Smutlancer Spotlight: Ashley Cobb
Did you know that May is Masturbation Month? *laughs* Of course, you did. Look who I’m talking to right now. *winks* I hope you had so many orgasms this month that you make it a practice for every month.
But did you know about the orgasm gap and how it impacts gender? Forbes has an interesting breakdown of the statistics.
“Studies have found that heterosexual women are the demographic having the least orgasms during sex… It has [also] been found that lesbian and bisexual women have significantly more orgasms than heterosexual women…Similarly… a study found that 39% of women said they always orgasm when they masturbate, compared to 6% during sex… A study conducted by Durex found that 20% of women said they don’t orgasm, compared to 2% of men. Three out of four women said they can’t achieve orgasm during sex and while 30% of men said they thought the best way to help a woman orgasm is through penetrative sexual acts, more than half of women pointed to clitoral stimulation as a way to make them finish.”
Though most research on orgasm inequity has studied cis women, trans and non-binary people with vaginas may relate to the frustrations of being taught their genitals are impossible to decode, too, according to everydayfeminism.com.
The experience of pleasure and sexual anatomy as a whole can get even more tricky when factoring in race. Dr. mariel buquè, a psychologist who champions affirming mental healthcare for POCs, told the Black Youth Project that “Black women and femme bodies have been stripped, exploited, used as stock, and then hypersexualized and made to appear unsafe [since slavery]. Imagine, with a social history like that, what kind of relationship Black women and femmes have been conditioned to have, with their own bodies and sensuality.”
Writer Tamara Winfrey Harris states in a Cosmopolitan article that “black women’s earliest days in the Western world, we have been branded as wanton and sexually voracious sirens — Jezebels — a far cry from white women who were, for the most part, seen as inherently pure.”
And a study highlighted in the Washington Post showed that “black girls in the United States are perceived by adults as much less innocent than white girls… Black girls are [also] adultified, sexualized and deemed overly aggressive from a young age.”
It’s no wonder that this month’s smutlancer spotlight, Ashley Cobb (she/her), focuses on bringing the conversation of Black women’s pleasure to the forefront, and across generational lines in her work.
Ashley Cobb, “your favorite friend in filth”, is a sexpert, leader, and influencer known for her fun, down to earth and practical commentary that’s been featured in top media outlets to include Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Self Magazine, Women’s Health, Black Love Doc, Shape, and many more. She’s also the sex advice columnist for Madame Noire.
With her degrees in biology and health promotion, Ashley is able to combine two of her favorite things, science and sex, into a cohesive platform that makes the pleasure principle more like the pleasure placement. Ashley spends countless hours experimenting, researching, and trying new tools to empower Black women to get in tune with their bodies and rediscover pleasure.
In our interview, Ashley talks about how long it took her to make her first dollar as a smutlancer; how she used her degree to carve out a lane for herself; the wildest thing she has experienced as a smutlancer and more. Enjoy!
How do you make money as a smutlancer? What topic and/or type of content do you get paid to create?
I make money mainly as a writer. I am a freelance writer, specializing in sexual wellness. I also make money as an ambassador for Lovehoney toy company. As an ambassador, I represent the brand on social media by discussing products, offers, etc.
How long have you been a smutlancer? When did you get interested in sex and creating content about it?
I have been creating sex-related content since 2016. I started out as a pleasure educator, hosting toy and blow job parties. I also started my then blog in 2016 as well.
Are you a full-time or part-time smutlancer? Do you have a day job?
I have been a full-time smutlancer since December 2019. This has been the best year and four months of my life. I used to think that I would always need a job, that because I wasn’t working as a sex therapist or health educator, I wouldn’t be able to afford my lifestyle without a job.
Are you open with anyone about the work you do?
My brand is named “Sex With Ashley” so there was no hiding it. Most people know that I do something that relates to sex, even if they don’t know what that is exactly lol.
When and how did you realize this was what you wanted to do professionally?
I’ve always had an interest in sexual wellness. My Bachelor’s [degree] is in Health Promotion. I originally wanted to become a health educator. After graduation, jobs were few and far between in my area. As a result, I started my blog and decided to create my own job. It took three years before I made my first dollar and another whole year before I would be able to make enough money to support myself. The first few years were about building my brand.
How did you get started and how long before you felt like you had “made it?”
I am currently living answered prayers. I remember many days praying for the opportunity to be able to work full time within my passion. Even though, I’ve come a long way since 2016. I’m still not where I want to be. Maybe in five years or so I will feel like I’ve made it. lol. Ultimately, I want to be the Oprah of sex! When black women all over the country think sex, I want them to think [of] Ashley Cobb.
What’s one thing you wish you had known when you became a smutlancer?
The biggest lesson I learned about creating sex-centered content is to not have all of your content on one platform. Grow multiple social media platforms as well as your own. If one platform disables you, there are others to fall back on.
What does a typical day look like for you when you’re smutlancing?
A typical day for me consists of writing articles, zoom meetings, preparing content for the week, and recording my podcast.
What, if anything, is your favorite content to create or type of smutlancing work to do?
I love writing for my advice column. That’s probably my favorite part of my job because I get asked all sorts of questions. It’s nice to know I am helping people have better sex.
In a perfect world, what would you want your legacy to be as a smutlancer?
My legacy will be that I helped Black women all over the world be able to explore their sexuality guilt-free.
Who or what inspired you to become a smutlancer?
One of the biggest reasons why I chose to do this is because there were not many black women in this space. I wanted to be the representation other Black Women so desperately needed.
Name the best, strangest, funniest, or wildest thing you’ve experienced as a smutlancer.
On my podcast, Hoe and Tell, I had a guest who was an escort, and she had a client whose kink was to masturbate to dead people. So, she would play dead for him.