If we’re discussing touch, we have to discuss sex. And right now, the conversation is getting franker than ever, thanks in no small part to The Hot Bed Collective.
I spoke to co-founder Anniki Sommerville about the work they’re doing, their new podcast – launching on Valentine’s Day – and why touch is so important to our mental health.
What is The Hot Bed Collective?
“It’s me, Lisa Williams and Cherry Healey. All three of us are parents from journalistic, broadcasting and writing backgrounds. We formed the HBC 18 months ago because we were frustrated at the lack of relevant content about sex and relationships targeting women 35+ We noticed that many of our friends were suffering with low libido, lack of sex drive, rubbish sex lives, and we wanted to provide advice and information to help women (and men).
We have a website where anyone can contribute, and we start our series of much-anticipated podcasts in February, recorded live with an audience of 80 women. Each podcast will cover a different theme but we’ll be looking at things like sex and ageing, pelvic floor health, body image and sex in long-term relationships.
We are made to feel like everyone else out there is having a brilliant time in the bedroom and popular culture feeds this myth.
The reality is often very different. Tired parents, stress, information overload- it’s tough to get in the mood in these hectic modern times.”
What was the main aim when you founded it?
“To share our experiences of sex, to help women have better sex lives, to help more couples stay together as sex is one of the key reasons why people tend to split up. We want to improve the world one orgasm at a time.
Sex is one of those things that gives you a natural high, it makes you feel good, it doesn’t involve money, it builds a connection with your partner and a connection with your own body. In these times, all this stuff is important.
We’re distracted and constantly on the hunt for thrills – but these are often pretty empty- a new top or a glass of wine isn’t as restorative as a good session in bed.”
What’s next up in 2018?
“Our podcast and then maybe a book. We would like to have a late night TV show too.”
Why do you think touch is so important to one’s mental health and a healthy relationship?
“Touch is vital. We are moving away from face to face interactions with people. We are constantly hunched over our phones and we weren’t designed to be like this. We are seeing high levels of depression and anxiety because we lack the warmth that real connections bring.
Even if you consider something like masturbation – it’s often a taboo for women to talk about but it’s a great stress reliever and helps us stay in the moment. We shouldn’t feel ashamed or dirty about these things as they can potentially counteract some of the negative aspects of modern life.”