Welcome to the Sex Ed Bakeshop!

The Sex Ed Bakeshop is a Brooklyn-based initiative working to expand the current definitions of, access to, and comfort with sexual health.

We make and bake delicious and shame-free conversations, experiences, and products for everybody and every body to enjoy, learn, and express themselves.

What does a Sex Ed Bakeshop do? 

The Sex Ed Bakeshop is a platform for art projects, conversations, and resource-sharing to normalize sex education and all topics related to sexual health. This metaphorical bakeshop is a space to explore. We want you to get cozy, comfortable, awkward, uncomfortable, curious, and inspired through collaborations with pastry chefs, designers, artists, sex educators, and the general public. Our work promotes dialogue about the role of sex, with its multiple meanings and complexities, in our everyday lives. In the Sex Ed Bakeshop, sex is a word that everyone can say without shame or hesitation. Our goal is to expand current definitions of and comfort with sexual health by baking and making as if our lives depend on it  –  because they do.

Why a bakeshop? 

We believe sex ed should be a normal, acceptable, and shame-free part of our lives. Our sexual health should be a life-long pursuit and exploration that does not begin and end with one book, an awkward conversation, experiments with friends, porn binge fests, or isolated lessons in a school gym or church basement–although, any or all of the aforementioned might contribute to one’s sex ed. 

The Bakeshop invites all ages, genders, races, cultures, perspectives, religions, and abilities to explore sexual health. Unfortunately, this intersectional space does not exist in brick and mortar – yet. We will build this beautiful, idyllic space project-by-project and platform-by-platform. 

Sex shops or “adult toy stores” (as they are sometimes called) and the people they employ are inspiring. The shops are welcoming spaces with important products that serve sexual explorations and needs. Staff members are smart, trained, inclusive individuals who treat customers respectfully as they explore their desires, kinks, and questions in the pursuit of pleasure. The educational offerings in sex shops are some of the most thoughtful and innovative workshops focused on sexual health. Sadly, sex shops possess barriers to entry. They are exclusively for people over 18 years old and are transactional spaces oriented around selling products. The Bakeshop is an attempt to provide a space where EVERYone can meet, critique, learn, and talk about sexual health. 

It  was a series of interviews with sex educators that sparked the idea for the Sex Ed Bakeshop. We invited these educators to discuss  a sexual health topic – but we added a twist. We asked them to describe their subject in terms of flavors. Were they sweet, spicy, sour, or bitter? Or all of them? Some of them? None of them? We used these flavor profiles to bake a treat that fueled our conversations. The result? Discussions  that were rich, fun, enlightening, and delicious. They were a reminder of the power of conversation in combination with food and a welcoming space to gather, comfort, release tensions, and unearth truths. 

These talks evolved into the Sex Ed Bakeshop concept that envisions a space for individuals from diverse backgrounds, abilities, ages, and beliefs to ask questions, talk, and learn. Participants will be met with openness, honesty, encouragement, AND thought-provoking treats to assist with normalcy and comfort. While physical manifestations of the Bakeshop would aim to be intergenerational, children under 12 years old would need to have an adult present (because no one should speak to a minor about their sexual health without parental/guardian consent or knowledge) and could always expect to be met with age-appropriate information and conversations. We aim to build  a place to convene and have better conversations about our identities, beliefs, reproductive rights, differences, similarities, choices, STIs, and desires. Don’t we want and deserve a safe space that offers sex ed for all?

This Sex Ed Bakeshop project is an exciting iteration on the interrogation of sex ed that began in 2010. That project, called SexEd, was developed between myself, Liz Slagus, and artist/curator/educator Norene Leddy. It explored the current state of sex ed via community and art-based collaborations that were documented and made available as sex ed curriculum. Partners included universities, community centers, school-based health centers, high schools, and Planned Parenthood of NYC. We carried out this powerful project with a great deal of thought and care. With the Sex Ed Bakeshop, we are shifting from partnering with institutions to working with artists, designers, pastry chefs, sex educators, and the general public. We will create products and experiences that evolve our thinking on what our sexual health is and can be.

What can you expect?

The Sex Ed Bakeshop home/website is under construction and will launch in August 2023. In the interim, we’ll make and bake in the form of a blog on this temporary site. Starting in August, you can expect to find the following:

  • The Sex Ed Bakeshop Blog: These posts will include musings about and reviews of TV series, movies, books, and podcasts touching upon sexual health, as well as special series on menopause, dealings with the healthcare system, and documentation of the experience of learning sex ed at the graduate level via Widener University’s Masters Degree Program in Human Sexuality Studies.  
  • Resources: We will share books, articles, podcasts, websites, and more to shine a spotlight on the amazing work and research that is happening in the sexual health field and to support agency and self-advocacy through information and education. 
  • Project documentation and ways to participate: Learn how and when to contribute to the experiences and products that we are developing.
  • Products: Purchase limited edition Sex Ed Bakeshop productions. 
  • The Sex Ed Bakeshop Newsletter: Subscribe to this monthly digest of what we’ve been making and baking, as well as some notable sexual health happenings in the US and beyond! 

See you at the Bakeshop!

–Liz Slagus, Founder/Director (Edited by Nicole Maestri)