I got asked to write a review of the SEX SCHOOL online video course.
(The course is in english, so the review will be as well.)
On my account it said guest/influencer which gave me a rush of excitement. The new it-word applies to me? Great.
Is this what people mean by "making it"? When you get to watch high quality, feminist porn for free and write about it? Maybe.
But I don’t mean to paint a wrong picture here.
SEX SCHOOL is mostly not porn, but educational videos about all kinds of topics around sexuality.
I watched most of the course. Mostly alone and some with others together in order to discuss the content.
This is a review, my personal opinion. : )
Get your uniforms on and backpacks packed.
Let's go to SEX SCHOOL!
They start out with The Basics: Consent, Sexual Health and Sexualities.
I loved that Consent was the first topic. Not only does it point out that it is important, but it also shows that this is what should come first when exploring other people's bodies or your own.
Overall I had a great time watching the course. I think the approach and project is amazing.
I feel happy, grateful and hopeful about new forms of sex education like this out there.
In this review, I will give you a little teaser of what you can expect from the content, what I liked (and some things I really loved) and things I found a bit confusing or wished to be different for the upcoming season.
And yes, there'll be a season two in 2020!
After The Basics they go on with SEX SCHOOL 101, which includes videos about: BDSM, squirting and porn (note: videos about porn, not yet porn itself). The next section is called Experiences and you'll find videos about: threesomes, kissing, hook-ups and two about pleasure mapping. And then you'll arrive at the porn section, which is the last category.
At first, I was a bit surprised by the selection of topics. They didn't seem to really cover the basics of sexuality (but what would anyway?). But I think it really tries to grasp that there is much more out there than we usually get to learn and talk about.
What I really enjoyed was the diversity of people that are presented in the videos.
A big difference to the usual sex ed you can find, and constantly evolving, is the visually appealing aspect.
The website, the design and all the videos are just beautiful!
No sterile, nor overly "sexy" aesthetics.
It was a pleasure for my eyes to watch, and as sexuality is also about pleasure, this seems totally appropriate.
The first video I watched, "Sexual Health" (though it is the second video in the course) wasn't the best start. I thought the language was rather complicated. Many words were used without explaning the meaning of them. From the perspective of someone who wants to learn about sexual health, that wasn't ideal. To me the content wasn't concrete enough. I would have liked to have been taught some factors to consider, to help me figure out what kind of steps I would like to take for my sexual health, e.g.
How often do I have sex?
With how many different people?
What are my options for protection?
Which ones would I like to use?
Where can I get tested for STIs?
They do however mention that risk and good behaviour to deal with that risk depend on these factors.
As sexual health is such a big and complex topic, I guess it is hard to really cover it in a few minutes, but I felt more confused than educated after watching it. (I've written a few articles on sexual health and STIs, here is the latest on safer sex).
But what I really liked is that they mentioned emotional sexual health! Which is something rarely talked about. I also liked that they use the word "sexual care" which implies that your sexual health is not something that just exists (neither is just a status), but something you can (and should) actively take care of.
"Consent culture is not just about sex. It is about learning how to respect your own and other people's physical and emotional boundaries." - Sadie Lune
A few of their suggestions about how to go about consent:
- Start and move slow
- Ask a question like "Can I kiss you?", "Can I give you a hug?"
- Check in periodically, e.g. "Is this okay?", "Does this feel good?"
- Really listen to the answer. Verbally and watch out for body language.
- Receiving a “no” gracefully is part of consent, too.
The last video of The Basics is about sexualities. They talk about three questions:
How do I know I am not straight?
What is gender and gender identity?
What is sexual orientation?
As they are pulling the questions out of a box, the order is not set, which I didn't find ideal. ‘What is sexual orientation?’ should have been the first question as both other questions make more sense to follow. I like that they talk about the issues with the idea that there are set queer identities that come with a certain type of look or behaviour. In order to "belong", one thinks it's necessary to behave or look that way. I felt that way for a long time, and still sometimes do. There is the continual question, "am I queer enough (to belong)"? And sometimes there is the fear that I am not.
SEX SCHOOL 101
All videos in 101 are great! The structure is good and this makes it easy to follow, especially if the topic is rather new to you. I really liked the little illustrations of toys, as well as some important words or questions added to the BDSM video. One of my favourites was the Squirting video. Most women think they can't squirt or it is this mystical thing that doesn't really happen. Kali greatly demystifies squirting and gives hands-on tips on how to get your pussy to squirt!
Now we are slowly moving from just talking to talking and doing.
The videos get longer and show some real hands-on experiences. The Kissing video is amazing. One of my first fantasies as a teenager was a kissy orgy. A room full of beautiful people, making out with each other, in all kinds of gender combinations. The last few minutes of the kissing video show exactly that. It's great to emphasise this hot and diverse way of connecting, turning each other on, sharing body fluids! Yuuuum.
The Pleasure Mapping video was great to watch. Mareen is a sexological bodyworker and introduces pleasure mapping to Bishop and Lina. They try it out for the first time. I have done similar things and it was great to see this as part of an educational video! Exploring sensations with clear roles, communication and no pressure to be super sexual or end in orgasm is damn good and important. As this is familiar to me, I wondered how it is for people who haven't been involved in slower, more sensual and conscious touch to watch? Is it inspiring, odd, unusual?
I hope people are open to try and understand the benefit of exploring sensations without following the script of sex we have been most exposed to.
Porn is still a bit awkward for me. I never really got into it. The first time I saw a porn film was with a few friends and I just felt nervous and scared. In retrospective, it was not something I had wanted to see at the time. Later I enjoyed reading sexy stories more. In recent years, I've been to more public porn screenings of ethical, feminist/queer porn and that helped me to rewire my idea of porn.
I was a bit nervous when I finally arrived at the porn section of SEX SCHOOL.
It is a small glimpse into what's out there. The porn world is huge. Basically everything you can think of has its own genre. And surprise! I actually enjoyed watching the films. I still don’t think it’s super arousing for me, especially not when I was partly in the headspace of thinking about this review. But the aesthetics, the diversity of performers, the communication, the faces, moans and giggles excite me! Black and white porn is really nice.
For me as an enthusiast of sexy storytelling, one film was especially nice. I don't wanna go into too much detail as I’d like you to check it out for yourself and decide if it's for you.
Now, let's go from Porn to another "P" word.
Sexwork is work! The porn and sexwork industry doesn't have the best image. But it is work, and free porn doesn't support the people doing the work. So please pay for your porn.
Everybody watches porn, maybe not all regularly, but at least at some point in their lives.
It is important to support the industry in order to have fair conditions for everybody involved.
Besides that: Don't shame people for working in the industry.
While writing this article I came across this Insta post by a woman I have followed for a few years.
full post. The last bit of the post:
"Well, I’m here to tell you as my tears have dried and my mind is settled... sex work isn’t shameful. Sex work is work wether it’s a hobby, a full time job or a side hustle. People are fine with women’s bodies being sexualised for literally everything from porn to car commercials but heaven forbid a woman would capitalise on that, heaven forbid a woman would use what their told is their weakness as power. Sex work isn’t shameful and fuck anyone that makes you think that. "
Sex, sexualities, porn, sexwork are not only private topics or personal work choices, they are also political!
What rights, structures, laws and language are in place, and how do they effect the reality of millions of people every day?
How much stigma and shame is still implemented in our thinking and action?
I appreciate that by freeing ourselves from shame around our own sexuality and learning more about it, we make it easier to also tackle societal and structural topics related to that.
You can only change it when you can talk about it!
I like SEX SCHOOL.
I actually really really love it.
I recommend it. 54,99€ for the content seems like a fair price to me.
The production quality is super high, educational, aesthetically pleasing and diverse. Some videos could be better structured like in SEX SCHOOL 101, but I see that they are trying different formats for presenting content, which is refreshing.
It's a bit annoying that each video begins with the trailer of 30s. But maybe we are too spoiled by the "skip" button in netflix shows. For credit, I think it's great that they repeat names and the mission of the course, which is to educate, inspire your sex life and challenge stigma and stereotypes around sexuality. They haven't yet fulfilled their mission that 'everything you always wanted to know about sex will be discussed', but as said - there will be a season two! And I can't wait to see more of SEX SCHOOL!
(In the meanwhile you can look at pictures on their Instagram xo__hub ).
You can send them emails with questions or topics that you'll like to learn about. And they’ll try to make a video about it!
Topics that I wish to see: periods, how to use (certain) toys, how to talk to your teens about sex education, role play, not feeling sexy or in a sexy mood, . . .
Just some suggestions.
As I can recommend the course I am happy to take part in their affiliate program, this means when you click on the links and buy the course I get a percentage of the money.