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The Joy of Teen Sex

Posted on: February 10, 2011

Upon the recommendation of youth work magazine I’ve been tuning in to several episodes of Channel 4’s ‘The Joy of Teen Sex’; a TV show which aims to discuss teen sex problems and experiences using a team of experts in an open an honest way using their ‘sex shop’.

If you haven’t seen it then the chances are as you watch it you’ll suddenly feel like you’ve become Jeremy Kyle and be shocked at it…that or you’ll wonder why your teenage life wasn’t like that!


The statistics on the show feel very biased. As a youth worker I know that a lot of the stats they use have probably been produced by asking a very select group of young people. To top that off if you apply the American Pie ‘rule of 3’ to the statistics then I suspect you’re far closer to the facts.

Approach Of The Show

To an extent I think it’s important that we’re coming out and saying ‘yes teenagers are having sex’ and addressing some of the issues in the show such as being uncomfortable with aspects of your body and practicing safe sex…addressing the issue of drugs and alcohol in sex are also important however I can’t help but feel the show is a little to flippant and casual.

The general feeling of the show is that young people are taking part in sex…but not just sex but in drugs and alcohol around sex and also having multiple partners, threesomes etc. My problem with this is that it feels like it’s just too accepting and in particular for ordinary teenagers watching I think it can create an unrealistic expectation of sex and also encourage young people to feel pressured into having sex earlier on and with more people.

Teen Journalist ‘Billie’

One aspect of the show which I think has been positive is features with teen journalist Billie who whilst isn’t a gifted interviewer (or especially engaging for that matter) is very honest and perhaps more realistic in her approach. For example Billie has explored glamor modeling, pole dancing and drugs, alcohol and sex. Unlike the rest of the show the young journalist has talked to people who use them, had some experiences (where appropriate) and made a very honest and open opinion about them…often saying that she wouldn’t do it or just doesn’t get it and in my opinion for young people watching the show this is the most useful section…Billie makes it acceptable to not like what everyone else is doing.


Overall I think ‘The Joy of Teen Sex’ is a scary programme. I think it’s a risky and potentially damaging programme for young people to watch and probably scary for parents. As a youth worker it does make me aware of some issues facing young people and is certainly worth watching from an informative perspective but the attitude it promotes towards sex is just that little bit too accepting and encouraging for my liking.

Have you seen it? Thoughts? Comments?