Florence and Reed met on a porn set. They were both working behind the camera and from that initial meeting, their friendship blossomed pretty quickly. Florence was commuting from Brighton to London every day and Reed happened to be looking for a flatmate so they did the housing maths and moved in together – their natural affinity already cemented.
"All we did was talk about sex. Like, nonstop. Especially because we were filming porn at the same time," Reed tells Refinery29. Their many conversations about everything from personal hang-ups to what was considered 'normal' in the bedroom stand out as a poignant period of self-discovery for them, because even though Florence and Reed are very different people, "We have had exactly the same thoughts and worries and queries about sex," Florence explains. "We were like, 'Well, we both like doing film, why don’t we film what we’re talking about and put it up online for other people to see. Maybe it’ll help'."
And so their myth-busting, sex positive YouTube series 'Come Curious' was born. The idea was to normalise conversations about sex in all its weird, messy and sometimes awkward glory. That thing you've wondered about but have been too shy to bring up with your friends? They've covered it. Those questions you've had mid-shag but been terrified to ask out loud? While these two women have never claimed to be sex experts, they'll have done their very best to tackle them honestly, using their own experiences to help you out.
A few years passed and their subscribers amassed – but YouTube's attitude to sex didn't change quite so rapidly. Having videos taken down or thumbnails removed has been an issue, especially anything with visible nipples or sex toys. "It's getting better, but it's nonstop," Reed says. "It's a bit like Facebook and Instagram." The opportunity to introduce a podcast to their output, then, was a really attractive idea. Along came F**ks Given, their recently launched podcast which broadens the sex chat even further. Honing in on the continued awkwardness around the number of people we have (or haven't) slept with, each episode invites a guest to come and discuss their sexual history – the good, the bad and the outrageously funny.
In the spirit of open conversation about sex, we asked Florence and Reed to share some advice and answer some of the most common coital questions that linger in all of our minds. From threesome etiquette to the legitimacy of "no strings attached" hook-ups, here's the Come Curious verdict.
What is your advice for threesome etiquette?
Reed: Keep it as equal as possible. Make sure you’re physically and emotionally talking to each person – it’s hard to describe. I’m trying to think of all the threesomes I’ve had…
Florence: It’s just communication really. Just make sure that everyone knows what they want in the situation.
Reed: And the levels as well. Like, are you okay with your boyfriend penetrating me? Is that an okay rule? But make it fun, you can ask that stuff. Also, don’t always expect that you’re going to orgasm from a threesome because a lot of a threesome is the showing yourself off. I have only come once in a threesome or group sex – don’t do yourself too hard, just enjoy the threesome for what it is.
Period sex – yes or no?
Florence: Ooooh, yes. I have sex on my period and I love it.
Reed: We have two different opinions about this, which is what we try and talk about. Everyone’s different, you don’t have to like period sex and you can like period sex. A lot of people are hornier…
Florence: I don’t know if I’m hornier during my period, but I definitely have a greater orgasm.
Reed: Yeah… For me, I don’t like it. It feels raw, it feels uncomfortable, my whole body changes, my uterus is in a different position. Also it's really cool when your partner is into period sex or is at least cool with periods.
When is the best time to introduce something new into your sex routine when you’re in a relationship?
Reed: I mean, I would always introduce something new every time you have sex, if you can, because with a long relationship you always end up falling into the same consistent pattern and spontaneous sex is what keeps you going. But it can be hard in a long-term relationship because you know what gets each other going.
Florence: Also, people change all the time and you might suddenly notice that your partner is reacting differently when you do that or touch that. But it’s always about being very aware, I think, and testing the water. Don’t just jump in with, like…
Reed: A finger up the arse?
Florence: [laughs] Basically you just need to introduce it super slowly, bring it up in conversation but don’t jump straight into it.
How wild can you be when you're with someone for the first time?
Florence: It depends on who you are and what you like. You can be as wild as you want!
Reed: Just do what you like. You don’t have to go crazy and you don’t need to try and impress someone if that’s not what you’re into. You don’t want to bring out a whip and shit if you’ve heard that they’re into bondage and that’s not what you’re into.
Florence: Yeah that’s true actually, maybe keep it kind of vanilla for the first time...
Reed: Well no, I wouldn’t say that. I’d say if you’re into kinky shit then go for it!
Florence: Yeah okay, but no surprises straightaway! You know what is really good, though? Talking about what you’re into so you can both start exploring things immediately.
Does no-strings-attached sex really exist?
Reed: It can do but it does depend on your person.
Florence: I think it’s also how confident you’re feeling in yourself at the time, it really makes a difference. I’d say definitely.
Reed: You do need to know, though, that even if it does start off as no strings it can become complicated, because we’re human.
Florence: Yeah, people’s emotions can change. I’m always a bit wary of friends with benefits situations because it’s really easy to suddenly start falling for people if you are having sex.
Reed: And in lust and in love can feel so similar. Sometimes in lust can feel stronger than love. You could have a great shag and think 'I’m in love with this person' and it might not necessarily be that way, you might just have had a good lay.
Florence: It does exist…