Isabelle Kohn, also known as “Dear Ibby” often fields questions such as, “Dear Ibby, The guy I’m seeing is so into anal, but I hate it. What should I do?” to “Dear Ibby, All I want to do is wear my girlfriend’s clothes while we fuck …” and even “Dear Ibby, Can I tighten my vagina? Do kegels really work?”

Kohn’s sex advice column defies the norm as it’s informative, thoughtful, and often comical.

It was meant to be humorous and helpful at the same time. So much sex information is conveyed with seriousness or alarm. I felt like a more lighthearted approach might make it easier for people to connect with what is often a difficult and confusing topic.

Kohn explained

Sex education is imperative to gaining the knowledge necessary to make healthy decisions about sex and sexuality. It contributes to fostering healthy relationships and managing personal sexual health. Unfortunately, only 24 states and the District of Columbia require sex education. Of those 24, only eight mention consent or sexual assault and according to a study done by Public Religion Research Institute on 12 percent mention same-sex relationships.It’s no wonder that so many adults seek out candid advice from knowledgeable women like Isabelle Kohn.

Isabelle Kohn is a journalist, editor, sex educator, sex coach, and the ingenious mind behind the advice column, “Dear Ibby.” “Dear Ibby” was a unique way of allowing adults who didn’t know whom or how to ask for advice to ask questions about their bodies and desires, or their partner’s. “I’m deeply interested in the mind-body connection, the transformative power of kink, and giving voices to more marginalized expressions of sexuality,” Kohn told us. For readers, the advice column was an affirmation that their questions or concerns were valid and that they were not alone in feeling naive to certain aspects of sexuality, consent, and dating.

Kohn quit doing “Dear Ibby” for Rooster Magazine, but has continued her work as a sex educator. Kohn and Bryn Roberts have started sex-ed pop-up dinners called “Eating Out” where they procure a house to host an intimate, family-style meal. “Oh my god, they’re so fun,” Kohn emphasized. “It’s a hybrid sex-ed pop-up dinner where we plan the menus around various themes like BDSM, aphrodisiacs, anal sex — any sexual topic can be made into a pop-up event, really.” Roberts makes a nutritarian meal from foods chosen specifically for how they might enhance a sexual or sensual situation. During dinner, the health benefits of the meal are discussed and afterwards a workshop around the dinner theme is taught by an expert in that field. A recent BDSM brunch included a spanking and impact play demonstration by Kohn’s mentor, Jamila Dawson, an interdisciplinary sex therapist. “The whole thing is meant to facilitate discussion and help sex-positive and sexually curious people build community and make connections. It’s very educational, but it’s also an entirely novel way to consume sex-positive information,” Kohn explained.

Kohn has also created a safe space for her orgasm classes in the same truly affirming and supportive atmosphere. These classes are open to all genders and orientations, and are completely no contact — with yourself or others. “We go over anatomy, communication, masturbation, self-empowerment, practical skills, toys, and the cultural context in which orgasms take place,” Kohn explains. Although she would like to do more hands-on training one day, these classes are strictly educational.

Creating a safe space for sexual understanding and having instruction that is inclusive is important, Things like communication, consent, and self-empowerment are things everyone can benefit from, regardless of how they identify.

Kohn detailed, “It’s really helpful to learn about your own body and bodies that are different from your own. The more you know, the more effective communication and consent you can have, and the more passionate and intimate an exchange can be. Everyone likes different things, so having a more diverse audience — especially one that feels open to discussing their own sexualities, preferences, and vulnerabilities, benefits everyone.”

“In general, the more diverse your classes can be in terms of gender, race, age, ability level, socioeconomic status, religion, and so on, the better and more valuable education you get.” Kohn explained by giving us a few examples, “There was one class I taught where a cis man had no idea that there was an internal portion to the clit.” Another time, “a femme person was totally floored that you could use cock rings to make someone with a penis last longer in bed,” and “There was another where a guy talked about how he never felt like he had the opportunity to give consent in sexual interactions.” These types of discoveries, and the fostering of open communication around healthy sexuality, are crucial to relationships that are guilt and shame-free.

Unfortunately, not all of those who come across the necessary work that Kohn does are as impressed, but she couldn’t care less. “I block them then never think about it again,” she says. Kohn’s confidence in her own expertise leaves no room for trolls. “The internet is full of idiots and people who get off on trying to make you feel like shit, and I don’t have time for that. If someone doesn’t know me or is clearly coming from a place of insecurity — which most people who troll you are — why would I care what they have to say?” Kohn has even gone as far as creating a handy guide on her Medium account called: “Be The Internet Troll You Wish to See in The World.”

Isabelle Kohn’s career as a sex educator has benefited so many. She has unapologetically written about topics like female sexual pain, which often goes unheard and ignored by their partners and the medical system. Along with Joan Price, a 74-year-old senior sex expert, she pressed the importance of senior sexuality — which gave us all less anxiety about old age and reminded us that “sex has no expiration date.” Whether it is her unique classes, her exceptional writing, or simply her knack for suggesting just the right sex toy you’re looking for, Kohn’s witty sex-positive voice is the kind of transformational cultural awareness necessary for a sexual revolution in the sea of naive or oppressive garbage. “Sex is not a one-size-fits-all game,”

Kohn explains,

It can’t be summed up in a listicle, or understood from a single class alone. There’s no such thing as universal “good sex” because “good sex” means something different for everyone. It’s a completely subjective, beautifully diverse, and constantly fluctuating thing. Navigating it in your own life is all about how to make things work for you, not what other people think works for them.


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