Unsafe Sex in the City (Series 2 Episode 1)

{reblogged from bishUK.com}

A bunch of us sex educator/therapist/academic/writer types have been very busy since last Friday putting this project together: Bad Sex Media Bingo.

On the bingo card you’ll see some common themes that come up in a lot of magazine/newspaper articles and columns and also telly programmes which we (and a lot of people) find really annoying.

I think TV programmes about sex and relationships could be a whole lot better. I was part of a group of people who complained to Channel 4 about The Joy of Teen Sex for instance. If you look at the posts from Team Bish (an awesome team of young volunteers) about various telly programmes about sex you’ll see that they think things could be better too. This is what Bad Sex Media Bingo is about: helping viewers look for the problems with the content and for producers to think about how they can make things better.

So I played along whilst watching ‘Unsafe Sex in the City’ on BBC3 last night. I wasn’t a big fan of it to be honest. I thought it was really sex negative, teen/slut shaming and horridly judgy with 7 boxes ticked. I had a bit of a rant on twitter about it last night which I’ve gathered together in a storify here).

Those boxes were (the links take you to the explanations page at Bad Sex Media Bingo)
Only penis in vagina is proper sex (or penis in anus sex too)
Orgasm is the goal of sexual activity (in the 5 seconds where they talked about sex being pleasurable – the only time it was mentioned)
Everyone is gay or straight and nothing else (they may have other bisexual folk in the series but in the media they are invisible, despite more people identifying as bi than gay or lesbian)
Sex Ed complaining not doing (they didn’t really complain about Sex Ed but they didn’t do very much of it when they really could have. Scaring people about STIs is not good Sex Ed and, I think, does more harm than good).
Complex Topic Over Simplified (young people just get pissed and shag don’t they?)
Token Gay Attractive Couple (though we only saw one of them)
zOMG! Teens! STI Rates (ie the whole show/series)

What was really depressing about last night’s show was that it was an hour of prime time yoof telly which could have been much more useful, informative and entertaining. That this is a series (and a second one at that) is particularly depressing. It shows the low opinion that many TV producers and commissioners have of a) young people and b) programmes about sex and relationships. It made me long for The Sex Education Show to come back, and I really didn’t like that AT ALL.

The only good bits were when young people were chatting to each other about their relationships and how they talked about what was going on for them. This was much more interesting and I wish we had more of that without the judgemental narration and the unhelpful sex negative attitudes.

(Justin – bishUK.com)

About bishtraining
Sex educator working with young people, adults and practitioners in the UK.

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