Expanding their media brand, building editorial content and hosting creative events, Salty seeks to offer the world a much-needed arena that is able to bring women, trans, and nonbinary voices together and talk about sex without commercial censorship, bias, or straight white guys. We spoke to the Salty team about their tough start— being banned by MailChimp— and how they see this style of media making your sex so, so much saltier.
I feel like there so many media spaces that are just pretending to be unbiased and open, like yours is, but there's a barrier in being able to trust what they're saying about sex, especially towards women. And as a women, it's hard to find anyone talking about sex unless it’s in the context of politics, but there's not always the substance behind that sentiment with so much of the feminist message having become commercialied. And then there's shit like Cosmo— and we end up with either the stereotypical "Angry Feminist" or just plain sexism.
I’m not afraid of being the "Mad Feminist". But I want to make sure this is a place where we celebrate that concept and don't condemn. Instead of using our energy saying, “you’re doing the wrong thing”, we just find the people doing the right thing and focus on featuring that.
And what about allowing men to enter the conversation?
It’s funny because I don't really care if men have an opinion in the Salty space at all. My sister in law asked if this was a place where men can be educated on feminism, and I responded that it wasn’t. I frankly don't have the time. There’s so much rage-bait, we know how infuriating it is to be a woman having sex today. Can we just have a space that talks about it? It’s the kind of conversation that you would have with your girlfriends, on modern dating and relationships. We’re not going to be an educational platform because as soon as you start to talk about Feminist Sex, people want to do panels and talks. It becomes very granola, and Salty is sexy and fun. It's kind of part Playboy, part Cosmo— but minus all the bullshit.
You're unifying without even trying to be unifying— because we're are all able to understand such a relateable subject.
I'm not here for us to be picking each other apart, we all have to help each other. There is no hidden agenda, we’re not trying to sell you something in the background. How the fuck we're gonna make any money, I'm not sure yet— but I know the brands will come.
Well lifestyle products are a good way to make money, so you can work with vibrators and sex toy companies?
I don't really know if we want to go down that route. Once you do that you become “the sex toy space”, and it's like, no— sex is relationships, health, working out, lifestyle, communication. It's so many other things. I really see Salty becoming bigger than that so there’s a long term goal, and gain here. Inclusivity and intersectionality has to be baked into the brand because these larger brands are too big to pivot, the culture there is so exclusionary. These kind of voices have to come from the outside like you have to be an independent media brand in order to include people in the way they want.
Yeah, the message is much more believable when it comes from independent publications, rather than these big corporate ones, because, as we discussed before— there is always a hidden agenda. Or it is run by bros.
So what’s next? Or I guess, what's now?
We have to get everything up and running— we started with the newsletter, and that's out this month and will be going every month. Then we’re doing a lot of events, starting with a panel discussion on “circumventing censorship”. It's basically tips and tricks for sex positive activists marketing brands and sex workers on getting their word out. There are just so many ways that women and activists can’t speak about sex online.
Are you going to be constantly creating content on a site?
Yeah, there’s a website. All the content that goes on the newsletter is going to live on the site.
So it is like an actual print magazine, rather than an online platform, in regards to the content not going up every day.
Yeah, I took a lot of the traditional elements of a magazine and the difference is it's just digital. This year is just about small iterations of bigger events we want to do next year. For example, Amplify Fest which would be an all-women music festival. This year we’ll do monthly nights where we have female performers. We’ll do pop up shops once in a while so when we go to do Fem Con in year it’ll be seamless.
What if men want to come to the events?
Men are welcome to attend but there voice doesn't have a space. We welcome them to subscribe but they can’t contribute. They have enough spaces.