We’re lucky to live in a world where lots of us are free to be who we want to be, sexually.
We have access to a lot of raunchy material. But raunch is very rarely combined with useful information about the actual sex. As a sex positive woman of colour (WoC), I also very rarely see myself reflected back in the media. Take, for instance, the following commercial smash hits: Sex and the City, The L Word, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Girls, Catastrophe, Fleabag. Apart from all being smart and diverting depictions of women’s sexuality, they only really feature Caucasian people.
So, in 2018, I launched my own web platform, ‘Kayleigh Daniels Dated’, which subverts the concept of ‘sex sells’ by pairing beautifully illustrated sexy stories with informative health features by expert writers, to encourages and normalise free and frank discussion about sexuality.
‘Kayleigh Daniels Dated’ subvert the concept of ‘sex sells’ to encourages and normalise free and frank discussion about sexuality.
Kayleigh Daniels is a 30-year-old fictional character, whose dating exploits – written by me – are published monthly. She’s a darker-skinner WoC, who dates lots of different physical and socio-economic types of people. Because it’s important that readers understand that, not only does Kayleigh have lots of great (and sometimes not so great) sexual experiences, but they are also with different kinds of people, who are all into her. So far, she’s dated people who range in age from 26 to 61 and have occupations that include an estate agent, acrobat and aristocrat.
The accompanying information features expand on a theme in the dating story – such as cystitis, polyamory and consent – and are all commissioned out to professional ‘sexperts’. In the UK, WoC experience negative reproductive and sexual health outcomes, in addition to barriers accessing sexual health and reproductive health care.
Some of these include: difficulty negotiating condoms use, increased rates of domestic violence, language barriers, concerns about confidentiality and cultural stigmas. So, to tackle some of these issues I’ve brought in doctors, therapists and facilitators from the fields of gynaecology, sexual health, sex therapy, and psychiatry – the majority of whom are WoC – to demystify some of the taboos surrounding women’s sexuality.
As a sex positive woman of colour (WoC), I very rarely see myself reflected back in the media.
Throughout the course of Season 1 I’ve commissioned the likes of Dr Claire Ferraro, Abby Gilfillian, Dr Emma Chan, Dr Anna Haigh, Jimanekia Eborn, Leah Magoye and Katie Carlson and Linda Porn and Kali Sudhra – who’ve explained the all the ins and outs (haha!) in an accessible way.
The KDD Team
(Top to Bottom) Writer Almaz Ohene, Illustrator Parys Gardener, Illustrator Visual-Ess, Iconographer Nat Mortime
It’s been wonderful to have so many regular visitors to the site, enjoying our smut and learning more about the full spectrum of sexuality. Since launching in July 2018, Kayleigh Daniels Dated has gained an audience of 65k from 148 countries, over nine months installments. We’ve also been featured in media outlets 16 times so far – including Guardian Weekend, Refinery29 and VICE – which has generated thousands of international views.
We have held a couple of really successful live events. In November 2018 we programmed an evening of contemporary visual storytelling at Libreria, London, and were joined by writers Yomi Adegoke and Bridget Minamore.
And most recently I curated a series of film shorts which all explored sexuality, bodies and desire for a special screening event dubbed ‘What Went Where?! Sexualities on Screen’.
However, we have recently had to make the difficult decision of suspending regular Kayleigh Daniels Dated content for the time being, as I am currently the sole funder behind the project, and the current COVID-19 crisis means that we all have to tighten our belts. We’ll still be sending out monthly news and updates via our email newsletter – sign-up here – but we won’t be able to include any new dating stories or educational pieces until the current situation changes.
We dream of coming back bigger and bolder, and hope to have all our readers there with us when we return.
‘…because well-behaved women rarely make history…’
Written by Almaz Ohene
Almaz Ohene (she/her) is the Founder of ‘Kayleigh Daniels Dated’ and writes about sexuality for leading publications including the Independent, Refinery29 and VICE.
Note From KDD
* We’re currently looking for VC and/or angel investors to discuss the future of the brand, so if you’d like information on top-line metrics and possible future plans, please email Almaz via firstname.lastname@example.org
And do feel free to make contributions via PayPal to help with our basic running costs, such as webhosting and continued domain name ownership.