Andrea, you are building up the O.school – tell us a bit more about that.
O.school is a welcoming, online resource for all things sex and sexuality – like a non-judgmental friend you could ask anything you were curious about regarding sex or dating. I have been building this company with my team for around 1.5 years now.
When did you have the idea for O.school? What brought you there?
I came to building O.school through my own journey to heal my relationship to sex and personal identity. I grew up with a strict, Catholic family that taught me any sexual desire – let alone sex itself – before marriage was a sin. When I got to college at a young age and realized other young people knew so much more than I did, I felt unprepared and betrayed. Realizing I was queer was also a challenging experience to reconcile with my background.
To get through all of this personal growth and change, I was lucky to have the support of therapists and workshops and in-person communities. I realized that not everyone is so lucky to live in a place or context where that kind of support is accessible – so I decided I would make it my mission to create a safe, welcoming online space for the sex ed everyone deserves but not everyone gets.
What does “pleasure education” means?
Pleasure education means going beyond “sex education” as we usually think of it. It means not only talking about anatomy, disease, and contraception – which are all very important – but talking about how people can explore identify what feels good to them.
Figuring out what “pleasure” means to you is journey that requires curiosity, open-mindedness, empathy, and more. Seeking pleasure means you become more connected to your full, authentic self and also learn to clearly communicate your needs and desires to partners.
Who is O.school for?
O.school is for everyone! We strive to make it an inclusive space for people of all identities, whether that means gender, religion, past experiences, sexuality, cultural background, and more. We also work hard to be accessible to people who are new to the “sex-positive” space or terminology but who are willing to learn something new to have a healthier and happier sex life.
Why should we talk about more open about our sexuality?
Simply put, being open and honest with yourself and with others will help you get more of what you want. By being comfortable with talking about needs and desires with your partner, you are simply more likely to have a more fulfilling sex life. And partner or no partner – feeling comfortable in my skin when it comes to my sexual identity has transformed my life in so many other areas. When I figured out my personal challenges with sex and sexuality, I suddenly had more inspiration, more energy, and more ease in my business in particular.
You created the hashtag #empathywarrior: What stands it for?
Being an empathy warrior means that I use empathy as a strategic superpower. It means empathy is a valuable tool I use to deepen my relationships, forge new ones, understand my customers, and grow my business. I adopted the term “empathy warrior” because sometimes ‘emotional’ qualities are ignored or undervalued in our society and especially in business culture – but empathy is precisely the thing that has made me successful.
What do you do beside the O.school?
When I’m not busy with work (which is often!), I love traveling, crime documentaries, and making green juice.
In your opinion: What are the challenges for business women in our world?
Women are judged differently for identical behaviors
What is your advice to other women in business?
Hone your resilience and intuition. My favorite way is through expressing creativity & sexuality which are closely related for me.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to keep building impactful businesses for decades and eventually become an angel investor myself. One day, one of my personal dreams is to run a wellness retreat center with my family.