For De Rankin, a registered nurse and popular social influencer, repressed sexual desires aren’t just dangerous to a person’s health. The psychological damage inevitably spreads to everyone in the frustrated person’s social circle including family and coworkers, according to De, who in just two years has attracted 225,000 active fans and nearly a half-million subscribers across five platforms, including her own website, DeRankin.net.
“Research has shown that sexual repression has a detrimental effect on mental health,” says De, a photogenic blonde with a voluptuous build, who earlier in life turned down modeling contracts with Victoria’s Secret and others at the behest of disapproving male relatives (first her father, and then her eventual ex-husband.)
Instead of modeling, De conceded to family pressure and pursued a medical career. She now serves as head of nursing operations for a large insurance company. In the last few years, she’s also built a huge, avid fan base and a multimillion-dollar business online helping lonely and sexually frustrated people explore their repressed desires with her.
“A person’s inability to express their desires and feel valued and not shamed causes a cascading affect around them,” she says. “Their partners, children, coworkers all feel the wrath of the person as they look for other outlets. The worst cases lead to suicide attempts and loss of family members.”
De’s opinions about the harm caused by suppressed fantasies are backed up by the psychologist and bestselling author of Sex at Dawn, Christopher Ryan.
“Unfortunately,” wrote Ryan in Psychology Today, “the distorted rage resulting from sexual repression rarely takes the form of rebellion against the people and institutions behind the repression. Instead, the rage is generally directed at helpless victims who are sacrificed to the sick gods of guilt, shame, and ignorant pride.”
De designed her page as a safe space for fans to explore secret desires without any physical interaction. She encourages people to test their limits of vulnerability and jealousy, while challenging any harmful effects of repressed sexual rearing from childhood. She coaches her audience to discuss their desires and then virtually explore them within healthy boundaries.
“While I can’t share specific details about my fans, I can share some generalizations I have learned over the past two years,” De says. “I’ve found that a lot of men and women are sexually repressed. Afraid to share their inner desires and their true selves with their closest allies, their partners.
“Generations of sexual repression and guilt have driven us to fear sharing this side of our authenticity and world,” she goes on. “We are worried our partners will reject us, resent us, or even worse leave us. Our partners when presented with a vulnerable moment of sexual desire can react with their own insecurities. Most question their own values and self-worth. Many question, ‘Why am I not enough?’ driving a wedge into an authentic expression of desires and vulnerability between the partners. This becomes an ongoing cycle and causes many to refrain from sex for fear of rejection or exploring their partners needs for fear of not being able to fulfill the fantasy.”
“There’s also an enormous amount of people with social anxiety about fear of rejection and will not speak to a potential partner or have just given up,” she says. “These are just some of the types of fans I deal with on a daily basis.”
De’s fans and followers include many divorced singles who are only looking to have a conversation with someone on an intimate level. One such man was divorced three years ago and has been raising his children alone as a single father. Until recently, he chatted and shared most of his days with De but was committing almost all his time away from work to his children and didn’t have time to date.
Just recently this divorcee went on his first date and it went well. He sent De a note thanking her for the past two years of their relationship and for helping him not to feel alone in the world. “He said he might be back, but for now wants to give this new relationship an honest try, and to do that he can’t be my fan. I love that!” she says.
Some of her other fans include paraplegics that she chats with regularly. One of these three young people admits that he finds it hard to approach women and that his online relationship with De is giving him greater confidence. “We have to learn to look past our superficial desires and look deeper into our more intimate desires,” says De.
Other fans of De include people going through serious diseases including one woman whose husband has cancer. She buys videos and sexting sessions for him with De. “He admits he could never bear to be physically with another woman but this is an amazing gift from her to him during this time,” she says.
There isn’t a day that a woman, man, or couple does not reach out to De for help exploring their desires, she says. This includes women wanting to explore their bi-sexual tendencies, men wanting to involve other men, and couples wanting to trade partners, she adds. But dealing with their shame remains a constant challenge.
“It’s a problem that should be open for discussion across this country, but we don’t,” she says. “I would like to make this not taboo and for people to know it’s okay to explore your sexuality in a healthy way.”