Searching for sex information on the net can be overwhelming. With hundreds of thousands of sites devoted to sex, it’s hard to pick out the sense from the sensationalism. Edmontonian Nicole Janssen wanted to make it easier.
Her website, kinkly.com, was born after one of those frustrating, and somewhat traumatizing, surfing sessions most of us are familiar with. “I had read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and had a few questions about some of the toys and apparatus mentioned in the book,” Janssen tells me.
“When I searched online to try to find out my answers, I was bombarded with sites that were mainly pornography without any real facts. I was most definitely not comfortable on all these sites with a bunch of moving body parts, black backgrounds and scary pop-ups. So over a glass of wine that night, I mentioned to my husband, who has been in online publishing for years, that the world did not need any more of the business websites he was so busy creating; the world needed an educational sex site. I was joking around but his wheels got turning.”
Nicole and her husband teamed up with online content expert, Tara Struyk, and only a few months later, Kinkly was born.
It’s clear from the moment you open the homepage that Kinkly is not like most other sex sites. There are no pop-ups, no animated porn clips and no explicit pictures at all. It’s clear, easy to read and inviting. The content on Kinkly is different, too. Janssen and her team didn’t just copy and paste links from big names, who are often not the best sources for information. Instead, they sought out the most knowledgeable and most respected names in the sex-positive community and had them write original articles just for Kinkly. Sections of the site are clearly marked and easily searchable so you can actually find what you’re looking for. There are also helpful tools like a sex-position playlist, a dictionary of sex terms, and question and answer forums with a variety of sexuality experts. Recently, Kinkly published a list of the top 100 sex bloggers—all of which were recommended to, and then carefully reviewed by, Kinkly staff. The list makes it easy to locate trustworthy sex writers on the topics you’re interested in. They are now working on a directory of sex-positive stores and a directory of sex toys with links to unbiased reviews.
It seems Janssen was right that people were looking for a site like this. After just one year online, it’s already getting huge traffic from all over North America and beyond.
“We feel that sex is a bit like a secret society,” Janssen says. “Everyone’s doing it, it’s just that no one talks about it. Kinkly’s mission is to start that conversation, answer the questions and help people discover new and exciting things about sex, love and their body. Our aim is to educate people, but also to have fun … and even get a little kinkly.” V
Brenda Kerber is a sexual health educator who has worked with local not-for-profits since 1995. She is the owner of the Edmonton-based, sex-positive adult toy boutique the Traveling Tickle Trunk.