It has been a long time since I did a book review (and I’m making no promises that this is the return of the reviews), but this book is SO good it deserves a review.
If you don’t know, Hannah Witton is a YouTuber (and ex-UoB student like moi) who posts videos about sex and relationships, and has compiled all her knowledge (and the knowledge of others with different experiences and more knowledge than her own) into a great, easily readable book.
Doing It is the guide I wish I’d had when I was a teenager and super confused about sex, my body, and what to do with it – because to be honest, you actually don’t want to turn around to your mum or even your best friend and say ‘hi mum, is it normal to masturbate?’
But even now that I’m 23, I still have questions and I know that I still have much to learn (especially about LGBTQ+ relationships, and Hannah does a great job of integrating the voices of that community). So I’m glad that I picked up Doing It to educate myself and even to learn more about the things I thought I knew about. I will 100% be recommending it to teenagers, parents, and anyone in between who wants to know more about sex and relationships, without resorting to uncomfortable internet articles or those textbooks we had in schools with anatomic diagrams.
What I especially love about the book is how relaxed it is, how non-judgemental it is, how open Hannah is about her experiences and her lack of knowledge about some things. She never pretends to be an SRE expert, just someone who is interested and experienced and who wants to share. So it really does feel like you’re having a chat with a wise older sister who wants to guide you down the Yellow Brick Road of sex and relationships in a healthy and informative way.
I definitely agree that SRE is seriously lacking in schools, and when Hannah wrote about being shown images of STIs in order to dissuade you from having sex, I could totally relate. I don’t ever remember being taught about consent (which to be honest, I could have used), and in biology class when a girl asked if you could get pregnant from oral sex, I wish we had all taken her a bit more seriously and I wish our teacher hadn’t tried to hide the question under the rug.
This is a way more honest book about growing up as a teenager and experiencing sex and relationships than the TV shows many of us learnt about sex from. Skins isn’t real life for many teenagers, and no-one lives their life like 90210 or Gossip Girl. So, Hannah tells it like is really is and the result is a helpful, friendly, welcoming guide to sex and relationships.
A great read and I hope to see this book becoming widely acknowledged as a go-to read on s&r.