I know I wasn’t the only one waiting eagerly for Season 2 of Sex Education to drop on Netflix. From queer kisses to women wanking on screen, it didn’t disappoint. It’s definitely not without its flaws, but there’s some things it got very, very right.
They actually said the words pansexual, bisexual, and asexual.
Bisexual characters in mainstream media are becoming more common, but when do you hear them actually say the word bisexual? The only person I can remember saying the word ‘pansexual’ is on TV is Joe Lycett. And honestly? I don’t think I’ve ever seen any that outright says the word asexual, and certainly make it clear that you’re not broken if you don’t want to have sex. Season 2 has characters who identify as all of these, and who say that they identify as bisexual, pansexual and asexual respectively.
They emphasised the importance of friendship love.
And on the theme of bi-pan solidarity, Ola and Adam might win a ‘most unlikely friendship’ award, but their relationship is incredibly sweet. Ola telling Adam that she loves him, as a friend, is a heart-warming moment. Friendship should be celebrated just as much as romantic love, and the friendship between Ola and Adam is a significant relationship for both of them.
They let women tell guys how they like to be pleasured.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wincing as Otis jabbed away at his girlfriend’s vagina the first time he was brave enough to attempt to finger her. I totally understand why Ola didn’t say anything to him, but I’m really glad she told Lily who then told Otis. Even if he is playing sex therapist, he shouldn’t assume that he can research how he can get his girlfriend off – he needs to talk to her.
They talked about sexual assault in a really powerful way.
Season 1 of Sex Education had some amazing moments of female solidarity (“No, it’s MY vagina!”) but Season 2 went bigger and better. They show Aimee’s trauma after she’s sexually assaulted on the bus with the gravity it deserves, and they let the other girls tell their own stories about sexual harassment and unsolicited dicks. And the scene when all the other girls turn up at her bus stop to get the bus with her? That was incredibly powerful and so very important.
They had a disabled actor playing a disabled character.
Isaac, a wheelchair user, is played by George Robinson – an actor who’s quite possibly using his own wheelchair for filming Sex Education. It’s rare to get good disability representation on mainstream media, let alone one who highlights the lack of accessibility and the way non-disabled people don’t think about the challenges that disabled people face every day.
They showed an older woman reconnecting with her sexuality.
We get to see Maureen Groff, slowly and nervously, express her desires. We watch her at one of Jean’s Vagina Workshops, we watch her talking about her fantasies, and we watch her asking for a divorce. We also watch her use a vibrator in her bathroom and having what looks like a spectacular orgasm. We need to normalise the idea of older women wanting sex, and Maureen’s was one of my favourite story lines of Season 2.
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