Sex Education won't give you polished, witty dialogue or teens who wake up looking like Beyoncé on any given morning. Instead, you are going to find awkward young adults who are tackling all the issues that even we — who have already been adulting for a hot minute — are still struggling to understand: how to connect to one another, and most importantly, ourselves.
Okay, yes, Sex Education is full of sex scenes, drug usage, and you're probably going to learn a new slang word for vagina by the time you finish bingeing it. But, we're all adults here, right? Besides, what do you expect from a show that revolves around a sex therapist's teenage son who becomes a pseudo-sex therapist for his classmates? Honestly, nothing shown or discussed on Sex Education will be foreign to you if A) you've been on a social media platform in the last 24 hours, or B) you're impatiently waiting for April to get here to watch the Game of Thrones finale. So, let's all just gather around because here are the five moments Sex Education schooled us on love, life, and everything in between.
1. Size Doesn't Always Matter
Adam (Connor Swindells) seems to have it all: the school trembling in terror at his feet, a girlfriend, and a huge "wanker." When Adam's girlfriend realizes he's not able to finish because he has performance issues, Adam seeks help. Out of necessity, he comes to Otis (Asa Butterfield) — our resident sex therapist — for advice. It doesn't take long for Otis and Adam to realize that his erectile disfunction issues have nothing to do with blood flow. Instead, Adam's issues are deeply rooted in his psyche about how others perceive him.
Adam's father runs his school and everyone knows Adam as "the son" of their headmaster. Thus, everything Adam does is a reflection of that. Even though he is well-endowed, Adam experiences performance anxiety because he feels his girlfriend expects him to be good at sex. So, what is Otis's advice to Adam? Own your narrative. Get in front of these aspects of yourself and don't let them define you. But Adam doesn't quite understand this message. In fact, he tries to solve his problem by flashing the school. Regardless of Adam lost in translation, clearly the lesson here is: Your grass is just as green as the next guy's, and yes, it is good enough.
2. Sometimes Love Isn't Enough
When, Ruthie and Tanya ask Otis for help, he doesn't know how to deal with their situation. After all, Otis is still struggling to understand female anatomy, but he is always up for a challenge. Ruthie and Tanya claim everything else in their relationship is fine. After all, they "came out" around the same time, have been best friends their entire lives, and love all the same things. Admittedly, the only time they have difficulty connecting is when they have to be intimate with each other. So, what's the problem?
Even Otis is stumped on this one. That is, until he catches Ruthie making out with another girl, Jessa. When Otis confronts Ruthie about it, she says that — as much as she loves Tanya — Tanya doesn't make her physically feel the way the way Jessa does. Otis's advice to Ruthie? Tell Tanya the truth. The lesson here is that you can't choose who you're attracted to, and you can't engineer a pleasing relationship.
3. Parents Are Just Older Versions Of Us
As Otis blossoms into a bright, young man, his mother Jean (Gillian Anderson) does her best to raise him on her own. The only problem is: Jean's knowledge of sex and the maturation of young men can make things more awkward than they should be. Jean wants to talk frankly to Otis about his inability to masturbate and his nocturnal emissions. Reasonably, Otis doesn't want to discuss a word about it with his mother. Just as Otis has "blocks" when it comes to sex and the understanding of himself, Jean soon learns the same applies to her.
When a handyman comes over to work on the house, Jean finds herself strangely attracted to him. Yes, Jean has had "flings" with other men since her divorce, but something about this man makes Jean alert. When the handyman asks Jean if she's working on another book, she admits she isn't. The last book Jean wrote was with her ex-husband and she's had writer's block ever since. But, something about this intimate exchange spurs something in Jean that makes her start writing again.
When Jean finally tries to make her move, she sniffs his hair. SNIFFS. HIS. HAIR. This leads Jean to a moment of true embarrassment and a need to regroup. After all, Jean is the real sex therapist. Shouldn't she be good at these things? In the end, the lesson is this: We're all only older versions of our former selves.
4. The Sisterhood Of Snaps
An image of Ruby's vagina starts circulating around school and a countdown is set to reveal whose "nudie" this is. Luckily, Otis's business partner Maeve (Emma Mackey) wants to take this case on pro-bono. Maeve has had her own experience with this type of "revenge porn," and she wants to figure out who blasted this image of Ruby out to the entire school. Could it have been one of Ruby's former lovers? The culprit turns out to be Olivia (Simone Ashley), Ruby's best friend!
Ruby can't seem to forgive Olivia for this — for the public humiliation and shame she feels for the criticism she's heard about her vagina. When whispers swirl that the nudie belongs to Ruby, Olivia does what's right. She comes to Ruby's defense, standing up and saying, "It's my vagina." This spawns a slew of other girls to get up and claim the same thing. A sense of sisterhood washes over the girls, each rallying around Ruby and the fact that nobody should be subjected to criticism about their bodies. The lesson? We are all the same. We each know what hurt is, but most importantly, we know we are capable of love and compassion.
5. Love Means Never Having To Be Quiet
Though Otis has fallen in love with Maeve, she has a thing for Jackson. Later, Jackson comes to Otis, wanting to know how to win Maeve's affection. Otis is hesitant to help Jackson, but he absentmindedly reveals some of Maeve's favorite bands and books. Jackson uses this to his own advantage, and it works! Maeve is totally into Jackson, and Otis is left in the dust.
Eventually, Jackson comes crawling back to Otis, asking what he can do to get Maeve to be his girlfriend. Knowing Maeve hates grand displays of love, Otis tells Jackson to do something big. This is where things get messy! Jackson, accompanied by the school's Jazz band, sings to Maeve in front of the whole school. But guess what? Maeve — who claims to hate rom-coms and PDA — loves Jackson's over-the-top gesture. The lesson learned here? Give into your corniness and accept what makes you smile.
You can watch Sex Education on Netflix now!