Co Meath biochemist goes in search of herself and her ‘lady bits’

Television: Yewande Biala is charming and full of empathy in Secrets of the Female Orgasm, where she speaks forthrightly about her sexual hang-ups

Yewande Biala in Channel 4's Secrets of the Female Orgasm. Photograph: Spung Old TV

Life after Love Island has been a mixed bag for Irish contestants. Maura Higgins parlayed reality television into a successful presenting career in the UK. Others have vanished faster than a tan line during an Irish summer. Somewhere in the middle is Yewande Biala, the Co Meath biochemist who entered the villa in 2019 and has since spoken out about the racism she suffered on the show.

Biala is a natural in front of the camera and it’s a surprise we haven’t seen more of her since Love Island (she has written a book about mental health, Reclaiming: Essays On Finding Yourself One Piece at a Time and appeared on Dancing With The Stars Ireland). She is charming and full of empathy in Secrets of the Female Orgasm (Channel 4, 10pm), a documentary about sexuality where she speaks forthrightly about what she regards as her sexual hang-ups.

This is a hugely personal subject matter, and Biala is to be praised for her frankness. “Today I’m going to look at my vagina,” she says, en route to a session with “sex and pleasure coach” Lacey Haynes.

She isn’t joking: Biala is encouraged to hold a mirror and gaze at her “lady bits”. “The prospects of looking down there in a room full of other women is frankly mortifying,” she says.


Biala worries she is sexually repressed because of her strict upbringing. She describes Ireland as a “Catholic country,” but many of her issues stem from her relationship with her mother. They get together at a candle-making class, where they don’t see eye to eye. “Do you not think women should be more open to exploring their sexuality?” says Biala. Her mother shakes her head, “I don’t feel cool with it.”

Secrets of the Female Orgasm suffers from a misleading title. Biala meets various experts and sex therapists. However, the film is ultimately about her struggles around her identity: the tension between being her own person and living up to her parent’s expectations. That impacts her sexuality yet also affects the rest of her life.

“I lived my life doing everything everyone wanted,” she says, dabbing away tears in a doctor’s surgery. “It’s difficult. When I’m doing things for myself, I feel I’m letting everyone else down.”

The documentary ends where it begins, with Biala yet to work through her sexual issues. But if it doesn’t really go anywhere, she is a likable presenter, and you can imagine her thriving in a format where she doesn’t have to delve so deeply into her personal life.