Ypulse Interview: Nikol Hasler & Guy Clark, 'The Midwest Teen Sex Show'
- April 16th, 2008
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Longtime Ypulse readers know I am a big advocate of comprehensive sex education…and using humor to reach teens. The Midwest Teen Sex Show does both extremely well. I had the pleasure of meeting Nikol Hasler at a conference we were both speaking at in San Francisco and learned that she, too, shares my passion for karaoke. I knew I had to have them at the Ypulse 2008 National Mashup this July and lucky for me and our attendees, she and her producing partner Guy Clark have said yes. I’ll be interviewing them on stage, but I wanted to give Ypulse readers a hint of what you’ll see and yet another reason (as if you need one, to register today!).
Ypulse: What inspired you to create the Midwest Teen Sex Show?
Guy Clark: My favorite podcasts are educational and having grown up in the Midwest, I knew that sex education was lacking a voice that connected with teens. On the practical side: As a struggling filmmaker, I was keeping a close eye on the world of web video as a potential venue for my work. When podcasting hit, I saw an opportunity to create an ongoing show that would drive a consistent audience.
Mixing humor, sex, and a bit of real world information was exactly the kind of show I wanted to see online, and fortunately Nikol, Britney, and our viewers agreed.
YP: What is the most asked question you get from your viewer email?
Nikol Hasler: Our most frequently asked question in emails is “Am I normal?” It is a resounding theme. The ideas surrounding vary from body image, fantasies, desire or lack of desire for sex, all the way to fear of talking to their parents. The important thing to note is that all of them seem to be looking less for someone to tell them the answer, and more for someone to let them know there is someone they can tell this stuff to who isn’t going to judge.
YP: What reaction to the Midwest Teen Sex Show surprised you the most?
NH: Some people have noted a rash.
GC: The massive popularity of the show came as an initial shock. It’s surprising just how much teens and adults alike were craving for sex information that was handled in a more honest and entertaining way than what was out there already.
YP: What has been your biggest challenge in creating the videos/website so far?
GC: Time and zero funding. The show was started in a basement with a light from Ikea. While we’re getting numbers and demographics that would make any marketer jealous, we’re still working on securing advertisers/funders to help us produce the show on a more full-time basis.
YP: What can Ypulse Mashup attendees expect to hear (and see) in July? Give us a sneak preview…
NH: I can tell you what they won’t be seeing! I don’t twirl baton very well, so there will be none of that. I will work on my cartwheels so I can possibly do a few of those if things get tense.
GC: What we will be sharing with them is two fold. We want to express the ease of putting your ideas into a working format that is relevant and useful in talking to teens. Very often parents and educators will have a longer discussion with their peers about how to reach their Todd and Judy than they spend actually talking to the kids about the important ideas they need to express.
We also hope to speak about the importance of creating high end materials. Teens can tell just as easily as anyone if something feels slapped together. If the message is important, it is worth putting time into.
About Guy & Nikol:
Director Guy Clark (aka Todd) is the creator of Midwest Teen Sex Show. In an effort to showcase his filmmaking talents and provide a fresh take on teen sexuality, Guy began shooting MTSS with high school friend Nikol Hasler. Since its debut, MTSS has received millions of views and has been featured in national press. When he’s not busy editing episodes or duct taping Britney’s nipples, Guy produces new media content for online and broadcast venues. His commercial work and consulting services can be found at H-PEP.com. He also loves cheese.
Nikol Hasler is an expert of absolutely nothing with an opinion on just about everything. In the summer of 2007 she began writing for and hosting the video podcast Midwest Teen Sex Show. As a working mother of three, there is no such thing as free time. If she did, she would use that time to paint, write, and cook. Much of her professional focus is in encouraging people to talk about their own ideas concerning sex. She is grateful to have this opportunity to combine her warped sense of humor with her frank perspective on her own life experiences.