April Maria aka Venus Libido is a sex educator also providing intimacy coaching. She has grown an authentic audience since the start of 2018 and prides herself on creating honest and relatable content. Her work is primarily focused on sex education, sex toys, endometriosis awareness, periods, mental health and sex and relationships advice. 

 

Tell us about you.

I’m April Maria, although in this world I’m known as Venus Libido, which is not my real name (my parents are not that cool). I have recently made the decision to start using my real name.  I’m a sex educator but I also do intimacy coaching and I’m training psychosexual therapist and relationship therapist. I work with both individuals and couples to help them reconnect with themselves and learn to love their bodies again. I really just love talking about sex and pleasure.

How did you get get into sex education & intimacy coaching?

I started an Instagram account back in 2018. I was not in a good place. I was really conflicted about my own identity and who I was in the world. But I knew that I was always really connected to my body. I was so fascinated about the female experience when it comes to pleasure. 

My Instagram account was predominantly illustrations. I started doing drawings about what women do behind the scenes in their own private spaces, whether that’s plucking pubic hairs or masturbating or drinking and watching porn, whatever it was. I was basically just drawing my own experiences and hoping that they would resonate with others and help them feel less alone about their existence in general.

From there,  I had this burning desire to make a TV show. I pitched this idea to a sex toy company,  of a mini TV series or YouTube series. I wanted it to touch on different people’s experiences of sex  because I didn’t see anybody talking about it. I wanted to understand how others experienced pleasure.

 My idea was taken up by the sex toy company and it turned out really well. I learned so much. It’s called ‘Private Parts’. From there, I just had this huge interest in continuing to talk about sex and pleasure in an open , non-judgmental, safe way. I just started experimenting with that on my social media and talking about sex toys and sex tech.

I trained as a sex educator, and that was what my work kind of just turned into over the years. I’m still interested in learning even more, which is why I also do intimacy coaching sessions and I’m now training as a psychosexual therapist. 

Social media played a big part in my liberation… a screen gives you an extra layer of protection. That’s kind of why I made Venus Libido because I wanted this alter ego where I could be somebody else.  And now I’m at a place in my life where I’m comfortable being April. But I’m so grateful for Venus because she allowed me to come out and explore things that I might not have explored in person.

 

 

Meet April Maria aka Venus Libido, the acclaimed sex educator providing intimacy coaching.
Meet April Maria aka Venus Libido, the acclaimed sex educator providing intimacy coaching.

 

What was your journey to sexual liberation?

As I said, I have always been really connected to my body, but I was still shy about it growing up..

I’m pansexual and I felt really embarrassed about the way that people spoke about sexuality at school. If you were having too much sex, you were a  ‘slut’ or if you weren’t having enough sex , you were ‘frigid’.  If you were into girls, you were a weirdo. There were so many awful stigmas like that.  It took me a long time to feel very comfortable with certain aspects of my sexuality. I think it started to happen just as I came out of a long (9 year) relationship. 

Social media played a big part in my liberation. Being able to connect with people who uplifted me made me feel more comfortable about certain aspects of myself, especially around being pansexual and enjoying sex as a woman. A screen gives you an extra layer of protection. That’s kind of why I made Venus Libido because I wanted this alter ego where I could be somebody else.  And now I’m at a place in my life where I’m comfortable being April with my educating and intimacy coaching But I’m so grateful for Venus because she allowed me to come out and explore things that I might not have explored in person.

Do you have a mission in your coaching and educating?

My mission with my sex education and intimacy coaching is to empower people to break down those awful barriers that get in the way of experiencing pleasure. I want to help people realise that  regardless of who they  are or how they identify, everyone is entitled  to experience pleasure in whichever shape or form that takes. Do not deny yourself of that. 

 

I think LELO is honestly the most incredible toy company. Not just because of quality, but the technology too.  I think it’s really interesting when brands take a long time to really think about the way that things shape around our genitals, but also how a toy can be utilised in other areas of the body.

 

Talk us through a typical intimacy coaching session. 

Normally, we start off by identifying a person’s goals. Asking why have you come to intimacy coaching? What are you looking to gain from working with me? 

Then we’ll start to kind of recognise unhealthy habits or ideas around sex,  your body or your relationships. And we practise unlearning them. A big part of my intimacy coaching is kind of implementing pleasure practices that people can do outside of the sessions.

My intimacy coaching is about helping people to realise that these things come with practice and time and sex and pleasure is actually all about taking it  slow and being gentle with yourself. Society is so rushed. It’s okay to take an evening or an hour out of your day and just focus on your body and your mind and really tap into that. It’s not even necessarily about putting on porn or masturbating, it’s about being in touch with all the senses of your body. Slow pleasure is a really big thing for me.

Give us an example of a pleasure practice.

In my intimacy coaching I worked with a couple recently on a practice where it was about learning to identify what the other person likes without putting your pleasure first. You can implement this outside of the bedroom too. I mean not just doing something for somebody because you know they like it, but because it’s a way to understand them better. It’s doing it with the intention of,  I want to learn more about you and your body or the things that you enjoy.

So in my intimacy coaching I encourage couples to spend some time working on this by asking lots and lots of questions saying, Would you like it if I touched you here? Does that feel good? What would you like me to do next or does this feel nice? How can I make this feel better for you? That way you get to really learn how to better communicate about what each other wants in the bedroom. That’s one of the things I normally get people to do first if they’re struggling to understand each other’s bodies or if they’re stuck in a routine of having the same kind of sex on repeat. 

I was with someone for nine years and the sex was the same all the time and it was nobody’s fault. We just never asked  each other about what we were interested in trying. Boundaries and expectations are constantly changing within a relationship and that’s normal. It’s nothing to fear. 

 

Being non-monogamous or exploring outside of a relationship doesn’t always have to lead to sex. A lot of people that I meet enjoy just the flirtation side of it or talking to people on apps as a couple. It’s more about that whole arousal and excitement  around being wanted by somebody else and your partner seeing that.

 

What’s your favourite thing about your work?

I love to see somebody say that they’ve learnt something new about themselves and it has made them feel better about themselves. Whether it’s from reading my blog, something I’ve posted on social media or through my intimacy coaching, that’s the best thing about my job. 

What are the most common intimacy issues you see with clients?

When it comes to couples in my intimacy coaching, it tends to be that they are finding it difficult to find time to prioritise each other, or things have gotten a little boring. Everybody wants something new and exciting, but we don’t always realise that we  already have the tools to do that. It’s about widening our minds.

For individuals, they want to try something new to explore their pleasure.  I’m really big on sex tech and toys and enhancing our pleasure as much as possible.  So a lot of people ask me for my recommended toys or for advice around the right sex parties to go to or where to start with porn.

In 5  years I’ll hopefully be a trained psychosexual therapist and still be intimacy coaching. I want  to have my own practice, and to live somewhere in the south of Italy, or Greece, by the sea. Fun fact about me- one of my kinks is water, so I love being near it!

 

Do you have any standout sex toys?

I think LELO is honestly the most incredible toy company. Not just because of quality, but the technology too.  I think it’s really interesting when brands take a long time to really think about the way that things shape around our genitals, but also how a toy can be utilised in other areas of the body. For example, their Soraya Beads, which are anal beads, are great. The design of the vibrations have been inspired by a violin and the way it glides- stuff like that blows my mind. 

I would say that  if you really want to buy a toy and invest, LELO is the  best brand for me, but then there’s lots of other little brands. So, one of my favourite toys is the Zumio. It just looks like an earbud but it vibrates really quickly, so it’s really good for those who want pinpoint stimulation. I’ve had that one for years. I’ve actually gone through a couple because I keep breaking them!

 

April Maria, the sex toy guru providing intimacy coaching.
April Maria, the sex toy guru providing intimacy coaching.

 

What’s an interesting current sex trend to you?

People exploring outside of their relationship is becoming more and more common. Sex parties particularly. I think people want to either see their partner being wanted by other people or are interested in the idea of being wanted by many people in one space. I think that’s really interesting. And I think it’s becoming more and more normalised which is great. 

It took me a really long time to be comfortable with non-monogamy.  But I think once you get over the fear, I think it can be a really healthy thing for your relationship. Now that I feel I’m in a very safe relationship with somebody I’m very comfortable exploring. But that comes with open communication, understanding each other’s boundaries, the hard no’s and then also remembering that those also might change in the moment for either of you, but if you just check in with each other, then it’s good.

Being non-monogamous or exploring outside of a relationship doesn’t always have to lead to sex. A lot of people that I meet enjoy just the flirtation side of it or talking to people on apps as a couple. It’s more about that whole arousal and excitement  around being wanted by somebody else and your partner seeing that. What arouses both me and my partner is the talking stage- talking about intimate moments with other people, and that’s a completely normal thing to do. it doesn’t always have to lead to sex.

We’ve had moments in our relationship where we’ve been speaking to people on an app and then we just turn to each other and have the best sex because it’s really turned us on.

 

How can someone maintain a healthy libido?

Make sure you’re eating healthy, consider the medications you’re taking, what you’re drinking, how much exercise you’re doing-  all of these things  play a part in how we feel about sex, our bodies and our arousal levels.

You have to learn to love your body from the inside out, so making sure you’re feeling nourished and every area of your life, but also not forgetting to prioritise solo pleasure, whether that’s touching yourself or not- just making sure that you experience pleasure as an individual. 

 

I think Sensuali is a great hub where you can discover all of these different experiences to explore. It makes it easy to discover people who are experts in various kinks. 

 

Do you think we live in a sensual society?

I think that we do. I think as humans we are still sensual, but we are constantly censored which makes it feel as though we don’t. When I talk to strangers about my intimacy coaching and sex education, people are so keen to talk about sex and pleasure and their relationships. 

But social media is censored, we are taught that sex is shameful, education was never pleasure-focused, so these things prohibit us. I just wish I had felt less ashamed about touching myself growing up and been more comfortable about my body and exploring it. I would have felt happier in my relationships and more whole as a person in general. 

 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In 5  years I’ll hopefully be a trained psychosexual therapist and still be intimacy coaching. I want  to have my own practice, and to live somewhere in the south of Italy, or Greece, by the sea. Fun fact about me- one of my kinks is water, so I love being near it!

What do you think about Sensuali?

A big part of why I am the way I am today is because of the online community that I found. I think Sensuali is a place where people will feel safe to talk about sex. 

There’s also many times where me and my partner discuss something that we would be interested in exploring, and I think Sensuali is a great hub where you can discover all of these different experiences to explore. It makes it easy to discover people who are experts in various kinks.

Any closing thoughts?

Everybody- enjoy your bodies. Explore. Don’t be ashamed. Have fun. Thank you.

 

Follow April Maria on Instagram to learn more about her intimacy coaching & sex education

Check out our interview with Oli Lips on providing sensual intimacy coaching

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Author

Iso

Author

Iso is a writer and filmmaker based in East London. She is passionate about all things erotic and leads a sexy, shame-free life in hope that she can inspire others to do the same. Originally from a Northern seaside town, she is naturally drawn to the best things in life: candyfloss, trashy karaoke bars and heart-shaped sunglasses.


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