With the launch of Sex Education season 3, Netflix fans have pleasure on the brain once again, and the streaming service is leaning into that curiosity – enthusiastically. Not only has Netflix commissioned its own research into the sex lives of Aussies with a survey, but it has brought Aussie sexologist Aleeya Hachem into the fold to chat all things sex ed, too.
We chatted with Hachem – who is part of the Australian Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine – about the key lessons to take away from Sex Education season 3, along with the interesting discoveries Netflix’s sex survey has brought to light.
Here’s what I learnt.
To start, season 3 of Sex Education is perhaps its most empowering
When I asked Hachem over the phone what lessons and themes stood out to her in season 3 of Sex Education, she echoed the sentiments of many fans of the show.
“I think the representation this season was really fantastic,” she said.
“In the first and the second seasons we saw a lot of character development and the introduction of new genders, sexualities and concepts, whereas this season is kind of taking it to the next level.”
Specifically, she spoke to the introduction of non-binary characters, disability representation and the focus placed on sexual exploration as being particularly notable throughout the season.
But one of the biggest themes on display this season, she pointed out, was shame.
“In this season we see a lot of the impact of shame on our sexual fantasies, but also the things that give us sexual pleasure, and even our bodies.”
Not to give away too many spoilers here but this plays out in a pretty poignant way when we see characters comparing the appearances of their genitals and how that pressure can impact self-confidence.
Additionally, there’s a lot of time spent highlighting the damage that shaming appearance, interests, pleasure or identity can do.
“I think it just shows how destroying it can be,” Hachem said.
“One thing that Sex Education does very well is really champion diversity, and what gives us pleasure, and what is our unique pleasure.”
More vulva cupcakes, less shame, okay.
When it comes to Aussie pleasure, there are loads of things turning folks on
Speaking of pleasure, the Netflix sex ed survey took a peek at what turns on Aussies most, and some of the results may surprise you.
Loads of folks reported enjoying sex toys, porn and role-play – which isn’t super shocking. But interestingly, Aussies are way more likely to get hot under the collar for colleagues than they are celebs.
Check out the complete breakdown below:
- Popular sexual pastimes for Aussies and their partners include using sex toys (33%), watching porn together (31%) and role play (27%)
- Turns out the hot new office temp could be a bigger draw than a Hollywood Hottie, with 59% of Aussies fantasising over their bff or a work colleague rather than their celebrity crush (27%) or an influencer (21%)
- Women (30%) love a bit of role-play or dressing up, whilst men reveal they’d prefer to get involved in a little ménage à trois (13%)
On these results, Hachem explained that lockdown has had quite an impact on our sex lives with loads more people (female-identifying in particular) picking up a sex toy than before, and partnered folks “digging deeper” to inject some spice and “explore their fantasies” right now.
As for secretly thirsting after your colleague, that’s probably just down to cheeky little fantasies. (Just don’t do anything creepy about it, yeah?)
Turns out lots of us think we’re good in bed
Confidence is something we’ve chatted about a lot in the world of sex, but while it’s an area many of us are still working on, Netflix’s survey highlighted that “1 in 10 Aussies rate themselves as a ‘great’ lover and nearly a third (32%) rate themselves as ‘good’”.
Love that for us. But what in the hell does “good in bed” even mean?
“I think that people think of themselves as good in bed, they think of how they perform,” Hachem said.
“It’s very much from a performative stance – how they think they are, how they are pleasing their partner, for example.
“What I would like to see is more sexual confidence. You know, confidence within yourself; reassurance about what you like and what brings you pleasure, and how to articulate that to a partner as well. Then actively communicate that, too.”
And how do we get to that place of sexual confidence and clear communication?
“…that comes from so many aspects. Education, confidence, prioritising your sexual health, different things like that.”
It certainly isn’t born in soul-destroying environments like headmaster Hope’s poor attempt at “sex ed” in Sex Education season 3.
Want some more fun Sex Ed stats?
Netflix’s sex survey looked at a whole heap of elements relating to pleasure and sex education. Here are a couple more tidbits you may find interesting.
- 66% of Aussies say they masturbate and 1.9 million claim to do it every day
- Younger people are leading the charge, with half of Gen Z (53%) and millennials (52%) saying they masturbate at least once a week
- There’s been a whopping 18% increase in the number of men masturbating at least once a day in lockdown
- Millennials are the most confident generation with 59% rating themselves as a ‘great’ or ‘good’ lover
- While men might seem full of bravado, in fact it’s women (16%) who actually rate themselves the highest compared to men (11%)
- 54% of Aussies say they have sex at least once a month in lockdown
- 34% of Aussies own a sex toy