“So, a useful mental imagery to have in your head is: would this still be sexy if Wormtail from Harry Potter was doing it?”
Now, I was raised in a household where talking about sex, sexuality and all things around it never were thought of as taboo. When I was 12 and I thought it was embarrassing to talk about periods in front of my dad, my mum made me do it until I was comfortable with it, cause guess what, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. And once I realized this I was the one encouraging my girl friends at school to do the same. There is nothing to be considered taboo, and yet so many think it´s embarrassing or icky and so many don´t get proper sex education because of this and because of improper syllabuses at schools. Something Hannah Witton wants to change with this book.
You know what I say to that?
About freaking time.
I´m so glad this book is a thing. That it´s available to read for everyone. Whether you are younger and just starting to discover these things or if you´re older I think there is valuable information for everyone. I also really like the way she structured the book. Rather than being the kind of book that benefits from being read cover to cover, you could just pick a chapter here and there depending on what interests you or what you want to know. I did read it cover to cover, but I don´t feel it would have made any difference if I would have read the chapters in a random order. And I feel the structure is really nice as well cause if you read straight through, you might not really relate to everything yet or feel like it applies to you at that moment, but because each topic has its own chapter with very easy-to-find sub-topics you can always just go back to whatever you want to know.
Sure, it doesn´t go as in-depth as is possible, you could definitely go on reading more about all topics included here, but in my opinion, it´s a perfectly good enough base for people starting to learn about sex and sexuality. Then again, she covers a whole lot: Healthy Relationships (btw, any YA romance readers might want to have an extra look here and compare it to some characters here and there), Virginity, LGBTQ+, Consent, Masturbation, Porn, Bodies and Body Image, Sexual Pleasure, Contraception, STIs, Sexting, and Sex Shaming, ending the whole thing with a conclusion and a whole bunch or resources.
Everything is explained in a really relaxed and straightforward way that I really like. It doesn´t feel all stale and awkward like some biology book but more like having an older sibling or friend explain it, not to mention all the funny anecdotes from her and other contributors. Witton puts a lot of focus and emphasis on the fact that everyone´s different, that everyone has the right to be themselves and express themselves.
But most importantly, that sex ed isn´t something that we should shy away from. Really, it´s strange that so many find it hard to talk about. It´s natural! It´s completely normal and the vast majority will experience these things at some point. If we just educate ourselves, we could avoid so many issues and just enjoy ourselves instead.