The relationship expert on a mission to change the meaning of sex education
For most people, sex education starts with being shown confusing medical diagrams of genitals and ends with awkwardly putting a condom on a cucumber while a teacher watches.
Oh, and don’t forget some shockingly cringey videos along the way.
However, it needn’t be this way, says sex education activist, author and podcaster, Evie Plumb.
Speaking on this week’s episode of Metro.co.uk’s podcast Smut Drop, Evie says we shoud be embracing sex education throughout our lives and not just at school.
Evie tells host Miranda Kane that this belief stems from the panic she felt after a trip abroad went awry. Her travelling had been ‘a bad experience, sexual consent-wise’. To make matters worse, she also ended up with two STIs.
Recalling the moment she found out, she says, ‘you convince yourself you’re dying, you’re disgusting, it’s the end of the world – everything’s very medical.’
Evie adds that the whole experience felt ‘really isolating and really scary’.
That’s why she set out to make information about sexual health and infections understandable and less intimidating. ‘I just wanted to make everything that’s medical easy to digest in layman’s terms,’ she explains.
Joined by her equally curious friends, Evie decided to start a podcast, Cliterally The Best, where the group invite sex experts to join them to debunk myths surrounding sex education – in essense, she says, it was a bid to help people ‘unlearn things’ and start learning about sex and all things related afresh.
From small beginnings, the podcast has grown and grown. Now it has 90,000 followers and Evie’s sex education revolution is well underway, as she’s also created a website of the same name.
‘All of us get a lot of education from the internet, whether that’s Google, or social media, and I wanted to make a place people can go that’s not going to get deleted by Instagram, where they can learn in non-confusing ways,’ she explains.
Talking about sex ed in schools, Evie adds that although ‘it’s definitely better in some ways, like LGBTQ+ education’, it’s nowhere near as good as you might hope.
People need to understand their own bodily autonomy, she says, as it’s this which allows you to ‘advocate for yourself, whether that’s in the bedroom or at the GP’.
This kind of education needs to start early. ‘Obviously it’s scary to parents if you mention ‘sex education’ as soon as their children start going to school, but at the beginning it’s all about consent, and that’s just about sharing with your friend, which can be applied to all sorts of things in life, not just sex’ Evie says.
Evie is also an ambassador for The Porn Conversation, a non-profit organisation that helps families and educators discuss pornography. She thinks it’s important to teach things about porn to young people as they enter their teenage years, but stresses that the most important skill children should learn to prepare for this is ‘being digitally savvy and safe on the internet’.
Evie remembers a rare positive moment in her own school sex education when, aged sixteen or seventeen, she was shown a video looking at porn versus real life. ‘It really stuck with me,’ she remembers. ‘As it showed how porn is not realistic, it’s a movie.’
However, Evie stresses, that doesn’t mean parents should try and implement a full ban on pornography. ‘Saying don’t watch porn is not going to work’, she explains. ‘Teenagers are still going to explore it even if you tell them not to.’
Instead, she advises: ‘get young people to ask questions and be critical. Give children that lesson in what to look out for.’
‘Your child often won’t want to talk to you about sex,’ admits Evie, ‘but let them know you’re there to talk to if they need to.’
Source: Read Full Article