The internet may offers countless platforms for people to expose their trues selves, but at times it can also be a very judgmental place. Shelby Sells – it's her real name, by the way – is the American artist who’s chosen Instagram to challenge online shaming and educate her followers on healthy attitudes towards sex and kink.

Originally from a small town where she suffered slut-shaming first hand, the self-confessed perv moved to LA where she started a blog to showcase her smutty collages and intimate interviews with friends, including rapper and producer Father. She's currently in school at Hunter College studying psychology and human sexuality, and she has been speaking at events focusing on peer groups such as young moms and young adults on how to express their sexuality in a positive way – she was just flown to LA to speak to Fashion Mamas. She also makes lingerie and accessories that are flying off the shelves, and maintains a racy Instagram presence that Highsnobiety featured in our piece about artists trolling Instagram's nudity policy.

We chatted with Shelby over Skype to find out more about her so-called pervy ways and the story behind about that pic with A$AP Rocky:

Why was it so important to you to talk about sex openly and without shame?

I think, honestly, because I was so shamed for it growing up. I grew up in a very religious household, you know, and then I got sent away to “bad girl” boarding school. For real, it was like Girl, Interrupted. When I went there, I hadn't even done anything, I hadn't even been properly fingered or had sex or done anything yet, because of religion, and thinking that sex was bad.

But I've always been a kind of flirtatious and charming person, and there were guys at that school that were like, "you're a fucking slut, you're a drug addict!"

I talk about sex all the time. I don't get why there is that shame associated with sex. Like, if you have a bad sexual reputation, it affects every aspect of your life. It should be separate, or it shouldn't matter. Why are you judging? That has nothing to do with you; it's your personal thing. People who judge are just mad because they’re not having enough sex, but I'm trying to help you, so let's talk about it!

You've been open about porn, too. What kind of porn do you watch?

It depends on the mood. Sometimes, I watch porn to masturbate, but then other times I'll watch it just because I'm curious to see what's going on out there.

Most of the porn that I watch is amateur; it feels more realistic to me. I've been really into dirty talk in Spanish, where they're fucking and speaking in Spanish to each other. I have no idea what they're saying, but it's so hot. I'm like, just keep talking.

Do you still feel any sort of shame when it comes to sex?

I get people trying to slut-shame me, still, which is annoying...

How do you deal with that?

I'm just like, "Fuck off! It's none of your business." It's mostly just guys, I feel, that want to hook up with me that I don't want to hook up with. As I'm getting older, I’ve realized a lot of things that people try to shove down your throat or make you feel bad about is just a projection of them.

So, I try not to take it personally. I try to keep it positive or not react, because I feel like these people just want a reaction. But I don't have shame about sex: I don't feel bad for being a horny person or wanting to have sex with someone, I think that's totally normal. Everyone likes to do it, even priests, you know?

Tell me more about your Instagram account.

I've had my Instagram deleted seven times!

And did you lose all your followers?

Yeah, well, here's the thing: it kept being brought back. Like, I got them to bring it back most of the time, except for in November 2016, they deleted it permanently, so I had 70,000 followers on my old one, and then when they deleted it permanently, and they also blocked me on Facebook for a month.

They’re all part of the same company now.

Yeah. I mean, I was pushing them to see if they would actually delete it, because they had been deleting it and bringing it back so many times. So then I posted a picture of a naked sex doll, and I guess that was it. It looked too real.

How did that change the way you work?

I had to take a step back and reflect. I mean, I think that I'm helping people – at least, that's the feedback that I get – and I want to continue to help educate people and make them feel safe and comfortable in their own bodies, so I had to re-evaluate how I wanted to approach this.

I thought that if Instagram is gonna be riding my ass like that, I honestly have to play the game, you know, which sucks, because I'm not a rule follower. Now I only post modest posts on IG and I leave the rest on my blog. But some people get away with it and some don't. It's just life.

You reveal quite a bit on Instagram. If there were no community guidelines, how far would you go in terms of showing off your body?

I just released nudes in my new zine that I put out, because I kind of wanted to be like, "Fuck it, I don't care anymore." I mean, I have a great body (laughs). I'm not going to look like this forever. When I'm 80 years old, I want to look back and be like, "Yes, bitch, you look good and you fucking did that!”

Would you ever do porn, though?

No. Porn's a lot of work. I've considered it, obviously, but for me, sex is really personal and pretty intimate, so I don't think I'd be able to do it. Also, I'm really bratty, I'm just like, "I don't want to fuck you. I don't care how much money you throw at me. I don't like you."

What's the story behind that picture with you and A$AP Rocky?

I died over that picture, it was such a rare moment. He has a new TV show on MTV and I went to go cover it and do social media to help promote it. So I met A$AP, and I was wearing these Dickies pants, and he grabbed the belt of them, and he was like, "Are you gonna let me borrow these?"

I was choking, like, "Literally take them off my body, I don't care!" (laughs.) Later, I posed with Playboi Carti, and Rocky saw us and just ran over to join us. But yeah, I don't think there are many girls that have many photos out there with them like that. So, blessed.

What other work have you been doing?

Interviews with amazing artists and photography, random videos, paintings. I've been creating, but I haven't been putting it out – but all of that is gonna be coming out soon.

And what's next for you?

I've really been enjoying making videos, and I'm working on a project with different couples centred around kissing that I think will be really fun. I've just been trying to work with different artists and keep doing what I'm doing, hopefully, get to the point where I can be in more high-end gallery shows and get paid to do all of this and not have to have another job.

I want to speak more, too. I've been doing a lot of A&A events and that's been a lot of fun. I love talking to people even though I might not know the exact answer.

Learn about Shelby Sells' current show here. She also has a radio show on 8 Ball Radio (an underground art club) that solely focuses on sex education and relationship advice – you can find the first episode here and the rest of the episodes here.

Now check out 14 artists you should be following on Instagram.

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