going on, they have somebody who is responsible for sound and lights and there's a whole team.  

M: There's normally like, at least two people behind the camera on every SciShow shoot.  Not the case on Sexplanations.

L: No.  In fact, we have no one behind the cameras right now because Maia is here.  

M: So Lindsey, what have you learned this year?

L: I've learned how to make really fun thumbnails with you.  

M: I do--my memories of certain thumbnails are always interesting because Lindsey and I are--approach things a little bit differently, just because of like, personality types and whatnot.  She's very Gryffindor-esque about certain things, so--

L: I can't believe you just did that.  

M: Yeah, yeah.  I'm, you know, I like Harry Potter.  It's fine, that's how I approach the world, but yeah, so basically, we'll be coming up with a thumbnail idea and Lindsey will say, hey, what if we did this, and then I'll say, okay, give me a minute to think about how that would play out and then instead, you'll just like, take, say a thing of yogurt and dump it on your head and then that's our yeast infections thumbnail.  She just goes for it, which is always interesting, so.

L: And you're a Ravenclaw?

 (02:00) to (04:00)

M: I am a Ravenclaw, yes.

L: What's the Ravenclaw approach to thumbnails?

M: Think logically about it, like how to frame it, like, would this make sense, would this, you know, attract, you know, the right amount of clicks, etc.  Yeah, just very analytical about it, and then you just, you're like, yep, let's do it.

L: Well, now I guess there's yogurt on my head so Gryffindor out.  What have you learned?

M: Um, basically just learning more how to juggle the duties that we have here.  Lindsey's laughing because I am juggler so it's a funny joke for a juggler, but um, yeah, yeah, just learning how to sort of juggle all the responsibilities that come with being like a one-person camerateam I guess and then yeah, just learning more how to work with Lindsey.

L: What is your favorite video of the year?  Do you want to look?

M: Yes.

L: Okay.  Here we have, this is the last year.  How to have a clitoral orgasm, orgasmic sex positions, cross-cultural intimacy, is it okay to hit on me, these are just some of the ones that stick out in my mind.  We did--ohh, okay, I'm just gonna interrupt here for a second.  We did erotic choking or asphyxiation, which is something that I have wanted to do since maybe month one of Sexplanations so looking back five, six years, and for you to do that with me was so huge and I know it took a lot of trust for both of us, for me to believe that you would cut that in a way that held a shame free space for people and for you to believe that I wasn't going to create a whole bunch of dead people, so.

M: Yeah, yeah, no, that was definitely, on like, my ranking of important Sexplanations videos that we've done together.  That definitely ranks very high, just because I know that it was like, valuable information and you know, on one end, it could potentially be a video that saved lives so, I wanted it to be something important and I wanted to do it right.  

 (04:00) to (06:00)

L: You did!  

M: Yeah.

L: You did.  We did both sexual orientation hypotheses videos, so looking at the different theories, hypotheses around how someone is heterosexual, homesexual, bisexual, et cetera, genital piercings, curved penises, all the vaginal fluid guide.  Oh, we had been working on that on Sexplanations for so long and then you made it possible and in such a cool way with all the jars and the fluids, so good.  

M: I loved the comment responses to this because we happened to upload it right around lunchtime and like, the first wave of comments were like, ahh, I should not have watched this on my lunch break.  Like, I saw the thumbnail but I clicked on it anyway, so that was sort of a fun thing to read through.

L: That is fun.  So do you have a favorite?  Do you wanna--

M: When I think of favorite Sexplanations videos, generally I think of those that I had a lot of fun making, and for me that normally involves like, fun things on set, like maybe we shoot, rather than just Lindsey talking on set, maybe we, I don't know, act out some stuff or do some sort of like, I don't think we've done any cloning yet on Sexplanations, which I'm now thinking like, why didn't we do that?  So maybe that'll be a good one for next year.

L: I mean, we don't typically do it because it's hard.  

M: It's hard but it's fun.  Um, and then, uh, yeah, any videos where I get to sort of play with graphics is super fun.

L: You gave me a sexual energy orb that I got to play with.

M: So most recently, it came out last month, there was a video on 13 ways to get sexual relief and one of them was you know, talking about harnessing your energy and I'm like, this would be really cool if we had Lindsey just molding an energy ball right here and it turned out good, I thought, so I was happy to take that time to learn how to make that graphic.

L: Yeah, it was great.  I would definitely say that the most nerve-wracking was the sex ed rhapsody because I am not a singer and so, you know, that took some courage but it was super fun.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

M: Yeah, it turned out great, so story behind this video, I wasn't gonna have time to shoot this particular music video or put it together, so Lindsey had a really great team of people working on it.  I think it turned out fantastic.

L: I--thank you.  

M: Yeah.

L: Thank you.  You did a huge set for whether or not I was doing kegels correctly so I actually got a pelvic assessment where an instrument was put into my vaginal canal and Maia had all sorts of cameras and lights and we had an--we got another cameraperson for that which was really nice and that was a huge production, so well done, you.  

M: Thanks, yeah.

L: Maybe my favorite, I do think that maybe my favorite is how not to rape.  

M: Yeah, that was a huge one.  Yup.  Yeah, I remember you sending me the script of that video and I just saw the title and I'm like, whoo, okay, let's, let's dive into this, shall we?

L: That was a really powerful one for me, because I think it was taking a really simple sex education concept that isn't ever directly addressed and putting it with a really clean everything.  Everything.  It was short, it was concise, it was clear, it was beautiful.  Everything was, you know.  

M: Yeah.

L: How not to rape.  Don't do it.  Let's stop telling people how not to be raped and address the perpetration, so.

M: Yeah.

L: Very powerful.  What would you not do again?

M: So currently, we're shooting this video right before Lindsey goes on tour because Lindsey will be gone for a bit, we've had to batch shoot a lot of videos and that process has been interesting.  I think probably I would have just been a little bit better at planning that, I think.  We're making it work though.  

L: I think you've been amazing at planning it, by the way.

M: Oh, thanks.

L: On my end, so I have also been gone for (?~7:59) and ThinkerCon so in the time we've been crunching things together, I'm also gone and so we're crunching tighter, but I think you have been just amazing at figuring out how to get that all put together so that I can go on tour and do sex education for free.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

M: Yeah. 

L: This week.

M: Yeah.  Where can people find out more about the tour?


M: Cool.

L: Anything you're looking forward to in 2019?  

M: Oh, God.  2019.  It seems so far away, but it's just next week.  Gosh, I don't know.  Just being able, I guess I'm looking forward to just making more important content that people need to see.

L: Are there any topics you want me to cover?

M: I've been reading like, the comments of like, the recent Sexplanations videos and like, people keep bringing up like, hey, will you ever talk more about like, asexuality and like, you've made a video on it, link here somewhere, but um, I think because it was made in the first year of Sexplanations, like, it hasn't gotten a lot of views and there's probably more to talk about now than there was five years ago so I think maybe revisiting that topic might be interesting for people.

L: I think I would like to finish the BDSM series so we've done bondage, discipline, and then have left to do dominance, submission, sadism, masochism.  I would also really like to talk about how to get into relationships, so so much of the content is about being sexual with a partner, and people will say, step 1, find a partner, and I want to make that video of how would I suggest somebody find partners.  

M: Yeah.

L: I do want to say before we go, special thank you to our Patreon supporters at  You are the reason why this channel exists.  We could not do it without you, and in addition to that, to the sponsors who have helped in this last year and in the coming year, thank you for being a part as well and uh, yeah.  Th--yeah.  Just, yeah, thank you to you.

 (10:00) to (10:23)

Thank you to like, this whole company for making this all possible.  It really means a lot to me.

M&L: Stay curious.