Gigi's Got the Goods!
Thrillist advice columnist Gigi Engle is a porn-loving feminist with excellent advice on how to navigate the world of dating and sex in our modern world. I love almost all of her advice (buy your MF'ing porn, lady!) and she is also the co-host of the Dirty Sexy Monogamy podcast. Get to know her below!
So how did you become a dating/sex advice columnist?
"I'm a huge over-sharer and started a blog called Cigars and Jewelry in college, where I chronicled my sluttiness for the world to see. Gave no fucks then and clearly give even fewer fucks now. I became an assistant at Elite Daily, where I quickly rose into the sex writer role... this happened for two main reasons: We were a small startup when I began working there, making [creating] roles and growth flexible, plus I have a super raunchy voice and my editors just let me roll with it.
The only time I was censored was when I tried to call a vagina a 'hairpie' and Kaitlyn Cawley, Elite Daily's editor in chief, decided it was too far. It's fine. It happens.
Over two years I built up my social following by making a Facebook page and starting a newsletter. I joined Thrillist in August 2016 to head up sex and dating content with Nicole Caldwell, where I'm still writing about all things sexuality and a weekly advice column, In Bed with Gigi Engle. I can't complain about a job where people pay you money to write about blowjobs all day."
What can you share about your feminist activism? How does your work giving this advice to people feed into that?
"Everything I do is to accelerate my feminist agenda. Female sexuality has historically been demonized and scrutinized in every possible way. Damn, I even have the psychos of the MRA [men's rights movement] on my ass right now because even though it sucks being harassed, fuck them and their message of hate. Someone has got to stand up for this shit, right?
I am a proud slut and absolutely believe woman should explore and own their sexuality. I write about sex because I want other women to stop feeling alone. I'm starting to explore other avenues of activism outside of my writing. I'm planning to do more speaking gigs and public appearances. Being a slut is a way of life and there nothing wrong with that. Go get that peen, mama."
How does feel knowing that people are following your advice when they approach you with questions about their love/lust lives?
"It feels fucking great because I know what I'm talking about. My goal is to empower people to take control of their love lives and their sex lives. If you've got a question, I am always here to help. Let me help you take your love life to new, sizzling heights. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Is there a column that you have done for Thrillist that you are particularly proud of? What in it do people really need to know?
"I am obsessed with my column because I love giving advice and the DOPE kimonos that change every week in the custom illustrations. But, if I had to pick one article I'd say, 'What It's Like to be a Woman Who Wants Sex All The Time' has been my favorite. It's not even because I like the way it's written, I wouldn't even say it's my best piece of writing but I love it because of the amazing feedback I received. It felt so great to know I was helping women feel better about their desires."
What is the number one question you get asked by readers?
"Questions really run the gamete, to be honest. I guess I'd say the most frequent kind question I'm asked is from people who have been broken up with and don't know why. I don't know why people can't just be real with each other. All of this ghosting stuff is fucked up."
We are in a place in our culture where sexual education seems to be at its lowest point ever and there are so many people out there who just do not know how their bodies work, in my opinion. How do you combat that with your work, assuming you agree with me on that one?
"It's 100 percent true that sexual education is lacking to a truly alarming degree. A lot of my writing is centered around teaching people about their bodies, learning what gives them pleasure and what they like, as well as how to ask for it. Since I have a background in sexual health, I definitely want to educate in a way that is fun and accessible for people. Learning is fun!"
What do you think that people most get wrong on first dates?
"Pretending to be someone other than themselves. Just relax and let loose because if this person isn't feeling you for the insane, wild person you are, they suck anyway. Also, people get too drunk on first dates. Don't use alcohol as a way to make yourself more interesting. That shit isn't healthy."
What are your views on porn consumption in a partnered relationship? How do you think it can help/harm the relationship and/or the action?
"Porn is great, as long as you're consuming it in a healthy way. It's the same as many outside substances, they enhance the experience as long as they are used in moderation. If you and your partner enjoy watching porn together, that's awesome.
No one should tell you how to experience sex because there is no wrong way. Porn only becomes a problem if it's negatively affecting your real sex life and harming your relationship with your partner. If you are unhappy with your partners' porn consumption, you have to open a dialogue and allow for open communication. Porn can be super hot, you just have to aware of how you're using it."
Do you have any porn movies/production companies that recommend as being good for couples viewing?
How about sex toys? I am always an advocate for people finding the toys that work for them. How would you encourage someone to try something new out, either by themselves or with a partner?
"Step one for the ladies is always going to be finding a great vibrator. A good bullet vibe is a choice place to start, as most women find clitoral orgasms the easiest to achieve. Once you know how your own body works and what you like, you can move from there into sexual exploration with a partner(s).
Always be open to listening to your partner if he or she wants to try something new. I always say you should try anything once. If you hate butt plugs after you use one, okay. That's fine, but at least you know."
Do you have any go-to sex toy favorites that you encourage people to try?
"Oh, yes. My favorites by category:
Babeland classic. It stays the fuck on there and is water-based."
I personally feel that a lot of sexual experimentation out there is all built on trust. How can a person be better at building that trust with their partners?
"BY TALKING to each other. People are always bitching and moaning to their friends about their relationships when they should just be talking to each other. If you're with someone you can't talk to and be open with, don't date that person."
Do you dig Fleshbot? What do you like about it? It's a whole lot of dirty stuff that a lot of columnists like you steer far away from, in my experience.
"I'm all about Fleshbot because I'm all about people presenting sex-positive information in any way they want to. It actually makes porn and porn stars more accessible in my opinion. I know not everyone wants that because they want to keep their fantasies intact, but if you're looking for information about sexuality, why shouldn't porn stars tell you about sex? They sure know a fuckload about it."
What is coming up for you, career-wise?
"A lot of stuff is on the horizon right now. I started a podcast with my partner, Dirty Sexy Monogamy, and it's been going really well! Check it out, for sure. I'm also going to be doing a lot more speaking gigs, stay tuned.
The biggest thing in the works, I'm not allowed to talk about yet. My agent made me promise."
Is there anything you would liek to say to your new fans here at Fleshbot?
"Keep it real. Get the dick. Stay safe. xoAuntieG"
All of the images here are from Erotica X's "Erotic Encounters 2".