Review by Rachel Clarke, member of Team Bish
Episode 2 of the Joy of Teen Sex begins with statistics about sex, for instance more than a quarter of young people have lost their virginity by the time they reach the legal age(16), and that 1 in 5 young people (16-24) have tried anal sex. The episode does look heavily at the growing popularity of anal sex, and the question is asked whether porn and the internet fill the gap of sex ed within schools.
This episode has the usual format of the mixture of the advice clinic and Bille JD Porter’s segment, this time about the rise in the popularity of anal sex and the links to pornography. What I really like about the show is the way there is a focus on both the physical and psychological aspects of sex and relationships. A lot of advice I have seen/read/heard does tend to just look at the physical, (Bish being an exception!) so it was a pleasant change. Conquering fears about sex by conquering a fear of heights for instance, as shown in this episode means that talking about sex doesn’t need to be any more difficult than expressing your deep hatred of heights.
However, I do need to add that there is one part of the Joy of Teen Sex that does make me wish I could ‘un-see’ things. Whilst talking about sex positions, oh my god. Sam, the sex expert almost insists on demonstrating the sex positions she is explaining on the people in to see her. Ok I get that you need to explain what you’re talking about but I don’t want to watch you pretend to ride somebody’s partner. Perhaps for the people visiting her it was useful, but it really made me cringe.
In Bed with Billie. An interesting part of the show, a moving interview with Billie JD Porter about a selected issue, this week’s being anal sex. Billie attempts to discover where the trend of trying anal sex has erupted from, with everyone shown saying it is because of porn. Anal sex is considered commonplace in pornos, whereas as one guy said it would be considered a ‘special event’ in everyday sexual relationships. However, the same gentleman said that it is more or less down to the social hype surrounding the idea of anal sex because of its frequency in porn.
Billie then visits two actors in an anal porn film, whom both agree that there is a lot more to anal sex than you see on film. The actress said she didn’t eat at all that day to avoid ‘accidents’ whilst filming, and that she ‘wouldn’t recommend it to anyone’. The actor again, said he didn’t necessarily enjoy the scenes and I quote ‘with the greatest of respect, things aren’t meant to go up there; they’re supposed to come out’. Obviously, there are people that will enjoy anal sex, but I’m personally struggling to see the attraction.
Is the attraction money? Billie later meets a director of porn films, the aptly named Ben Dover. He offers Billie £10,000 to shoot an anal scene, whereas without anal, she could receive £5,000. What is it about anal sex that makes it so valuable? There is no disclaimer at the start of a porno that states that anal sex is a lot different in porn films than reality and the risks involved are higher, so why are young people thinking it is a new trend to follow?
Overall, I found the Joy of Teen Sex much easier to watch than The Sex Education show, on reflection. Quite accurately described by Tom as ‘the lairy, drunk cousin’ of The Sex Education show, The Joy of Teen Sex is just that. Yet I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. The Joy of Teen Sex focuses on older teenagers, uni students as seen by the participants of the show, whereas The Sex Ed show primarily focuses on teenagers in high school. For me, this is a big part of what makes the shows so different – the emphasis moves from educating to advising: giving knowledge rather than forcing it upon young people, and therefore made the Joy of Teen Sex much more accessible.