Boy looking at a girl with sex education written in the middle.

Sex Education Review

By Piper Blake
Assistant Web Content Manager

So, Netflix recently released the first season of Sex Education early 2019 and it immediately left an impact on its viewers. The second season is just as uncomfortably raw (pun-intended) as the first, but includes more character growth and self-realization.

Sex Education has become one of the most relatable and honest shows of today according to a TV Guide article. The title is already a draw for many teenagers and young adults due to obvious reasons. Sex Education is a reinterpreted representation of high school students and their journey through figuring out everything and anything involving, well, sex. 

By now I hope my parents aren’t reading this. 

Throughout high school and early adulthood, we spend those years figuring out our personality, our authenticity as a person and our sexuality. This show incorporates all of that. 

Otis, a student and pretend sex therapist, is one of those kids who is questioning everything about himself but is able to help those around him with their own problems. His skills come from years of living with a mother who, for lack of better words, is a sex expert and a psychologist who psychoanalyzes her own son and his lack of masturbating (season one spoiler). 

Ultimately, his sex advice leads to him figuring out his place among his peers and where he stands on sex himself.

The show is centered around Otis (pretend therapist), Maeve (love interest and bookkeeper) and Eric (best friend) creating a business out of Otis’s knowledge of sex. You can obviously see how that would be needed in a school full of horny teenagers with LOTS of questions. 

However, I don’t want to spoil everything for my reader so I am going to stop there and explain how this show is accurate, cringe-worthy, and excellent all in one. 

High School 

More than anything, this show is about high school. The place where you either experienced your best or worst years of school. There are the cliques, the bullies, the love interests and the pressures. 

Each student in this show is experiencing some kind of turmoil that high school students go through. Whether its stress from classes or bullies there is something relatable for anyone who has gone through high school.

The thing that makes this show so unique is that it doesn’t sugarcoat the struggles of high school. Eric deals with a bully that targets him for his sexuality and his confidence to be himself. Maeve is the edgy girl that everyone assumes is a slut just because she dresses differently and hides her intelligence. Otis is the boy that isn’t confident in himself so others see it as a weakness.

Across both seasons you see each character grow into themselves more and more due to self-realization. We all had that growth in school even if we didn’t notice it ourselves.

Sexuality 

The second season raises questions for multiple characters about their sexuality. One character takes a quiz after having a sexual dream about a friend and figures out they are pansexual. Another looks at a poster of a male and female and realizes he is bisexual. 

One of the most interesting realizations was a girl who figures out she is asexual. What I appreciated most about all of these self-realizations was that they were genuine and possible scenarios. Also, we haven’t gotten a show that explores the whole spectrum of sexual orientation which is needed in today’s changing culture. 

Sexuality is so hard to talk about especially for teenagers due to self-acceptance and acceptance from others. Whether it’s from parents or friends, it can be hard to talk about things you might be feeling about another person especially if they aren’t who you are “supposed” to be with. 

Nitty Gritty Sex Questions 

Real talk, sex is gross. It’s uncomfortable and strange in the beginning and there are so many questions that go along with it.

Between Otis and his mom answering people’s concerns about their sex life, I think I learned a bit too much about sex. For example, Otis was asked to help a lesbian couple with their chemistry in the bedroom. He didn’t just assume that he knew what they were talking about, he knew he needed to do research, aka porn.

Yes, I know that sounds awful but he doesn’t sexualize it. He is genuinely learning how to help a couple. 

There are so many awkward questions that come up in this show but it makes the show even better and more informational. I think the writers did this because maybe a viewer is having the same problems and can find a solution or solace in the show. 

Adults

The people you will hate the most or love the most are the parents in this show. No matter how much they try, not all parents understand their children and not all teachers understand their students. 

Otis’s mom thinks she understands her son’s uncomfortable feelings about sex but in reality, she has no idea it’s all her fault. A father in the show knows his daughter is different and isn’t going to assume he knows what teenagers are going through at their age.

As for the teachers, they are oblivious to what sex education should entail and are too uncomfortable to listen to the student’s concerns. Also, the principal can’t even listen or understand his own son let alone an entire school.

I am not trying to say this is a real representation of all parents on the topic of sex, but it’s true not all adults are able to communicate what sex entails to younger generations. Also, with different sexual orientations means different sex education that needs to be taught.

This season actually dives into some of the ways for gay men to stay protected during sex. That is so important since most sex education classes don’t even touch of same-sex relationships. 

Overall, I highly recommend watching Sex Education not just for the relatability but for the comedy. We all could use a bit more education and acceptance on the basis of sex. 

Featured image screenshotted by Piper Blake via Netflix.

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