Sex Education Season 2 Review

Season 2 of Sex Education came out last Friday, and after leaving us with Otis’ (Asa Butterfield) climax, I was so pumped to see how his relationships and sex therapy continued. Last season gave us cringe and realistic sexual situations, complex female characters, and the unforgettable “It’s my vagina” meme. This season continued to explore the spectrum of sexuality, but it also explored more contemporary themes regarding sexuality (obvs), mental health, and sexual assault.

 

Spoilers for Sex Education Season 2 

*Trigger Warning for Self-Harm and Sexual Assault*

 

Sexual Representation

(Photo Courtesy of Collider)

 

During season 1, we followed Adam Groff (Connor Swindells), son of the headteacher, and his relationship with his then-girlfriend Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood). However, as Adam was exploring his possible romantic feelings with Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), his father enrolled him in a military school. In season 2, Adam is kicked out of military school and comes back to town where he reunites with Eric and continues his sexual exploration. However, Adam and Eric’s storyline is complicated by Eric’s boyfriend, Rami (Sami Outalbali), and Adam’s lack of self-acceptance. By the end of the season, Adam embraces his bisexuality and runs to proclaim his love for Eric.

    Also, Ola (Patricia Allison) has a complex storyline involving her sexuality. At the beginning of the season, she is still going out with Otis, but, Ola realizes that Otis and Maeve (Emma Mackey) still have feelings for each other and this troubles Ola. Understandably, Otis and Ola break up, and Ola discovers she is also attracted to women. However, when she takes an internet quiz, Ola discovers she is pansexual, so she is attracted to a person, regardless of their gender. 

    Season 2 introduces a new character, Florence (Mirren Mack), who is confused about her sexual orientation. Feeling pressured by her peers to have sex, Florence discovers that she does not want to have sex, and Otis’ mom, Jean (Gillian Anderson) helps her realize and accept her sexuality.

 

Mental Health

(Photo Courtesy of PopBuzz)

 

*Trigger Warning for Self-Harming*

 

Another important topic Sex Education delved into this season was mental health. Last season, Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) was a star swimmer, and we followed him as he tried to get Maeve to be his girlfriend. As a competitive swimmer, Jackson felt pressure from his mom and coaches to be the best, so found temporary relief in his relationship with Maeve, until they broke up. This season, Jackson, not looking for love, continues to feel pressure from his mom to continue swimming competitively for a scholarship. Jackson, not knowing how to tell his mom that he doesn’t want to swim anymore, breaks his hand in an attempt to stop swimming. Feeling helpless, Jackson confides about his feelings and actions to Vivian (Chinenye Ezeudu), and she insists he tells his moms before it’s too late. When Jackson fails to admit his self-harming tendencies to his moms, Vivian tells Jackson’s moms. Jackson’s storyline demonstrates the external pressures one feels and the extent these pressures can lead to. It is an important topic that Sex Education explores that can resonate with anyone, so if you or someone you know is feeling stressed, pressured, or feel like you might self-harm, it is important to see a counselor or talk to someone so that you can get help.

 

Self-Harm Resources: 

1-800-273-TALK or Text Connect to 741741

 

Sexual Assault

(Photo Courtesy of Norma Dominick)

 

*Trigger for Sexual Assault*

 

Perhaps the most impactful and powerful storyline of the season was Amiee’s. During episode 3, Aimee is on the bus when she is sexually assaulted by a male passenger. Although Aimee does not feel initially traumatized, she tells Maeve, who tells Aimee to submit a police report. Over the next few episodes, we see Aimee struggling to get on the bus again, and her relationship with her boyfriend becomes complicated. One day, while in detention, Aimee admits to Meave, Orla, Vivian, Olivia (Simone Ashley), and Lily (Tanya Reynolds) her fear of getting on the bus. Once Aimee tells the girls this, they each go through their own experiences of assault and feeling unsafe. They all walk home together and the following morning, they all get on the bus with Aimee. Aimee’s storyline throughout the season details the experience of many women where they are sexually assaulted and traumatized by men they do not know. This topic showed the reality of many young women who experience sexual assault at a young age and not being able to recognize it for what it is. More importantly, Aimee’s story showed the importance of speaking out and finding solidarity with others. 

 

Resources for Sexual Violence:

800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center

 

(Photo Courtesy of Sex Education)

 

Sex Education season 2 continued the momentum of season one. The show is able to show sexual exploration and epiphanies in a real, and often comical, way. Although the show is also able to demonstrate other heavy, less comical topics. Season two brought a wonderful combination of topics that made us laugh and cry.