If you’ve been on social media, chances are you’ve come across Stephanie Villa, also known as SoothingSista. For years, Stephanie has been giving her community advice on all things lifestyle and beauty, and now she’s taking it a step further with her new YouTube series, Sex Smarts.
With the series, Stephanie hopes to provide insight and commentary regarding a wide range of topics related to sex. We spoke with Stephanie about her series, her hopes, and what women really need to know about the art of self-pleasure.
Can you introduce yourself to readers and give a little bit of background about yourself?
My name is Stephanie Villa and I have a YouTube channel under the handle ‘SoothingSista.’ Over the past few years, I have made videos on beauty as well as vlogging, and have recently ventured into speaking about women’s health through my new series ‘Sex Smarts.’ I received my undergraduate degree from UC Davis in 2010 in psychology and sexuality studies and have wanted to bring those passions of mine into the fold of my channel for years now.
What made you start your ‘Sex Smarts’ series?
Growing up as a first-generation Asian American, speaking about sex in any capacity was just not the norm. I know times are changing in the U.S. but, there is still a huge lack of information for women and men on all things sex. Through ‘Sex Smarts’ I would like to begin an open conversation on a wide array of subjects. I would like to give people information with scientific studies backing them as contraception options, but also speak on more abstract topics like how apps have affected our dating culture.
I can’t wait to see how apps have affected our dating culture. So far, I really loved the episode about having a happy and healthy vagina and think this episode will resonate with many. For those who haven’t watched yet, can you give some of the tips you gave for vagina health?
I feel like this goes without saying, but the body is made up of different parts that create a whole — so whatever you’re ingesting doesn’t just affect your gut or your weight, but also your vaginal health! Staying well-hydrated helps with circulation, prevents unusual odors, and keeps the vagina generally lubricated! Probiotics assist in keeping the vagina moderately acidic which creates a protective barrier that prevents unhealthy bacteria from multiplying and causing infection. I touch upon more specific foods in the video, but pretty much if you’re drinking water and eating healthy, you’re doing your whole body good!
Speaking of eating healthy, what I like about your series so far is how informative you are and the random facts that you give like that sweet potatoes are good for fertility, or avocado is good for your sex drive. What is your overall hope for the series? What do you want people to learn from the series?
My biggest goal of this whole series is to destigmatize speaking about the body and sex. I recently did a campaign with Tampax where I asked people to DM me with any questions about tampons or myths they would like to be debunked. I was so shocked by some of the messages I got. I received multiple messages asking, “Do tampons take your virginity?” It was just mind-boggling to think that kind of misinformation is out there and because we are not comfortable speaking about the body openly, people are not getting informed answers to their questions (or often they are not asking questions at all). I think being able to speak openly about our bodies helps to not only create more confidence within ourselves but also creates stronger bonds and relationships with peers and partners.
Speaking about being with a partner, I think when people know their sexual preferences it’s a source of liberation. What are some things that you believe women need to know about sex to make them feel liberated?
If we are talking purely about the physical, I think women need to know that masturbating is super cool. Like, the coolest. Knowing your own body is one of the best things you could do for yourself. There is absolutely no shame in making yourself feel good. There is no shame in how you do it, what your body looks like doing it, what face you make, or what sounds come out of your mouth.
This same sentiment translates to having sex with a partner as well. I’ve had conversations with many women who are so in their own heads when being intimate with someone, that they are not able to fully enjoy themselves. I am no exception to this at all, but if I really think about it, I have never started judging someone’s body while being intimate with them. We are all our worst critics — but if you are with someone who starts openly criticizing you, that’s a sign to give them the boot. Sex should be fun; it should make you feel good. You do not need to do anything with anyone you don’t want to do, and there is never a time where you need to compromise your own comfort levels for someone else.
Why is it important for women to take preventative measures when it comes to their sexual health and do you have any advice/tips for women to be more proactive?
Obviously, everyone has a different path, so I can’t say definitively what every person should do, but I would say if you are sexually active, looking into birth control would be very wise if you are not trying to get pregnant. If you do not have healthcare, Planned Parenthood is an amazing place to go for advice, STI testing, pap-smears — you can really run the full gamut of sexual healthcare with Planned Parenthood. In the end, it’s finding a safe space you can go where you feel comfortable speaking about your sexual health.
Overall, what are your hopes for ‘Sex Smarts’ and how does it fit in with the persona/community you’ve cultivated already on Instagram and YouTube around beauty?
I feel lucky that I have an online community of opened-minded individuals. I have always felt that I could make video content about pretty much anything I want and have never felt pigeon-holed into one subject. Across the board, I have been fairly open about subjects such as birth control and women’s health, so starting a series like ‘Sex Smarts’ wasn’t a huge jump for me. My goal is to help destigmatize speaking about sexuality and sexual health. I want to create a safe space for women to get important information and help them feel comfortable speaking about it in person with peers.
Stephanie Villa is The Everygirl…
Your camera roll is full of…
Memes and screenshots of dogs I follow on Instagram
A Sex Smart item you recommend to everyone?
Queen V P.S. I Lube You Organic Aloe Lubricant
A beauty item you recommend to everyone?
Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum