My House Looks Like The One In Netflix’s Sex Education

Have you seen Sex Education on Netflix yet? It is absolutely delightful and incredibly well done.Featuring, as its main character, Otis, the teenage son of a sex therapist (played beautifully by Gillian Anderson), it talks about sex openly, honestly, and ways both healthy and helpful. There is so much wonderful that happens in this fabulous series but one scene stuck out to me particularly. (Warning: this is a pretty fluffy thing to have stick out amidst all the genuine, exciting and important stuff that happens on the show. I’m keeping it fluffy today, deal with it). During the first episode Otis has to have a classmate over to his house to work on a school project. We see him frantically run around the house to hide all of his mother’s sex-related paraphernalia. From books, to art, to toys, he hides a ton of stuff only to find, when classmate Adam wanders through the house, that there’s still plenty more to see:

To most folks this probably seems like an exaggeration played for humor because, “OMG can you imagine a house like that?!” Here’s the thing, though, for me it looked pretty freaking real. You see, my home (as well as the homes of many sex writers, educators, and therapists in my circle) is, for real, like that. Check it out:

If you look around my 500 sq ft apartment you will see sex-related art, tons of condoms and lube, a cock shaped lamp, vibrators, butt plugs, wine racks full of wand vibrators, decorative jars full of kegel balls and dildos, oh the dildos, spice racks full of dildos!  From artistic nonrepresentational pieces to multiple variations on the lifelike strap-on penis. I’ve got silicone dildos, glass dildos, stainless steel dildos, ceramic dildos, dildos with handles, dildos with foreskin, dildos that hold bullet vibes, and even little mini novelty dildos.

The truth is, living in a house whose theme is “sex” eventually a couple of things happen:

  1. You stop seeing it. I refer to this as “sex blindness”. At any given moment my living room contains at least three sex toys and at least one bottle of lube. Not to mention the shelves full of sex-related books, the framed patent for the internal condom, and the Love is Art painting (a painting made by having sex on a canvas) that hangs above my couch.
  2. You have a couple of awkward moments. In December a new dog sitter was on her way over. She was someone who came to me via my partner’s social circle and it didn’t even occur to me until she was on her way up that for a lot of people sex toys aren’t the norm, let alone wine racks full of sex toys. Luckily when she got to my apartment we had a quick “do know what I do for a living?” exchange and she found the whole thing funny but I’m always curious about what it’s like for my building’s maintenance staff who has definitely been in here a couple of times.
  3. You start figuring out how to use sex stuff for EVERYTHING. Seriously, I have found a startling array of non-sexual uses for silicone lubricants. Among them: Making my hair smooth and shiny, unsticking, zippers, locks, etc, keeping my little elliptical machine from squeaking, and removing eye make up.

Just for fun, here’s some more of the stuff happening in my house:

But you know what doesn’t happen (for me anyway)with all this sex-related stuff in my house? Embarrassment. Sometimes this is problematic (as in the story above about the dog sitter) because I forget that for lots of other people, seeing that stuff is uncomfortable. But mostly it’s a good thing. For far too many people, talking about sex or anything adjacent to it is awkward or frightening but I’ve learned, over the years, that a lot of folks see the way sex stuff exists in my life —  overt but not willfully “in your face”, not pushy or boisterous but 100% without shame, neither good nor bad, just existing in my home neutrally, the same way chairs and bowls do — and feel at ease. This is how I end up fielding questions that folks have been dying to ask someone FOR YEARS but were afraid to because, frankly, how do you know who is comfortable (and safe) to have that conversation with?

So, yes, Sex Education paints a pretty accurate picture of what the inside of a professional sex talker’s home may look like (we, like anyone else can vary wildly) in general and what mine looks like specifically and, in the end, I think that’s a good thing.


This post was sponsored by The Enhanced Male. All opinions are, as always, my own.

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