I’m the founder of Coral, an app that will improve your sex life

That sounds like a bold claim, and it is, but I believe that when it comes to sex, the world has failed you and we’re trying to fix that.

I reached the age of 25 and realized I didn’t know anything about sex other than what I’d learned through high school sex-ed, what movies and culture told me, and what I’d experienced with partners. I was at the tail end of a five year relationship, where the sex was dwindling. When I tried to talk about it, I was met with defensiveness and a statement that ‘our sex life was normal’. I had no idea what was normal. I had no idea if my partner’s responses were reasonable. We didn’t know how to communicate, how to navigate the vulnerabilities our conversations prompted. I was unhappy but didn’t know if I was allowed to be. I felt completely lost because I was a woman who wanted more sex from a male partner, and that’s not how it’s meant to be! One day, sitting in my apartment, I asked myself: ‘Is there more to sex than what I know? And how can I make sure this doesn’t happen again?’ I started a multi-year journey of studying, learning and talking to people.

Most of us, if we’re lucky, received only the most basic sexual education — what’s a penis, vagina, condom, contraceptive pill? Watch out for herpes, warts, chlamydia, and HIV. Our formal education was based on biology and fear, because nobody wants teenagers touching each other! As we grow up, our culture gives us conflicting messages — sex is bad, sex is good. Depending on our gender and age we’re meant to be virginal, voracious, asexual, sexualized but not sexual, or sexual but not sexualized. It’s time to rewrite a sexual narrative that helps us as individuals, and as a society.

I realized sex is a fundamental pillar of our health and happiness, much like sleep, nutrition, exercise, purpose and relationships. Maslow includes it at the most basic level on his hierarchy of needs: physiological (like food and water).

But more than a basic physiological need, our relationship to our sexuality influences every level of this pyramid. From how clear we are enforcing our boundaries (safety), creating the sense of intimacy we crave (belonging), how we feel about who we are sexually (esteem) to the ability to express our sexual desires (self-actualization), sexuality has a fundamental influence on the quality of our experience of life.

Despite how fundamental sex is, it’s not something we consciously work on like we do on other aspects of our life because it’s shrouded in shame, stigma and cultural baggage. On top of that, we often think that our sexual experience is a fixed state that must be accepted as it is. Relationships suffer and break down when sex goes awry; it causes embarrassment, self consciousness, and self loathing. The complex relationship we have with sexuality takes a huge toll — it manifests in unhealthy ways and means we miss out on heightened pleasure, deeper intimacy and unparalleled connection.

While everyone’s experiences are individual, there are things you can do to improve your sexual understanding in ways that are applicable to most humans. This is why we created Coral: to help improve your sex life, and in doing so, your life.

Coral is designed to meet you where you’re at personally, while acknowledging that you don’t know what you don’t know — so it’s hard for you to know what questions to ask. We give you a foundation of knowledge, combined with exercises, quizzes, and stories to guide you on an exploration to deeper confidence, connection and insight. We also give you a place to share safely with other people like you.

Our mission is to bring sexual wellness into society, one person at at time. If we get this right, we will have helped you navigate your personal journey into sexuality, to the happiest and healthiest place imaginable! It’s exciting, it’s scary and it’s an experiment I’d love you to be a part of. If we create a new norm around sexuality, we will be enhanced individuals, experience healthier relationships, and rewire the way we relate to each other more broadly.

If you’d like to join us on this journey, please sign up for our private beta here. You can also read more about my thinking at isharna.com

An Australian living in LA, thinking deeply about culture, health, tech, politics. Founder of Coral, because better sex is possible.