The G’s Spot Guide to Sex Ed
Sexuality Education for all
Today is World Sexual Health Day.
And this year’s theme is ‘Sexuality Education for All’
A very worthy topic because sadly, we live in a world where sex ed for the masses is not very good, nor factual, nor empowering, nor pleasure-focused, nor LGBTQ+ focused.
Take America for example. How many states teach sex ed in schools? Less than you might think, given it’s 2019 and not the middle ages. There are in fact nine states in America where sex education is not mandatory at all in schools (these states, not coincidentally, have some of the highest teenage birth rates in America) and there are eleven states where ‘abstinence-only’ is the only required sex education in schools. To be clear, that’s over a fifth of America.
Education about LGBTQ+ sexuality is progressing far too slowly and a study led in the UK last year by the International Planned Parenthood Federation revealed that children regard their sex ed to be mostly scaremongering. Modern day sex ed still doesn’t provide enlightening guidance on topics surrounding sexual expression, identities, behaviours and pleasure.
In my survey conducted last year, 530 women revealed that whilst growing up, the three most influential sources of information about sex were: their friends, their own experiences and the media.
The least influential sources of information were: their parents, sex education at school and sex ed books.
Sex ed is important
I’m not here to rehash the hackneyed argument of why we should be providing compulsory, factually correct, informative, pragmatic and empowering sex education to kids and young adults.
Obviously we should be teaching sex ed if we want young people to make healthy and informed decisions about their sexual relationships and sexual health.
Obviously we should be teaching sex ed if we want young people to create nourishing relationships filled with consent, abundance and pleasure.
Obviously we should be teaching sex ed if we want to protect young people from being educated solely by easily accessible pornography and false depictions of sex in the media.
Obviously we should be teaching sex ed if we want to prevent everyone in society being quite fucked up and misinformed about sex and intimate relationships…
For me, the benefits of compulsory sex ed at schools is pretty self-explanatory… But since schools and governments haven’t quite caught up with this thinking yet, I have decided to honour World Sexual Health Day by sharing some of my favourite online sex ed resources which are accessible to us ALL. Who needs schools!?
G’s Spot’s Favourite Sex Ed Resources
Today, we live in the age of the INTERNET. It brings its problems, but it also democratises information. Enter stage left: really compassionate and informed organisations, initiatives and individuals taking SEX ED into their own hands and sharing the good word online for free.
Here is my little guide for all different stages of the sex education journey…
Viva education and teaching everyone – from kiddies to adults – to be sexually informed, responsible, pleasured, empowered and healthily curious!
www.amaze.org / @amazeorg
Free medically accurate, affirming, and honest sex education videos for kids and adolescents. Their tag line is ‘More Info. Less Weird’ – YES! Sums up our lacklustre sex ed culture in a nutshell, and Amaze are stepping up to fix this. Amaze aims to take the awkward out of sex ed by providing original content and reliable information via fun, age-appropriate animated videos.
Sex Positive Families
Sex Positive Families is a destination for shame-free, comprehensive, pleasure-positive (YES! REFRESHING!) sexual health education for all ages. It’s a real sex-pos, go-to space for parenting advice with a ton of book recommendations and links to great audio and visual resources broken down for different age groups.
Sex Ed School
Sex-Ed School is a newly launched web series and I like it! It’s a series that explores the birds and the bees with ease. Hosted by sex educators and experts Nadine and Eva, Sex Ed School, each web episode takes part in a classroom setting with real children between the age of 9-12. Guest teachers feature from all sexual orientations, identities and bodies, guiding participants through fun, thought-provoking activities about sex, love and healthy relationship. Sex Ed School feels fresh, original and intuitive and I love how sex-pos and modern it feels. I predict big things for this channel.
Birds + Bees + Kids
An interesting resource for parents, rather than kids. Sex expert Amy Lang has created Birds + Bees + Kids as a destination to teach parents how to effectively speak to their kids about sex. As she says: the reality is if you don’t talk to your kids about sex someone else will… Birds + Bees + Kids provides tips and pointers for parents on the best ways to broach the topic of sex with their kids, what to say at each age to avoid too much information, how to keep your kids safe and how to position conversations to keep dialogues open, trusting and non-patronising. I’m a big fan.
www.scarleteen.com / @scarleteen
Their brand? Sex ed for the real world. Scarleteen is all about comprehensive, inclusive and supportive sexuality and relationship information aimed at teens and young adults. And because it’s been around for 20 years, there is SO MUCH info. They really do shine a light on everything, from sexual communication to disability to gender identity and sexual abuse. They also have a community message board, a text message Q+A service and a live chat feature on their website. I wish I knew about them when I was a teen!
www.bishuk.com / @bishsexed
BISH is a guide to sex, love and relationships for everyone over 14. There’s loads of excellent original content, ranging from articles to videos to illustrations and animations. It’s for all genders and sexualities, people with disabilities, different backgrounds, beliefs and values. It’s also sponsored by Durex.
www.sexetc.org / @sexetc
Sex education by teens, for teens. Polls, an instant message service, informative and inclusive videos, personal stories, a magazine with 45,00 subscribers, a blog… All to improve teen sexual health and education. An innovative, ‘from the roots up’ way of educating kids about sex.
www.hannahwitton.com / @hannahwitton
YouTuber since 2011 and sex-positive influencer – teens and adults alike love her. Her YouTube content is approachable, charming and educational. Her Hormone Diaries is particularly interesting. Get involved.
Education doesn’t end at school…
In my opinion, the undulating nature of sex, love and relationships requires an investment in an everlasting sexuality education. As we grow and change, and get to know ourselves better with age, we deserve to devote time and energy into our sexual schooling and sexual wellness. This is especially critical since so many of us had such lacklustre sex education at school – we have a lot holes to fill (pun intended!) and time to make up!
The fact that you are here, on G’s Spot, is a nod to time invested in learning more about female sexuality and pleasure. Nice one!
And there are a HOST of sex-positive, educational resources out there, each doing really affirming and interesting things in the field of sexuality. If you want a few pointers:
I really enjoy following the content of YouTuber and clinical sexologist, Shan Boody as well as the content of sexuality doula Evyan Whitney on her IG page and her podcast The Sexually Liberated Woman.
Stevie Boebi has created the first ever Lesbian Sex Ed video series and it’s queer and fabulous and very insightful, with lots of LGBTQ+ inclusive education.
I am a long-term fan of Bryony Cole and her pioneering research into the world of sex tech. Listen to Future of Sex Tech for some forward-facing education on where the world of sex is today and heading towards.
For a deep-dive education into your body, sexuality, sensuality and pleasure – head to the Ferly app. It’s a happy place and I have an incredibly fond place for these trailblazers in my sex-positive heart.
And finally, for a deeper education and more personal investigation into the sexual self, there are sex coaches you can reach out to and share some time with. This is an ever-expanding area and, as a sex coach in training, I’ll be sharing more information about my work as my journey develops.
Enjoy, explore, learn and let me know how you get on!