The Second Circle Podcast Series 4: Bad Sex

by Franki Cookney in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 26th March 2021 we successfully raised £5,160 with 135 supporters in 42 days

A podcast series looking at "bad sex," from dissatisfying hookups, to sexual dysfunction, body image issues and shame.

by Franki Cookney in London, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

With this extra cash I'll be able to take on an additional reporter and editor the entire series to help me with research, reporting and fact-checking.

I'll also be able to pay a dedicated PR/marketing professional to help me get this podcast out into the world and reach as many people as possible.

And finally, I'll be able to pay myself a proper wage. If we can stretch to £8,000 I'll be able to pay myself £500 an episode which will allow me to concentrate fully on making the podcast which, in turn, will help me get it finished and published quicker.


This is arguably the most sex-positive era in living memory. So why are so many of us still having bad sex?

The Second Circle is a sex and relationships podcast, hosted by me, freelance journalist Franki Cookney. You can check it out HERE

In Series Three I explored experiences of sex that often get left out of mainstream conversations. With Series Four I want to go one further and talk about the kind of sex we rarely speak about at all: the BAD SEX.

Why would I want to listen to a podcast about BAD sex?

Because we’ve all had it. What's more, it’s the side of sex we never really address. We spend a lot of time in the media talking about how to make sex better – usually with “hot tips” and lists of products to “spice things up” – but we don’t spend any time examining why we need those tips in the first place.

We have a global sexual wellness industry worth almost £35bn. We have education, information, and sexual health services in the palms of our hands. We have CBD lube, audio porn, and air suction vibrators. Prospective partners are a mere swipe away. And yet…

Data from the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (NATSAL 3) shows around half of people in the UK report some type of sexual problem, whether it’s a struggle to orgasm or concerns about their libido. I want to find out why.

Over the course of six episodes I will delve into some of the most common issues people face in their sex lives, from dissatisfying hookups, to sexual dysfunction, body image issues, and shame. I’ll piece together the cultural, social, and even economic factors that contribute to sex being bad, hear first-hand stories of “bad sex,” talk to the experts and find out what we can really do about it.


Who are you and why are you obsessed with (bad) sex?

I’m Franki Cookney. I’m a British journalist, speaker, writer, interviewer, and podcaster. You may know me from my newsletter, The Overthinker’s Guide To Sex, or indeed from previous episodes of this very podcast, The Second Circle. Or maybe you just follow me on Twitter and think I’m funny and slutty, which is also accurate.


I’ve been in the business for more than ten years and I’ve written and reported on sex and relationships for Cosmopolitan, The Guardian, The Sun, Forbes, WIRED, The Telegraph, The Indy, MEL Magazine, Refinery29, Grazia, VICE and many more – check out my portfolio HERE. My Series Three podcast episode, “Sex... with HIV,” was shortlisted at the 2020 British Medical Journalism Awards.

I aim to make sex a subject we engage with as fully, openly and enthusiastically as we do with politics, art, fitness, food and fashion. Furthermore, as an experienced journalist, I take my reporting on sex seriously and this podcast will be a research-led series that combines sex and social science with real and relatable human stories.


So what do you need from me?

I need you to want BAD SEX. I need you to want it so much you’ll support me to make it happen. 

By pledging to Series 4 of The Second Circle, not only will you be bringing much-needed discussion, research and investigation into sex and relationships to the mainstream but you’ll get to be the first to hear it! All supporters will receive early access to the finished podcast. You will also get to come with me along the way, hear updates, get exclusive access to behind-the-scenes clips and conversations, and get your hands on some cute BAD SEX merch. Keen supporters may even feature on the podcast itself! 


Where does the money go?

BAD SEX is my most ambitious series yet and I want to do it properly, with the kind of fact-led reporting and the depth of research that I bring to all my work as a professional journalist.

I’ve been lucky enough to secure some sponsorship from YES! Lube which shows that they believe in this podcast and know that this is a topic that people want and need to hear about. I’m confident that with their backing and your support I can make this vibrant and necessary podcast sound as good in your headphones as it does on paper.

Your money will go towards paying a fantastic audio producer to help me create a beautiful-sounding piece of journalism. It will cover the cost of equipment and recording, studio time and marketing. It will allow me to hire an additional reporter from time to time, not to mention an editor to help with fact-checking. Lastly, it will help to pay me, your host and the lead reporter and editor on the show. 

Here’s how it breaks down:


An audio producer will seamlessly piece the podcast together and make it sound gorgeous. I’ve budgeted for six episodes.

I already own a fair bit of podcasting equipment but I will need to cover the cost of using a remote recording platform for overseas guests and interviewees as well as studio time for those who can record in person.

I’ve budgeted for a couple of days worth of additional editing and fact-checking from a fellow freelance journalist. This can be split up into hours as and when I need them.

Then there’s a chunk to spend on marketing which covers the time, labour, and skills that will continue to go into promoting the podcast, including telling all of you about it, writing press releases, designing logos and digital marketing assets, and paying fees to promotional platforms like the one you’re on right now.

And finally, me! As the creator and host, I want to be completely transparent with you about what I’m paying myself. I will be researching, reporting, finding guests and spokespeople, sourcing case studies, interviewing people, writing scripts for the hosted segments of the podcast, recording voiceovers and being heavily involved in the editing and production every step of the way. If I hit my target, I will be receiving £350 per episode. This may seem low but please be assured I am paying everyone else fairly. 

It's an all or nothing thing so if I don't hit my target, your donation will be refunded which makes it even more foolproof - either you get an awesome podcast or you get your money back!


I’m so excited to get started on this brilliant podcast and I can’t wait to share it with you. 




This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£35 or more

Extra Bonus Episode

Yippee! Thank you for believing that sex deserves the same level of thought and attention that we give to other areas of our lives. You’ll get access to the exclusive “behind the scenes” BONUS EPISODE with unheard interviews, audio clips, bloopers, as well as details and discussions of how I made the podcast.

£10 or more

Early Access To The Podcast

Hey there and thank you! If you've managed to chuck me a tenner then I know you are on board with what I'm trying to do here – and that's amazing! All supporters will get early access to podcast episodes before they are released publicly.

£20 or more

Join The Second Circle Fan Club

Aww, thanks pal! Thank you for supporting serious conversations around sex and relationships. As well as being among the first to hear the new series, I’m going to send you a little The Second Circle fan kit containing a badge and a sticker so you can quite literally wear your support on your sleeve!

£50 or more

Your Name On The Podcast

Well hello, you amazing human! You are helping bring much-needed discussion, research and investigation into sex and relationships to the mainstream and so your name will appear in the credits of the podcast as a permanent record of your support. Plus, you’ll get the bonus episode, fan kit and you’ll be on the early access list.

£100 or more

6 of 10 claimed

The Second Circle Goodie Bag

O generous one! Thank you so much for supporting this investigation into why so many of us are still having disappointing sex. Not only will you get all the rewards listed above but you’ll receive a special BAD SEX goodie bag: a branded tote containing your fan kit and a personalised thank you note. The first ten people to pledge £100 will also get a tube of water-based organic lube courtesy of our lovely friends at YES!

£200 or more

4 of 10 claimed

Come To The Launch Party

Please know your faith in me will be rewarded. Naturally you’ll get all the gestures of thanks I’ve listed above. I’d also like to invite you to celebrate the launch of The Second Circle Series 4 with me – either virtually or (fingers crossed!) in London later this year – so I can thank you in person.

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