Dr. Ruth-meets-Rihanna sexpert Shannon Boodram dedicated more than a decade of her life to producing relatable online sex education content for the masses.

She moved from Toronto to Los Angeles to live her dream and worked as a wedding photographer to finance her life while she made envelope-pushing, sex-positive content for her YouTube page, Shan BOODY (674K). 

It took Shannon time to become a top sexual-wellness content creator. After her debut book Laid: Young People’s Experiences With Sex in an Easy-Access Culture didn’t sell well, Shannon focused heavily on growing her social media audience.

When the debut book of @ShanBoody didn't sell well, she focused on growing her social media audience. #YouTube #CreatorEconomy #Stan Share on X

“When you build an audience, you then have a platform that advertisers want. Because my audience and content is (sic) so niche, I was able to get a higher rate than a general [influencer] would get. You follow me if you’re passionate about your sexual health and relationships. If you’re a brand who wants to put yourself in front of people who are willing to take action in those areas, then I am indispensable to you,” she explains to The Helm.  “I noticed quickly, about eight months after starting YouTube that I had a very niche audience and community that was really valuable, so that was the first way I started to monetize.”

After years of posting and uploading content to YouTube, she’s moved on to work with major media brands like MTV and Facebook Live and recently started her podcast Lovers and Friends with help from her sister and husband.

When you build an audience, then you have a platform advertisers want, says @ShanBoody #Stan #ContentEntrepreneur #CreatorEconomy Share on X

In the past few months, she’s partnered with Squarespace, Foria, Bellsa, and other sex-positive brands. 

Why we’re a Stan: Shannon learned from a lackluster response to her first book that creators need to grow an audience first. Her subsequent YouTube videos and other content helped her do just that.

About the author

Shameyka McCalman is a wordsmith whose work often centers around fashion, art, and other creatives of color. She earned her communications degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and enjoys sifting through clothes in local vintage shops, frequenting nearby plays, and gazing at exhibitions on view in museums.