With the aim to provide young people with knowledge about sex and gender properly, a 28-year-old Vietnamese woman launched a website named SexEdu by Trang despite some negative comments.
The woman who is behind the sex education website and a similar channel on YouTube is Minh Trang, 28, whose nickname is Trang Chuoi, a resident of Ho Chi Minh City.
Trang chooses to talk about sex in an open, comfortable way with the young instead of taking advantage of it as a means of clickbait as some other websites have done.
Although the approach is easy-going, Trang always keeps the way of presenting the knowledge within a proper limitation, placing the sensitive content under her control.
From Chan Chuoi Show to SexEdu By Trang
“I made mistakes like many others ever did," said Trang,explaining the reasons that pushed her to make the website SexEdu by Trang.
"The mistakes could have resulted in horrible consequences.
"It was pretty lucky for me not to be infected with HIV.
“But not everyone is lucky, or it will not always be like that.
"So, it would be better to have something under your belt if you do not want to entirely depend on luck."
Trang was also curious about sex when she was a teenager.
But like many of her friends, she never talked about it with her parents, who never raised the issue with her either.
“In my family, it seems that it is a taboo, of which every family member will feel somewhat ashamed to discuss,” Trang told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
“I was born to such a traditional family.
"My parents did not allow me to go out to play with friends at night for fear that I would become a pervert.
"But they never told me that I should not have sex during my teenage years.
“I had to get to know alone about how to use sanitary napkins and condoms because my parents never told me about them.”
Like others at the time, Trang could not find any source of information that provides her with formal and enough knowledge about sex education as well as anywhere she could share her private concerns.
Trang tried to understand what she wanted to know then shared them with her female friends.
“At first I made the website with a view to sharing what I know with others," Trang said of the first days of SexEdu by Trang.
"To my surprise, the web was welcomed by the young.
"So, I decided to improve it professionally in the hope that the website will help the audiences have a proper view of sex without being overwhelmed by a lot of confusing information online.”
The website was named initially Chan Chuoi Show [Banana Herding Show] to reflect the founder’s intention to make a funny channel.
“I got some feedback that said the name was trivial and dirty," Trang explained why she had to change the name of the website.
"I had missed many chances because of the name when I work with media and governmental organizations, thus I decided to change the name to SexEdu by Trang.
"I would like to define myself not only as a video blogger of sex education but also as an activist of sex education.”
Overcoming numerous obstacles
There are diverse topics that have been shared on the website SexEdu by Trang such as the knowledge of maidenhead, the vaccine against HPV, masturbation, taking care of genital health, the ways to help sexual partners come to a safe clinic when in need, and more.
Trang has been more well known after the website became more familiar to the young.
She has been invited to be a speaker or guest in many talk shows on sex education.
Her supporters find Trang has a frank and polite way of presenting issues relating to sex education.
But she has also received many vicious comments from a few critics such as “she must be a sex worker” or “you are sure to make this channel because you don't have anything to do.”
Trang set a rule to leave conflicting comments but delete dirty and defamatory feedback.
“In Vietnam, sex is still considered to be a particularly sensitive issue," Trang explained.
"Women don’t dare to express their real views and needs for sex for fear of being judged or criticized by others.
"But it is a normal need, which exists naturally in both genders.
"While abroad a woman considers being called a ‘sexy girl’ a kind of praise, many Vietnamese think of it as a bad and dishonorable reference."
“My challenge is to make audiences consider sex as a natural need, like eating or drinking.
"In my opinion, we should only oppose sex without respecting and without protection."
According to the YouTuber, when it comes to sex safety in Vietnam, most people only focus on the ways to prevent themselves from being pregnant.
Many people rush to clinics to get rid of the ‘result’ instead of preventing unwanted pregnancy.
“Many people don’t know that HIV/AIDS is a chronic illness, which can be prevented by pre-exposure prophylaxis (PREP), or you can actively prevent the disease after having unsafe sex by taking post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP),” Trang said.
“In another case, there are people who already know all of this, but they don’t know where they can ask for help.
"Similarly, when looking up sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and syphilis on the Internet, the results return mostly Chinese clinics.
“Despite Vietnam having more reliable clinics, the communication projects relating to them are not good enough.
"For example, Glink with decent quality is one among those.
"I hope my audiences will support such community-friendly organizations via our YouTube channel."