Welcome to Sex by Dr Melissa Kang & Yumi Stynes


Video Transcription

A transcription in case you are more of a reader than a listener

A controversial book for teens about sex.

Hi, I’m Cath Hak or Cath Hakanson.

Welcome to Sex Ed Rescue.

Sex Ed Rescue is where I help parents to find a better and an easier way to talk

to their kids about love, sex, and relationships.

And it’s also where I spend a lot of time reviewing books because

books can just make your life as a parent so much easier.

Now, this book is called Welcome to Sex by Dr.

Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes.

So at the moment of recording this video, the book is quite controversial.

A similar thing happened about five,

six years ago with the amazing true story of how babies were made.

It was found at K Mart.

A parent took a photo, it went viral, and all of a sudden, book sales went

sky high, and the book was then available worldwide.

Similar thing has happened with this one.

A parent found it at a Big W store, was shocked, shared it on social media.

Big W stopped stocking it in their

physical stores because staff were copying abuse over it.

The book has been controversial because it’s been recommended for children.

Look, I don’t watch a lot of TV, but some of the stories going around are

that the authors have actually been interviewed and have come out and have

said stuff, and it’s doing its rounds through social media.

So a friend, Jackie Hendricks, asked me if I’d reviewed it and I said,

Well, I’ve got it on order at the library, but they haven’t sent me.

It hasn’t arrived yet.

So she dropped off her copy and I’ve actually just ordered my own copy.

So I’m going to keep Jackie’s copy and send her another one.

But she wanted me to have a look at it.

And as I said to her, Look, I haven’t seen it yet, I said,

But I’ve reviewed all their other books and I usually recommend them for an older

age group than what the author or the publisher recommends them for.

I’ve had a good look through this.

I have not read it from page to page because I just haven’t.

I’m what you call a speed reader.

So I’ve done a quick speed read through.

I spent half an hour having a good look

at it, looking for the bits that always interest me.

So the bits that interest me are like pornography.

Does it say, go for it, watch as much as you want?

It doesn’t.

It tells you what pornography is, talks a little bit about the ethics of it,

but it doesn’t tell you whether you should or shouldn’t go.

So sex things in here as well.

It talks about what it is,

but I can’t see the author saying someone was saying that apparently the book tells

you to go off and sex, but to keep your photo out.

A lot of stuff is going to be blown out of proportion for this.

Sex is a topic that a lot of people get on their high horses about.

So I think the best way to make your own

judgment about the book is to actually grab a copy of it.

So why did I like this book enough to go

out and get my own copy, considering I’ve reviewed over 700 books

and I’ve got a huge pile of books sitting over my shoulder and I can look at a book

pretty quickly and gauge whether it’s just the same old stuff that they’re always

publishing or if this is something different.

Hang on, I’m just going to quickly pause

you and compare this to a book that I think it’s similar to.

Can I pause?

Okay, I’m back and the cat is

on the table, so hopefully he won’t start rubbing his snout.

Hang on, he’s trying to eat my microphone. This is Mr.

Fettles, who is a really nice cat, except he bites.

Okay, so the book, when I had a look at it,

the reason I grabbed it is because it’s really hard to find a book that actually

gives kids that in and out knowledge of sex.

So if you look inside it, that’s what the book looks like.

It’s got lots of pictures, lots of illustrations and things.

But it’s really…

So I’ve got a nursing background.

So when I look at a book, I take into consideration child sexual

development because you want to give them information

that they’re interested in, because otherwise it’s just not relevant.

A 10 year old does not need to know the ins and outs of contraception because

they’re not even thinking about having sex.

Therefore, contraception is just irrelevant.

All they need to know is that you can take

medicine that stops a baby from being made.

But when they get closer to being sexually active, yeah, that’s when you want to give

them the information so they can make an informed decision.

You can give a 10 year old all

the information you want about contracception, but I can guarantee you

they’ll forget about it within a couple of months, if not a couple of days.

So when I look at this book, it reminds me very much of the book

that Erika Moen and Matthew Noland, he’s actually put out.

And this is a book that shows you the ins

and outs of sex because teenagers, it’s like driving a car.

You want to know a little bit about

driving a car before you get behind the wheels.

Teens are very much the same.

They want to know how to do sex.

They want to know what hole does it go

into and what order do the steps happen in.

And kids hear a lot of slang and they

don’t understand a lot of the terminology that’s out there.

And most of the people using

the terminology themselves are using it in a wrong way.

But I just wanted to show you that this book, it’s similar to this one as well.

This is the teenage book.

This one was a kick starter,

and then a publisher picked it up and got them to do a teen version.

And it’s good.

It’s a little bit simpler.

And I would say this book is a lot more

vanilla, a lot more conservative and safer than this book.

This book goes into a lot more detail.

But books like this are really important

because, look, I’ve got a 17 year old and my kid’s nearly 14.

I don’t want them learning about sex from porn.

I acknowledge that that it will be their

choice to decide whether they want to watch porn.

And hopefully, we’ve had enough conversation so that they

can make smart decisions about the porn that they’re watching.

But I want them to learn about sex from books like this,

where the information is accurate, and it’s also not quoted in shock and shame.

So back to the book that everyone’s messaging me about to ask about.

There’s one page that I just wanted to show you.

And look, I’ve got a nursing background,

and I get the questions from teens and then kids.

And I wasn’t that impressed at the penis

page because I looked, I could recognise some of these pictures

that the illustrator must have found because I do my own illustrations.

I commission artists myself.

So if you looked in my phone and my camera, you would find thousands

of photos of genitals taken from children’s books.

I recognized a few of them.

I do not know what that is supposed to be.

See that line?

That is a line.

Obviously, no, I really…

The artist has done a great job, but I don’t think anyone actually looked

at the genital pictures to say, Are they actually accurate or not?

I have never seen a penis with a folder like that.

I’ve worked as a sexual health nurse.

I’ve seen more penises than most sex

workers have seen, and I have never seen a penis like that.

Also, if that’s a page on diversity

of penises, it’s not what I would call very diverse.

The volvers are nothing too exciting.

You’d not believe the hours I put

into the volvers that I had designed with making sure that they are

representative of all the different changes.

And even the colours themselves,

I feel that it could be a little bit more diversity in that.

What else did I spot in here?

Oh, so something that I really really like

about this book that I have never seen before is it actually normalises intersex.

And it actually has some illustrations

in here and talks about intersex, shows illustrations of intersex bodies,

but also explains why genitals sometimes could look different and how they develop.

So that in itself is pretty amazing.

I was pretty impressed with that.

So impressed that I had to jump up and tell my kids.

And they, of course, rolled their eyes thinking it was quite boring.

But most books do not even know how to start with intersex.

So for example, the parts we have, it’s showing the different spots where

a urethra can sometimes be, which can happen with some kids when

they’re born, and then they’ll have corrective surgery.

So that in itself, I thought was really nice to see.

But the book is quite good.

It’s controversial in regards to…

Let me see if I can find find it.

There’s a page that talks about…

We’ve got different sex positions, so it’s got a page like that.

That’s why I would not recommend this book for a 10, 11, 12, 13.

And it’s f it was a 14 year old, it would have to be a mature 14 year old.

So it’s a book that you would learn about sex from.

So it’s a manual, I guess you could say, but it’s simplified and it’s illustrated

in a way that I guess is kid friendly in regards to how it’s set up.

So normally, books like this would be just rows and rows of words.

So anyway, I like it.

I think it definitely fills a gap

in the market because there are not many books that talk about sex in a way.

And you’ve got to remember, Melissa King is a GP.

She actually wrote and answered a lot

of questions for teenagers for Dolly Magazine.

That was a magazine I grew up with.

And Melissa Kang has children herself.

But I just feel that the book is definitely not for tweens.

It is definitely not for children.

As a parent, you’re yourself,

I think you should be reading this book because I don’t know about you,

but I haven’t been on the single scene for a long time.

Sex is still sex,

but the language, you forget a lot of stuff because you’re

not out there doing it in the single scene.

Therefore, I find that this would be a really good book for a parent to update

your own knowledge about love, sex, and relationships as well.

And it’s just got really good information.

There’s really good information about the different types of contraception.

It shows them picture by picture how to put a condom on.

And it’s also inclusive in regards to how it talks about bodies as well.

So it doesn’t make the assumption that you’re going to be heterosexual.

It doesn’t make the assumption that you’re cisgender.

So I’m cisgender,

I identify as being a girl or a woman, and I was born with a vagina and a vul.

Sorry, my cat is trying to crawl up the wall.

Okay, so that’s that book.

As I said, I think it’s a great book.

So good that I’m actually ordering my own

copy, but it’s definitely not a book for tweens or for children.

It’s a book for what I would say would be 14 plus.

So if you’ve got a kid who’s wanting

to learn more about the mechanics of sex and wanting to get more

of an understanding around it, I think it would be a really good book to have.

The book that I will be leaving this out for my teenagers to have a look at.

And I think it’s a book that you could either even look at yourself and learn

a lot more about love, sex and relationships.

And yeah, it’s controversial.

I think eventually everything will blow over.

And I’m curious to see what other books these authors come out with.

They’ve got one about consent, one about breasts, periods.

And I thought, I thought, I thought, I saw that they had one coming out about

the volver or the penis, but I could be wrong, don’t quote me on that one.

I can’t quite remember where I got that information from either.

I go and visit the librarian at the local

library, the children’s librarian, and she actually gets the emails

from the publishers telling them of what books are coming up.

And I think that’s where I got that information.

But don’t quote me because I could be wrong.

I get a bit confused and forget things sometimes.

When you review as many books as me, it’s easy to get confused.

And on that note, because my cat has just jumped over the screen again,

but luckily he kept his tail down low this time, this is that book Welcome to Sex.

And as I said, it’s definitely a good book for the older age group.



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