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With her new critical thinking card game, Flex Mami is getting candid about sex

IMAGES VIA FLEX MAMI

WORDS BY GENEVIEVE PHELAN

 

“Getting candid involves getting real with all of our sexual hang-ups.”

You probably know Lillian Ahenkan – TV host, author, DJ, podcaster and frequent sexual commentator – by the moniker of Flex Mami. But Lillian Ahenkan’s stage-name has transcended her online presence and dovetailed into a tangible, technicolour store (dubbed Flex Factory), replete with critical thinking card games and loud home stuff, made for anyone who wants to add some flavour to their life.

She’s an influential force on social media. But it’s in the physical products of her gritty thinking and norm-challenging that she’s embarking on a mission of widespread, cognitive change. This year seems Bigger Than Prince for Flex already – she’s teased her time on the upcoming season of Big Brother and is now launching a new conversation card game in collab with Lovehoney: ReFlex Sex


Oh, you want more taboo talk? You’ve come to the right place. Right this way.


The new game is less about wild coitus and cheap thrills and is instead designed to create genuine, deep chats around what intimacy, connection, consent and good sex means. It’s a considered way of conversing about everything carnal and confronting.

With ReFlex Sex hitting dining room tables and bedsides across the country, I caught up with Lil to get to the marrow of the new deck, why it exists and how we can get the most out of the game. 

Hi Lil! So who should play this game? 

Anyone who’s interested in talking about sex, having (better) sex, improving their relationship to sex and unpacking their biases around sex. 

Who shouldn’t play this game?

People who don’t want to have good sex. People who don’t want to learn more about themselves. People who don’t want to build connection and intimacy through good conversation. 

Why did you make this game? And who wrote the prompts? 

Somehow over the course of my career, I found myself being a bit of a sexual commentator, and I’ve made it a point to facilitate little conversations with my audience about sex, through surveys, polls, and questionnaires. Naturally, those who participated in these conversations and were also familiar with ReFlex asked if I’d consider making a sex-themed [version] and I said “duh” because it’s an obvious no-brainer to me.

Further to that, I recognised there aren’t a lot of environments for people to have conversations about that that aren’t crude, sexual or medical. WHICH I HATE. I wanted to give people the tools to have an insightful, entertaining, educational and informed convo about it that’s like, also fun. So I put my head down and tried to write as many sex-centric questions about sex, pleasure, consent, STI, fantasy and the industry. I haven’t even scratched the surface. 

What are some other ways we can get better at talking about sex? 

The most obvious one is to start having conversations about sex WHEN YOU’RE NOT HAVING SEX! Also understanding that you won’t get better at talking about it unless you actually try. 

ReFlex Sex unlocks someone’s ability to ‘get candid’ about what sex means to them. What exactly does that mean or sound like to you? 

Conversations about sex are often so prescriptive and performative. Most people are more concerned with seeming sexually “on the pulse” rather than actually being performed. People often confuse crude or crass sex talk with open, honest conversation. Getting candid involves getting real with all of our sexual hang-ups and gaps in understanding. Stop trying to appear like you’ve got all the info when in reality, most of us are just getting by on trial and error.  

Are there any cards you had to omit that you wish were in there? Or any in there now that you’re unsure about? 

As a seasoned critical thinker and professional conversation haver, I always want to dive headfirst into the deep, HEAVY and juicy stuff. I recognise a lot of people who will play this game aren’t as comfy with having big chats so I didn’t want to alienate them with conversations about sexual trauma, niche kinks or anything that was too philosophical. I feel completely comfy with the questions we launched with, but good news is we’re launching a second sex game (eventually) which will include all the topics I didn’t get to ask. 

In your opinion, what’s the ‘hardest’ or most confronting prompt in the deck? 

Probably the question that asks “Why do you have sex?” Sounds pretty simple, but it’s so overwhelming when you come to the realisation that you do it for reasons like validation, forcing intimacy, or creating power dynamics. 

For someone who finds it really hard to talk about sex, how can they approach/try to embrace ReFlex Sex?

Go hard. There’s no easy way to approach something you’re uncomfortable with, and I don’t care to force or convince someone to do something they don’t want to. I can vouch for the fact that you’ll always be proud of yourself for engaging in a big chat that teaches you more about yourself and the people you like.

What’s your fave card in the deck? Why? 

“Who or what has influenced your views on sex?” I love hearing people theorise and critically unpack their sexual identity, especially because we don’t do it often. The answers are always SO ILLUMINATING!

Ready to talk about S-E-X? Grab yourself a pack of ReFlex Sex cards here.

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