The Midwest Teen Sex Show, an ongoing web series with 24 episodes out so far, provides sex ed for teenagers with a healthy dose of humor and wit. The popular series has more than 400,000 fans, but YouTube, Facebook and MySpace are not among them.
MTSS, created by former high school friends Guy Clark and Nikol Hasler, looks at sex education without the use of nudity or profanity, opting instead for sketch comedy routines that discuss subjects from condoms to fetishes.
KoldCast received form letters after inquiring why MTSS was removed; additional requests to place ads on MySpace and even for further explanation have gone unreturned. Tilzy’s Josh Cohen has the rundown of the yanked episodes.
“We had hoped that if we reached out to them they would respond and realize they had made a mistake,” Hasler said. “That hasn’t happened, and frankly, we are more than just a bit irritated. Since we often speak about how important it is for the web to have controls in place that promote safety, it is troubling to see these venues, which are lauded for their diligent supervision and safety monitoring, ‘all for the good of the children,’ simply use their delete button based on the name of a show.”
Clark agreed that getting the networking sites to respond has been challenging. “Have you ever tried to appeal to these companies? It’s worse than appealing to a court – the court will hear you and respond,” he said. “These companies send scripted, nonresponsive responses if that.”
Parents, meanwhile, have been supportive of the series, Hasler said.
“One parent even left a note on their family computer letting her daughter know she should watch our show,” Hasler said. “Another parent uncomfortable providing sex education to her children uses MTSS to accomplish the task. Stories like these abound. We don’t get 400,000 monthly views because our audience is shy.”
Clark, who produces the show, combined his love of humor and sex into MTSS, and initially used the series as a way to show off his filmmaking skills with the hopes of landing work. “We realized the show fills a much-needed space for both teens and adults wanting something that can help promote discussion of sexuality in a positive and entertaining way,” he said.
Funding for the series initially came from those involved, until Episode 17 when MTSS landed a sponsorship deal with KoldCast.TV. The sponsorship ends in April, but the creators hope to land an extension.
As for the future of MTSS, Hasler said the plan is to “keep making the show until we are in the old folk’s home,” and that upcoming installments are on a per-episode basis because of such factors as funding and time.
“Right now we have our next episode planned and will have to determine from there if we can continue production,” she said.
In the meantime, fans have continued to support the show, launching a new Facebook group called “Hey Facebook: Bring Back the MTSS Facebook Group.”
“We think that is such a wonderful idea, but getting the people at Facebook to notice is the bigger challenge,” Clark said. “Maybe we could report the group as offensive and see if they delete it or take a minute to look at the group and investigate further.”