Search icon


15th May 2023

Meet the stars banishing the taboo surrounding sex in Ireland

Sarah McKenna

Brought to you by Durex.

It’s time to ignite powerful conversations about sex and pleasure.

It may be 2023, but massive stigma still clouds conversations about sex in Ireland. If we want to  shun outdated attitudes towards sex, we need to shift the gears on how we talk about sex with our partners, our friends and our community.

For instance, research from Durex has found that 66% of people are unsatisfied with their sex lives, while a study from the ESRI determined that 60% of young men find it difficult to talk about sex with their parents.

What’s more, persisting stigma is preventing us from embracing who we really are. According to the LGBT Ireland Report, 47% of LGBTQ+ people are not open about their identities, while 55% avoid holding hands with their same-sex partner in public.

We all deserve better. Something has to change.

It’s clear that a cultural shift is overdue, and Durex is on a mission to revolutionise the way we talk about sex.

In order to be truly open and comfortable in discussing sex, sexuality and pleasure, we must shake off the shame and stigma of times gone by, and embrace a progressive, vibrant culture of sex. Once we do, we create the freedom for ultimate pleasure.

The first step? Igniting powerful conversations.

At the Mission Launch event in Opium, some of Ireland’s brightest stars – Grace Alice O’Sé, Paddy Smyth, Rob Kenny, Gráinne Binns and Marcus O’Laoire – got together to share powerful opinions and push for a sexual revolution.

Paddy Smyth shed some light on the stigma that surrounds sex and disability.

“As a disabled person you know, we’re never really seen as sexually expressive or even desirable,” he said. “So, to push that narrative forward and to show that even if you are disabled, you can still have good sex!”

Marcus O’Laoire, meanwhile, spoke about the power of open conversations when it comes to being your authentic self.

“People are coming out more open to experience, a little bit queerer, maybe having shared experiences with gay friends, with female friends, with people in their community, where sex isn’t as stigmatised,” he said. “I think fundamentally, we get one shot at life, we get one experience, we only get to be young once, why wouldn’t you take pleasure from one of the most perfect things in the world, which is sex!”

No topic was off-limits, from sharing your likes and dislikes, and even a penis ring toss game the crowd went wild for!

Who could have guessed that trying to throw rings over giant penises would serve as a powerful catalyst for conversations about sex?

As well as empowering conversations, the launch featured electrifying live performances from Ping Pong Disco and sets from the Mother DJs, while guests enjoyed condoms and cocktails – the perfect accompaniment for stigma-kicking conversation.

Indeed, it was a a one-of-a-kind mission launch, but it’s just getting started. Get involved by igniting open and honest conversations about sex with your own friends, your partner and your community. Once we do that, we can usher in a cultural shift that champions pride, pleasure and better sex.

To follow Durex’s journey to create a more diverse, inclusive and sexually liberated Ireland, follow @Durex.Ireland on Instagram.


The night aimed to break the chains of outdated attitudes towards sex, creating positivity and igniting conversations to talk about sex! Old age taboos won’t hold us back from embracing our true sexual selves, with Durex championing the mission and change in society.

Always read the instructions. RKT-M-21361.