To the surprise of probably no one, I enjoy some good smut every once in a while. Who am I kidding? I even like terrible smut every once in a while. However, despite my fluctuating tastes, one of the issues I think is important to cover, whether it’s through fandom or real life teaching, is sexual education. Today’s web crush isn’t about all those anatomical tidbits—although I do have one such site saved up for a future web crush. Instead, today I present to you a webcomic all about exploring your own sexuality with the aid of outside tools.
Now, I know as well as the next person that having a webcomic about sex and/or sex toys has the propensity to become much more about the hyper-sexualization of the act rather than a learning experience. However, comic artist and co-author of the weekly series Oh Joy, Sex Toy, Erika Moen, has taken a much more innovative and user-friendly approach to the sometimes risqué world of silicone and latex. What I mean by user-friendly is that even though the comic is rightfully rated 18+, readers aren’t going to be inundated with tasteless images of genitals or ads for whatever porn site is popular these days. As for the comic itself, a typical page consists of a review of a certain sex toy. With however many billions of toys that are currently for sale, it’s nice to have such a concise opinion—as well as an opinion that clearly comes from a place of goodwill rather than being paid off by such and such company.
What I think puts Oh Joy, Sex Toy on a higher level than other sites and webcomics that may do similar things is that Oh Joy is incredibly inclusive. This isn’t limited to their reviews (which show all types of people and couples using the products). Every once in a while the comic houses guest artists who produce comics that go into each artists’ own journey of discovering their sexuality. For those worried, these comics aren’t necessarily sexual. Just last week, guest artist Erika Greco’s comic, titled Mix Tape, told of her trials of being outcast in her small town, speaking of her more recent divorce, and her own coming to terms with the fact that she was queer. Reading about the experiences of others through their art in addition to their words is extremely special, and if you don’t read anything else from Oh Joy, I would implore you to read those.
It’s so important that sex education on the net not only be readily available, but
also be inclusive to everyone who might come across it. Oh Joy, Sex Toy and its authors ooze acceptance for people from all walks of life, in addition to providing information that, presented in a different medium (or even by a different group of people) may seem scary and inaccessible. I love it when webcomics are used to create safe spaces for their readers, whether or not they’re actively trying to teach something or spread a message. I look forward to reading each Tuesday update, and I hope that this comic will bring a little joy to some of you as well!