The first information that young people get about sex is usually via online content - and more often than not it’s via porn.
Stephanie Healey is a sex educator determined to buck this trend and help young people access fair, correct and fun information about sexual pleasure. Her TEDx talk will explore where sex education is failing and how we can radically change that. Her message for the digital generations coming of age is simple: you’re not in a porno.
She says, “We need to talk about sexual pleasure, as a matter of urgency. It needs to take centre stage, loud and clear so the people in the rafters can hear. We need it to be at the core of how we teach sex education. I know the idea of having that conversation sounds mortifying - and it might be! - but let’s be brave, let’s break it down and let’s do it: Let’s talk about sex.”
Stephanie Healey is a psychotherapist and sex educator based in Bristol. She has spent over a decade working with teenagers and adults, helping them understand how to have healthy relationships and how to have good sex.
During her twenties, she spent time reflecting on the terrible sex education that she and her friends had received. She realised that young people today face cruel double standards. They spend hours of their lives immersed unsupervised in a hypersexualised digital world with no real guidance from adults and institutions around them. She made the decision to become a sex educator in order to have real, sex-positive conversations with young people about their bodies and sexual pleasure and how to navigate the complexities of sex and relationships.
She says, “Our sexual health and wellbeing often gets neglected, yet we are expected to somehow become sexual with little or no guidance.”
The same is true for her therapy practice, where she spends hours talking about relationships and intimacy. Stephanie says she is unshockable when it comes to sex stories!
“I have seriously heard it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. At my core, I believe everyone is deserving of respectful sex and relationships – including you.”