Netflix's “Sex Education" has taken the world by storm and has gotten everyone talking about it's rounchy scenes, comedic one-liners, and educational points. The show revolves around Otis comes to terms with being the son of a sex therapist. With the help of his friends, Otis becomes the school's secret sex therapist and gets paid to give advice to his peers even though he's a late bloomer himself and has repressed sexual phobias.
The show takes on many taboo topics such as hookup culture, consent, masturbation, unrequited love, homosexuality, abortion, foreplay, and sexting. While I could go on and on about each topic, everything can be summed up into eight key points that will enhance your understanding of human sexuality.
Warning: contains spoilers
1. Even guys have trouble finishing too
In the beginning of the series, Adam and Aimee are immediately seen having sex. She appears to be actively engaging in the act while Adam appears to be passive and unexpressive, ultimately pretending to ejaculate. Aimee notices this and asks to see the condom, prompting her to ask "Where's the spunk, Adam?" Scenes like this show that guys aren't sex machines that are always ready to burst. Even they have trouble finishing too.
2. Virginity is a social construct
Otis has a conversation with a religious girl who is upset that her boyfriend had sex in the past even though she's still waiting for marriage. She makes an interesting remark saying that she's had experience though, specifically "handjobs, fingering, oral, and sometimes anal, but no sex." Otis looks confused that she labels herself a virgin even after having sexual acts. This scene forces viewers to ask themselves what the definition of virginity actually is. Some people may come to find that because everyone's definition is different, it may be a societal idea rather than a fixed term.
3. Vagina shaming isn’t cool
There's a powerful scene featuring the whole school gathered at an assembly to discuss a girl's leaked nudes. As the principal insists that the school will look into the situation, people shout from their seats and make rude comments about how the nudes looked. Instead of letting one girl continuously get shamed, one by one, girls and even one guy stand up to say "It's my vagina!" In a world where women constantly feel pressure for our vulvas to look flawless and hairless, I would hope that the scene empowered to embrace the fact that our bodies are different and that's okay.
4. Communication during sex is equally as important as communication before sex
Steve notices Aimee's over-the-top mannerisms and commands during sex and stops her to ask if she's being genuine or just putting on a front because she feels like she has to act that way. After he asks her what she truly wants, she pauses and realizes that she doesn't know what she wants because no guy has taken the time to ask her. I love everything about this scene because a lot of people are under the assumption that some moaning and grunting here and there is the best way to show your partner that you're enjoying sex. However, it's always good to be direct and check in on each other during the act so that you're both 100% on the same page.
5. Women masturbate in multiple ways and positions
Aimee talks with Otis about her struggle with finding out how she wants to recieve pleasure during sex. Otis gives her the advice to pleasure herself and find out that way. At first she's kind of squeamish about masturbating until she finally discovers her clitoris and figures out how exactly she wants to be pleased by Steve. This is perfect for viewers because we normally envision women putting their hand between their legs and arching their back, but in the show we see Aimee in multiple positions while pleasuring herself. She's on her back, hunched over on her stomach, in front of the mirror and in more contorted angles which is more of an accurate depiction of the way girls actually get off.
6. Even within the blurred lines of consent, no still means no
Liam has the biggest crush on Lizzie and tries every romantic gesture in the book to get her to go to the dance with him, but she turns him down by saying she's flattered, but doesn't want to date. He explains this to Otis who tells him "I think the answer is no, Liam." Then Liam responds saying "But she hasn't actually said no." I love the way this scene tackles consent because it doesn't always start in a situation in the bedroom. It can be as simple as constantly trying to get someone's attention to they'll go out with you even if it's clear they aren't interested.
7. Representation and sexuality go hand in hand
One of my favorite aspects of the show is that it includes a strong, platonic relationship between a white heterosexual guy and an African gay guy. There wasn't any bullying or homophobia beforehand. It was just a regular, healthy friendship. In pop culture, you rarely see straight and gay male friendships as much as you see straight females and gay male best friends so it was refreshing to this show break the status quo in that manner.
8. Vaginismus is a legitimate condition
By the end of the series, we're all rooting for Lily to have sex for the first time especially since she is eager to get it over with throughout the entire show. When she finally gets the opportunity she realizes that her vagina isn't cooperating with her desires as she wants it to. She feels tense to the point where she can't have sex. Later we see that she has a condition called vaginismus which is defined as an "involuntary contraction of muscles around the opening of the vagina in women with no abnormalities in the genital organs. The tight muscle contraction makes sexual intercourse or any sexual activity that involves penetration painful or impossible." Rarely is this discussed in the media especially in terms of consensual sex rather than abuse so it's great that this condition is discussed in detail.