Besides the anonymous box where we could drop questions, I remember almost nothing of the formal “sex education” that I received through the public school system in 5th grade. I also don’t recall when or how I got “the talk” from my parents, or whether I ever did. I remember once asking my mom what “oral sex” was, thinking it meant talking dirty to someone you like. I like to think that I have eventually turned out alright, but I have no shortage of memories of awkwardness, shyness, discomfort, ignorance, and broken hearts. Now that I think about it, I’m still making memories like those. I cannot imagine what it must be like to raise children in our over-sexualized culture; to raise them to be safe and smart, but also to be confident young agents of their bodies and identities.
S.E.X., second edition: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties by Heather Corinna is a fantastic book. Committed to providing information that is accurate, clear, inclusive (it is written gender-neutral, including phrases like “people with a penis” or “people with a vagina”), and nonjudgmental, this book tackles everything from physical sex, sexuality, gender, consent, relationships, and STDs. I read it nearly cover to cover in a weekend, and was gifted with incredibly valuable language and framing for topics that normalizes aspects of our culture that have been made both taboo and yet so ceaselessly present. I would suggest this book for both practitioners, parents, and especially for pre-teens, teens, and young adults. The information is valid, necessary, and essential. And we are never too old to learn and grow.
– Brett Goldberg
Get the book or read more from author Heather Corinna via her organization Scarleteen.