Netflix has scored big with its recent teen comedy, “Sex Education,” which was released at the beginning of the year. The show takes a look at the lives of a sex therapist mother and her teenage son. The son is dealing with the challenges of high school, his friend groups, and all of their wacky sexual adventures.
I’m a sex therapist, so naturally, I’ve heard about the show. I haven’t seen it yet. My youngest daughter, on the other hand, has watched it with her friends and has plenty to say about it.
We recently enjoyed some mother/daughter time together when she was home for the weekend. She’s a 19-year old freshman at college. The topic of “Sex Education” came up, and I asked her what she thought. She was pretty direct in her opinion.
“First of all, Mom,” she said, “the so called ‘sex therapist’ mother in the show asks her teenage son about his masturbation habits and tells him he’s not ‘doing it right’.” My daughter had a horrified look on her face as she told me this. I laughed.
She went on, “In real life, that would never happen. I can tell you that as a kid growing up with a REAL sex therapist for a mom, I know a thing or two about boundaries. That’s just totally inappropriate.”
It’s true. Sex therapists, for the most part, are taught to have pretty good boundaries. For instance, I would never tell my kids they aren’t masturbating the right way. That’s not what sex therapists do. And I certainly wouldn’t tell that to my own children.
Even if I were to have a conversation with, for instance, my son about masturbation, I wouldn’t interrogate him on his technique and I wouldn’t tell him he was doing it wrong, unless of course I thought he was hurting himself.
I haven’t watched the show. So maybe I don’t know the whole story. I do know, however, that before they release yet another unrealistic, so-called reality-based comedy that is supposed to represent sexuality for the younger generation, maybe next time Netflix should consult with my daughter.