Sex education is a MUST-watch tv show, and I am usually not one to watch much TV. Yet I find myself, again and again, thinking about the week or so when I binge-watched all seasons in 2022.
I have never been one to enjoy watching sex on tv, and I still am not a fan, but I gave in to my friends who said this show was great and sat down to watch it. It should also be told that I am a massive Sci-fi fan, and when I found out the new Doctor, Nchuti Gatwa, would be taking on the lead role of the fourteenth timelord, I knew I needed to see how he acts.
I was blown away by how good this show is not just for writing of characters or plotlines, but how they treat sex and romance as something normal and to be celebrated. You can learn a lot from this show about both subjects.
What is Sex Education?
Sex Education is a show on Netflix produced with a UK cast of actors who play teenagers attending Moordale Secondary School. The school is known for having a terrible sex education program, sex-crazy pupils and a corrupt principal.
At the start of the series, Otis is struggling with his own sex life and finding a girlfriend whilst also dealing with the fact his mother is a sex therapist. He becomes good friends with Maeve, and together they form an unofficial sex education service to make some money and sort out the sex problems at their school.
Sex Education unapologetically shows sex in its raw and unflattering truth. It dares to bring up all aspects of sex people are often too embarrassed to talk about or take as abnormal; it shows us that we are human and no one is perfect. It shows characters with different kinks or disabilities but makes no big deal out of them and shows that all types of people and sex are normal. All kinds of sex, by in large, are normal.
Normalising Sex for Teenagers
We need to acknowledge that sex is a part of everyday life and that teenagers have sex regardless of whether their parents want them to or not. It is better to let them explore and do so in a safe environment where they are loved and will have their support networks close if things go wrong.
They need the support of the older generation to ensure they get good sex education, so they don’t fall into bad habits or think that what they do or do not like is abnormal. Sex Education is a show that allows teens to see people their age or of similar makeup, giving them the confidence to be themselves and enjoy life.
I can see a person I knew in high school in every one of the characters in Sex Education. They are natural, quirky, and frank portrayals of teens going through the awkward stages of puberty and high school. However, it is not the education I get from this show that I enjoy the most, but the soft and loveable characters that grew on me throughout the three seasons.
Sex Education for Adults
Sex Education is not just a TV show for teens, but adults! There are equally as many brilliant adult characters as there are teens, and Otis’ mom Jean is the best. She is a sex therapist, so how she interacts with her son dealing with sex issues is heartwarming. Her love for her son is evident, and she goes through her journey, showing that even as adults, we can still learn more about ourselves and our sexual journey.
Diverse Characters and Cast
I adore how modern tv is trying more and more to break down the old traditions of television but including a diverse cast in their shows. Sex Education is as diverse as you can get, with characters from ranging social backgrounds to minorities from different ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, and sexualities.
Eric Effiong is one of the show's stars as an openly gay boy whose religious family come from Nigeria. Sex Education deals with how this affects his school and home life, and his friends and family all love him. Still, his sexuality is often a complex topic to bridge when confronting his family elders' religious traditions. For example, he is so scared about revealing to his grandmother his sexuality that he suppresses it around her.
Maeve Wiley is an intelligent girl from a broken home with barely a nickel to her name; she lives in a trailer park. She wishes she could become a writer and study abroad, but she does not have the funds. Despite these setbacks, she lives a happy life or tries to make the most of what she has, working hard at school on her dreams.
Dealing with Real Issues
Each season's episodes and character arcs deal with real-life issues from bullying to sexual assault and mentally abusive parents. The way the show handles these often, at times distressing topics, is mature and with a careful hand to educate and not offend those who have experienced these in real life.
Adam Groff is a polarising character in Sex Education who starts as the classical bully. Still, throughout the series, he develops as we learn why he acts violently toward others. His father, and headmaster of the school, put a lot of pressure on him to perform well, but he just thinks he is stupid and so does not see any point in trying to do better. Finally, he understands himself as he opens his shell and makes friends with Eric, which makes him not forgiven for his actions but lays a bridge for future mending.
Aimee Gibbs is one of the first people we meet in the show who is going through a few sexual frustrations. She soon gets advice from Otis and finds a stable boyfriend she loves. However, her enjoyment of sex shatters when she is assaulted on the school bus by a stranger. At first, she blames herself, but when Maeve sees that the experience is affecting her, she goes to the police for help. Showing this process she goes through as a victim to earn back her enjoyment of sex is a sad yet rewarding watch.
Most couples in Sex Education are attractive, to say the least. Some are naturally meant to be together, whilst others are frustratingly not compatible whatsoever. Regardless, across the seasons, a large portion of the cast experiment with different partners as they come to discover themselves more as young adults.
Lily and Ola are a cute couple because of how Ola comes to discover her bisexuality, and Lily finally gets to try some of her sexual kinks with a willing partner. At the start of the series, we meet Lily, who is sexually free and writes comics about sexualized aliens, but she wants to experience alien sex, so she knows how to write about it in her stories. On the other hand, Ola is not as invested in this alien business. Still, she is open to trying new things regardless, showing a heartwarming partnership of little judgment between two people who love each other.
Jean and Remi is another example of a delightful partnership. It is established in season one that Jean sleeps with many men, but fears commitment after Otis’ father cheated on her. When she meets Remi, she is adamant not to see him seriously, but slowly she falls for him, and the dynamic between them is just adorable. Remi is a patient and honest handyman around the house and seems the perfect match for Jean's crazy sex therapist lifestyle.
I hope we have convinced you why you must check out Sex Education now! It is a cute show and is great for those who are just starting to explore their sex life or are considering dating. However, even if you are a seasoned pro at this whole thing, you will benefit from how they represent the topic of sex and the struggles of relationships in general. Let's hope we get more shows like this in the coming years!
You might also enjoy other posts like this, including:
- The Science of Love and Romance – Thorum
- Love and Romance in Archaeology – Thorum
- Picking The Perfect Wedding Music: Through the History of Love Songs! – Thorum