What We Learned from Binge-Watching Netflix’s Sex Education

by Michaela d'Artois


What We Learned from Binge-Watching Netflix’s Sex Education

In a recent study conducted by the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, researchers found that high school students are increasingly being influenced by what they see on the social media platforms they interact with, particularly when it comes to decisions they are making about their sex lives. The study goes on to state, “Many adolescents display limited self-regulation and judgment skills that are not yet fully mature, which lead to risky behaviors, especially on social network sites.” 

But we have to wonder: do the rest of us fall into this category as well? All this internet interplay is fairly new, and it’s hard to decipher what’s truth and what’s myth. Since none of us will be logging off anytime soon, allow us to offer a counter activity for your online time: the incredibly charming and increasingly educational series Sex Education on Netflix.

Truthfully, our own experiences discussing the birds and the bees were less than helpful. We can think of a few missed opportunities to educate on female pleasure, and slipping a condom over a banana is hilarious yet only the tip of the conversation of contraception. But Laurie Nunn, creator of the show, does us justice by cracking open the most taboo topics and airing them out in the storylines of teenagers you grow to love as your little self. Here are just a few of the lessons we took into our own lives from binging the newly dropped second-season. Cross our hearts and kiss our elbows: there won’t be any spoilers!

Your Desire is in Your Hands

Tender Aimee Gibbs (Aimee Lou Wood), who has quickly become one of our most-adored female leads, finds herself in a place familiar to many as they maneuver their sexual activity for the very first time: learning how to cater to others’ desires is easy, it’s our own that proves to be the most difficult. The verdict is unanimous: take to your boudoir, bathtub, or any private space and learn the language of your desire at your own hands! Yes, we’re talking masturbation. The sexual connection you have to others is important, but the one you have to yourself will last you a lifetime. 

Communication is Queen!

Whether it’s at the helms of passion, within paradigms of a romantic relationship, or between BFF’s, communication is imperative. As the characters of Sex Education fumble through new sexual territory, we learn that stating your needs, wants, and desires is the key to finding physical and intellectual satisfaction. Go out and speak your truth!

It’s Not Always An A+

Sometimes sex is less than climactic, and that’s okay! As the students of Moorfield High take on sexual experimentation as their extracurricular activity of choice, they are often met with the crude reality that sometimes a romp in the sheets is closer to rubbish than rockin’. These experiences are a great touch-base with oneself to see what is and aren’t right for you. In the show, we see our favorite characters face revelations through these slip-ups, such as sexual orientation, intimacy preferences, and whether they like a little sci-fi cosplay. We say, why limit your sexual epiphanies when they could lead to the best sex and partnerships of your life?

The sexual connection you have to others is important, but the one you have to yourself will last a lifetime.

There’s No Space for Existentialism in the Bedroom

Otis, the series’ main man, consults his fellow students on their bedfellows and big O’s while grappling with his own pace. We see his character’s story arc in this existential query: am I normal? Aren’t we all more than familiar with this question? Whether it’s our relationship status, salary, or heart’s healing, we are a society comparing ourselves to the success rates of others. Like Otis, we can find confidence in knowing everyone’s story will unfold at its own pace when the time is right.

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants

In an attempt to skirt around any spoilers here, let’s just say that love has no place in the practical. With choices abound, the characters of Sex Education continue to break high school rom-com stereotypes as the popular girl doesn’t always end up with the jock, and sometimes the bad boy turns good. We learn to stay open to the unexpected plot twists in our own lives. Maybe don’t write off that person you saw as just a friend…they could be holding the key to your heart.

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