Alex Liu is a science and health reporter, he’s 36 years old and grew up during the 90s in an average Asian-American family, receiving a good American education. But, having suffered with repressed sexual feelings since childhood, he wants to free himself from the inherent shame of the politics and religion impeding him, to get further in touch with his queer sexuality.
Liu’s major hang up seems to be the lack of information and education he received as a child, that never satisfied his rampaging hormones. He sets out on a fact finding mission beginning with his parents. Unsurprisingly, all this conversation reveals is an even larger generational gap, with his parents receiving less information than him and his grandmother even less so. In contrast his friends are all confident speakers on the subject and, as presumably fellow sexual health workers, why wouldn’t they be? So if Alex wants more answers he’s going to have to look further afield.
Written and directed by Alex Liu, who as a sexual health educator has his own award-winning YouTube channel on sex and drug education, and as a molecular science graduate, he combines thorough research with an ordinary gay guy looking for answers approach to the subject. He finds lots of credible participants that try to give a rounded view on sex and sexuality and, whilst it’s an opportunity for Alex to find answers, it also seems an opportunity for him to push the boundaries on what he probably knows he should or shouldn’t say in public.
Driven by his oppressed emotional guilt, that almost made him commit suicide, caused mostly by his growing pains around his sexuality and coping with a society coming at him from all angles, he seeks out the sex therapists, scientists, porn sites and priests who all try to put Alex’s deviant mind at rest (although there is a long secondary glance at his fantasy references).
Contributors include Dr. William Yarber, a leading author on the subject of sexuality and a member of the famous Kinsey Institute, named after Alfred Kinsey, who did the 1st extensive research on sex in America during the 40s and 50s. The political viewpoint comes from a respectable state senator chatting about his happy marriage choice, who Alex genuinely says he could recommend some porn to, that would make the relationship even happier (this was prior to the UK’s recent Houses of Parliament tractor porn scandal!).
Overall, it makes for a fun educational ride, albeit one with a strong gay bias, which would unfortunately put off most heterosexual audiences. But mixed up with the adult LGBTQ tendencies, delivered with Alex’s high energy, sexually liberated attitude, there are a broad range of important educational sex topics covered – ones that will still remain taboo for most and a conversation best avoided.
A Sexplanation is a festival award winning documentary available on Digital Download in the UK from 6th June on iTunes, Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube and Amazon.
Film: A Sexplanation
Director: Alex Liu
Genre: Documentary, Sex Education
Stars: Alex Liu
Run time: 1hr 21min