Sex Ed can be boring and intimidating. Let’s just admit that the sex ed we received in school, if any, was a joke or simply terrifying. I don’t know about you, but I was shown images of rashes and blisters, and told to stay away or reap the consequences. We probably could have benefited from more information about safe practices and healthy relationships. However, middle and high school students are not the only people who need sex ed. I have heard adult clients tell me that they don’t use condoms because their partners are on birth control. Clients have come in shocked and horrified that they have contracted STIs from oral sex. I am not even going to get started on the damaging and volatile relationships I see on a daily basis. Sex Ed with DB is an entertaining, engaging, and necessary podcast. I was addicted after the first episode. I got in touch with DB herself to uncover her motivation for starting the podcast. If you like what she has to say, click the link below the interview and give it a listen. If you want to support DB and the podcast, donate to their gofundme at https://www.gofundme.com/edwithdb.
1. What inspired you to create a sex ed podcast?
I usually tell a long story about me teaching in Israel for one year and getting into a super heated debate about sex ed with this religious and backwards rabbi (can tell you that gem another time) — but I think the 2 Dope Queens podcast partially inspired me! Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson are absolutely hilarious, bold, and brilliant hosts and I wanted to create a podcast that was fun and daring like theirs except one that focused on shining light on underrepresented voices in sex education instead of underrepresented voices in comedy!
2. Do you feel like the abstinence only model is shifting in the United States to be more open-minded?
Well, according to Thoughtco., 26 states in the US require that abstinence-only education be stressed when teaching sex ed. This to me means that more than half of the states in our country are still using abstinence-only sex education as the main form of education. This is a HUGE problem! If certain school are going to be teaching abstinence only education, they need to be sharing other forms of safe sex (like using condoms to prevent STIs and unintended pregnancies, using contraceptives like the pill or the IUD to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and other forms of touching that are not penis-vagina penetration). Let’s get a move on this, people!
3. What is the biggest issue you see with sex education in America?
Oh god, so many issues it’s hard to choose. Maybe the fact that it’s all based on fear mongering and trying to get students to not have sex because “bad things” will happen to them. The fact of the matter is — sex education delays sex, it doesn’t make students want to have sex more quickly. Instead of showing nasty and scary slideshows of genital warts and crabs that crawl in your pubic hair — why don’t we explain that most adults contract at least 1 STI in their life time? Instead of saying that girls shouldn’t wear certain clothes because men could assault and rape them, why are we not teaching boys and men to be in control of their actions and learn the meaning (and law) of consent? Instead of the classic “Mean Girls” approach of “If you have sex, you will get pregnant. And die.”, why are we not giving people with uterus’ the tools and information on how condoms and another form of birth control (the buddy system) could prevent pregnancies? These are all of the questions I have and more about the way in which we teach sex ed in our schools.
4. What is the format of the podcast?
In Season 1, we had 6 full length feature episodes and 2 bonus episodes that covered various topics from 1) sex education and how we talk about sex, to 2) STIs, safe sex, and feeling good, to 3) polyamory, monogamy, and everything in between, to 4) consent and rape culture, to 5) gender and sexuality on a spectrum, and finally to 6) kink, BDSM, and flirting. I know, lots to cover! We had 5 voices who were featured in every single feature episode (in some capacity) because we wanted to know their opinions on all of these topics. Our voices varied from: a trans youth educator, to an OBGYN, to a sex educator in the BDSM community, to a queer woman in a polyamorous relationship, to a sexuality professor at SF State. All of our panels were of various: races, ages, sexual orientations, backgrounds, genders, and experiences. Season 2 will be a bit different in format — so stay tuned next season to find out what’s new!
5. What is your mission for the podcast?
Our mission is to educate young people and old about sex ed they may (and probably) have missed while growing up. We want to explore these important topics, normalize them, and simultaneously shine a spot light on underrepresented voices and experiences. We think that it’s time that sex education was put at the forefront of the conversation — it is just as important as math, as coding, as literature, as chemistry, as history. These are our bodies and our choices — we deserve all the information and tools to empower us to make the right decisions for ourselves.
6. What other voices are on the podcast? Who are some of your guests?
In our first bonus episode, we have Ella and Imani — two 18 year old, Oakland School for the Arts graduates who talk about every topic from Season 1 in one episode. They are brave, articulate, smart women who are fearless in discussing their queer identities. They also both participated in the RAPP program there — the Relationship Abuse Prevention Program, which teaches young people about unhealthy vs. healthy relationships. Also, the OBGYN in all of the feature length episodes is my mom (!) so that was really fun to do this project with her.
7. What is your opinion on everything happening now in the news with the sexual harassment allegations? Where do you see this headed?
LET’S KEEP PUTTING THESE CREEPS IN THE PRESS! YAS. I cannot be happier with these men being ostracized for their disgusting actions. It’s about damn time that they get what they deserve. Hm, where do I see this headed? Hopefully people will keep coming out with their stories and the men (or people) responsible for their decisions will have to pay for it. Eventually, I hope that this kind of thing won’t happen anymore but since sexism still plays a huge role in our society, I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. Not to mention that this abuse happens disproportionately to women of color and trans women — let’s not forget that.
8. I know one of your podcasts is about sex ed in high schools and you invite a couple guests on to discuss. Can you give us a highlight of some of the issues they present!?
I don’t want to give too much away (go listen, ya kooky kids!) but I will say that Ella and Imani make it very clear that their teachers didn’t always have their backs when they would go to them with issues they were having with sexual harassment and assault. Fellow educators reading this: always do something if a student comes to you and is needing your help. They need to know that you’re there for them and you care about their well being and how they are treated!