Welcome to Culture Mondays! Culture Mondays may include: podcast reviews, TV reviews, film review, playlists, album reviews, travel posts, theatre reviews, game reviews. Whew.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of podcasts, so I thought it was right to start of my Monday culture posts (that’s right, we’re branching the blog out even further!) with a little podcast review. This is a podcast I’ve been listening to since it started, though I’m a bit behind right now. Very excited to binge-listen to the newer episodes and get caught up!
Doing It! with Hannah Witton is a sex and relationships education (SRE) podcast hosted by YouTuber, author and content creator Hannah Witton. She also posts a lot of SRE content on her main YouTube channel. Each episode, she invites on a new guest, and across the seasons a massive range of topics have been covered. Off the top of my head, some of the topics that have been covered include: pregnancy, LGBT YA literature, sex work, sex and disability, and marriage. The guest Hannah speaks to each week will have some form of knowledge, experience or expertise in the topic being discussed. Episodes tend to mix personal anecdote with discussing practicalities and myth-busting.
I personally had most of my useful sex education from the internet. I watched several different SRE content creators and watched the conversations that were being had around the topics they were bringing up. I’ve found that many young people have learned in the same way, because the national curriculum just doesn’t cover enough information, or give young people a good enough understanding. Now, this isn’t to say my school did a bad job of SRE, because they were relatively inclusive and non-judgemental. There was no abstinence-only education, and LGBT+ people were mentioned (though there definitely should have been a larger focus on LGBT+ sex and relationships). But, I think the issue is that SRE delivered by schools will always be delivered from a purely educational standpoint. They can deliver information until they’re blue in the face, but the thing I found most important about watching these SRE content creators was the personal aspect they brought to the table. They don’t discuss their sex lives in detail, nobody wants that, but they do talk about their own experiences of things like STI tests, and their personal journey to find suitable contraception (shout out to Hannah’s The Hormone Diaries series, and her book!). Online SRE content creators can also talk about something else: the fun side of sex and relationships! It’s not all warnings about STIs and pregnancy and abusive relationships, it also covers sex toys and masturbation and casual relationships.
So, when there’s all these different creators out there, why is Hannah Witton the one that has stuck with me the most since discovering these SRE creators? The main thing I love about Hannah Witton’s particular style, and this is where Doing It! comes in, is the diversity of media. She has her YouTube channel, two books, and her podcast. This makes her content accessible to an even wider range of people. The focus the podcast has on the guest is also something that’s really useful to me. Hannah really knows her stuff, but she hasn’t experienced everything that her guests have! Rather than learning from books and presenting information on topics like pregnancy and marriage and LGBT+ relationships, Hannah reaches out to people who have experience with these things, and asks them to share. The podcast isn’t just educational for the listeners, there’s also been a few times where Hannah has mentioned that her guest brought up something she didn’t know about! This format also offers many opportunities to lift up and amplify diverse voices, which is something Hannah is striving to do, and manages continually.
Of course, due to the nature of the podcast, it’s not suitable for really young listeners, but it isn’t a solely adult podcast, I would argue. Some of the topics are geared towards adult listeners, but the majority of topics and episodes would be suitable for older teens, though of course it depends on the maturity level of the teen in question. While sometimes the topics tackled are quite heavy, there are also some light-hearted, funny topics to discuss: two recent episodes are titled “Painting Hundreds of People’s Vulvas with Hilde Atlanta”, and “Periods and Wanking in Space with Lauren Church”.
I would definitely recommend Doing It! (the podcast AND the book!) to anyone looking for a more inclusive, open-minded, sex-positive form of sex education. Hannah’s book The Hormone Diaries also covers SRE, though more focused on the biological aspect. It covers puberty, contraception, pregnancy, menopause and more. All Hannah’s work is really LGBT+ friendly and considers so many different perspectives that I am constantly in awe of how thoughtful she is, and how diligent in her research and presentation of her content.
I give 4.5 stars to Doing It!
You can find the podcast on most podcast platforms by searching for Doing It! with Hannah Witton.