Year 4 Project | Self Initiated
Roles: Researcher, Workshop Designer, Brand Strategist
Group most at risk UNDER 25's
Area most at risk DEPRIVED
What are the factors influencing young people's sexual attitudes and behaviours?
'Masturbation is a mediation of
Pyschosexual therapist interview Jan 2020
Example of product shown above is inspired by the ritual of meditation and the use of worry stones. This creates a link between self love and meditation, emphasising the benefits that both have on an individuals mental health.
The products created by self are designed to be ambiguous, allowing young people to learn about their bodies in anyway they feel comfortable doing.
Aimed to target young people through showing the benefits of masturbation which are disconnected from hyper sexualisation. When interviewing psychosexual therapist during my research phase of my project, they explained to me the benefits of masturbation relating to self esteem and how masturbation could be used as a powerful gateway to resolve other cultural issues relating to sexual health and education of adolescents.
The colour palette chosen by Self includes a range of earth tones to suit all genders. The earth
tones give off a feeling of nature, which works as a metaphor to emphasise the naturalness of
masturbation. The colours contradict the usual colours of ‘sex toy’ branding, to clearly
differentiate Self from them and target a younger audience by being less intimidating.
Jo’s story shows a young person going through a difficult time of self doubt. With pressures of
social media and pornography on both body confidence and sexual performance, adolescents
can be left with feelings of low self esteem. Self ethos shows the benefits of self love
emphasised by one psychosexual therapists I interviewed as part of my research by explaining..
‘if you learn to love and respect your own
body, you will go on to love and respect others too.’
These are material samples from the development stage of the project. The idea was to play around with ambiguous forms and materials to disconnect with conventional sex toys and create something which is gender neutral. The idea of the products is to leave the imagination up to the user, and to pass as unrelated objects. The inspiration for the half egg shape is taken from worry stones used in meditation, to redesign masturbation as a wellness ritual.
'Currently Scotland has the highest teenage
pregnancy rates in Europe,
compared to The Netherlands which
remains at the lowest. '
My dissertation looked at influencing factors including sexual health and relationship education in schools. The key insights were the tone of voice which sex is transmitted to young people. The Dutch’s positive and pro-sex approach with the introduction of pleasure is contrasted with the clinical tone projected by the Scottish curriculum.
SELF’s ambition is to tackle this issue without the challenging task of changing the education curriculum. SELF’s aim is to educate young people that both masturbation and sex are natural and create positive views surrounding sex. This will reduce the act of rebellion from the clinical style of education which results in risky behaviours.
Interactive Research Tool
The reserved attitudes present in Scottish culture can often result in ‘prudishness’ when
discussing sex. This has a negative impact on young people's mental and sexual health,
preventing the discussion of important issues regarding sexual health due to fear. This research
tool provided me with insights on what young people felt most uncomfortable speaking about,
but in a lighthearted and interactive way breaking down barriers which are present in education.
‘I like having something to interact with ..
On such personal topic it can be difficult to make everyday conversation on - the board was a positive, open way that people could participate in and eliminated awkwardness. Having a “man in the middle” like the let’s talk about sex board, actually made it less awkward to talk about it and seemed more natural! Which felt nice.’