Why Oloni is the sex guru Gen Z can’t get enough of

·6-min read
 (Natasha Pszenicki )
(Natasha Pszenicki )

Dami Olonisakin, better known by her Twitter handle @Oloni, knows how to go viral. The sex blogger and host of the Laid Bare podcast has become Insta-famous for her Twitter threads which spark explicit, unfiltered conversations about all aspects of sex and relationships online. Having built a following of more than half a million across Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, she’s fast becoming the UK’s most popular “sexpert” and this week will appear in rapper Saweetie’s new Netflix special Sex: Unzipped.

I meet her at the Standard’s offices, where she is candid and engaging company and I find myself enthusiastically nodding along to her every word. Her mission, as she sees it, is to address the “double standards” over sex by giving women a safe space (via her Twitter feed) to have the “locker room chat” and banter often reserved for men.

When she puts out a call to her followers for their wildest stories and confessions, they deliver the juice. Most recently, her “falling asleep thread” sparked huge debate among millennial and Gen Z users.

“LADIES & LADIES only! I want you to DM me the craziest story of what TRULY happened when you text him apologising for falling asleep,” she wrote. “Were you on a date? Were you with a person you told your partner not to worry about? Cheating or sleeping with someone else?!? DM ME!” Thousands of outrageous and hilarious responses poured in which she reshared anonymously.

Born in Enfield, north London, Oloni, 31, says that growing up in a “very religious Christian household,” she “felt like the only one who looked like me, who was black, and talking about sex.

“I realised that was because for a lot of black women, the way we grew up, sex was only for procreation or for marriage. We weren’t allowed to discuss sex. It wasn’t for us. I had friends blogging about makeup or fashion but I realised that no one was really talking about masturbating and sex toys.” So she started doing so.

She began by blogging about relationships and dating, drawing on her conversations with friends, listening to their dilemmas in her default mode as agony aunt. In her mid-twenties, she launched a phone line where men and women could pay to call her and chat through their relationship issues. She no longer offers phone calls but her DMs remain open. “I have women who trust me enough to tell me their true desires, kinks, fantasies, and dating mishaps and I’ll tell them my unbiased [and unfiltered] opinion”.

She typically receives 15-20 requests per day from people who want her advice,” but adds: “I’ve realised you can’t reply to everyone!” Starting the Laid Bare podcast back in 2018 with influencer Shani Jamilah (SJ) felt like “finding my tribe because, again, being a black woman and looking for another black woman to talk about sex is not that easy, because it’s not really in our culture to talk about sexuality. You know, you’re instantly seen as a ‘ho’.”

Now she co-hosts episodes with Char, who works in the sex industry. Conversation in her episodes and threads span everything from how to give oral sex (“men will never understand our bodies truly the way a woman will”) to threads asking women to share the craziest sex they had when they were single. “I also do threads for different scandals, you know, have you ever cheated on your partner before? What did you do when you cheated? What was the sex like?”

While she doesn’t condone cheating, she believes her threads provide women an outlet to talk about things which they often feel forced to keep to themselves. “I want to show that women enjoy sex outside of what society has told them, whether that’s with themselves or having casual sex or whatever,” she says. Statistics, like the orgasm gap, suggest that “straight women are still not enjoying intimacy that much”.

The response from men is... mixed. Her last viral thread caused an outpouring of “outrage” from some. “I think they were just bamboozled. They were like, I can’t believe women are doing this, men are truly upset that women are having sex in a way they didn’t know about. And of course, no man or woman or non-binary person should cheat if they’re in a monogamous relationship, but I perceived it as though they were disgusted that women were enjoying sex,” she says. “For so long it’s been accepted for men to be sexually free but women need to keep it to themselves. They don’t tell their friends too much. We’re not allowed to be sexually explorative or adventurous, you know, they don’t want you to be a virgin but you can’t be a ho, so it’s very difficult sometimes.”

Most of all, she wants to make women feel confident in their sexuality — which makes her the perfect standard bearer for her generation. “I encourage women to have sex the way they want to but I want women to be smart with how they have sex, I want them to be confident, I want them to know what they’re getting themselves into, I want them to have sex for themselves. I don’t want them to feel pressured, I don’t want them to do it because they want a guy to love them.”

Oloni’s top tips for a healthy sex life

Experiment with sex toys

My favourite sex toy this year has been the Lovehoney’s Womanizer Pro40. Experimenting with toys helps you understand what you enjoy in the bedroom more so you can show your sexual partner.

Discuss your fantasies

Talk about your fantasies with your partner and see if you can both make any of them a reality.

Create clear boundaries

In the same vein, always talk about your sexual boundaries both between the sheets and out of them. You can do this by having a safe word or safe action.

Lube up

Lube should always be used during any sort of penetration. Water-based lube is amazing and works well with condoms and flavoured lube for oral sex can make it more enjoyable.

Foreplay!

Don’t rush into things. Spend some time indulging in the art of foreplay - it’s guaranteed to help heighten intimacy.

Four more podcasts to listen to

Brown Girls Do It Too

 (Brown girls do it too)
(Brown girls do it too)

Poppy Jay and Rubina Pabani’s wise, witty and fast-paced podcast — winner of a podcast of the year award in 2020 — deals with sex, relationships, race and patriarchy.

Millennial Love

 (Millennial Love)
(Millennial Love)

Host Olivia Petter talks sexuality, relationships and stereotypes in this bright and engaging podcast. Recent guests have included Sex Education’s George Robinson and writer and activist Paris Lees.

Dipsea

 (Dipsea)
(Dipsea)

Audio erotica, rather than a podcast, Dipsea describes itself as “where storytelling meets sexual wellness”. All the content is devised by women for women.

Savage Lovecast

 (Savage Lovecast)
(Savage Lovecast)

Dan Savage has a cult following; his advice podcast is often outrageous and always very, very entertaining.

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