Sex education

Sex Education: He cheated on me – before we met!

We’ve been watching Sex Education and we love it! But it has made us wonder – does teen sex therapist Otis really know what he’s talking about? We’ve taken scenarios out of Sex Education and asked a real expert what she has to say about them. Will Clinical Psychologist, Dr Kerry Ashton-Shaw, agree with Otis’ advice? Let’s find out!

Scenario #2: He cheated on me before we met!

Otis meets this couple outside an abortion clinic. They’re hard to like at first, yelling at everyone going in, including one of our favourite characters (no spoilers here though). But when Otis ends up walking to the shop with the girl (we never know her name), she rants about how angry she is with her boyfriend. “He had sex with someone else!” she says. “It’s just so hard to get that image out of my brain, you know?” she tells him. “I look at him, and all I see is other women with their lady bits, and he’s putting his bits in their bits. Penetrative sex, it’s horrible!” She turns to Otis. “Have you ever had someone cheat on you?”

We know Otis hasn’t. After all, this is the episode where he’s only just had his first wet dream. “When did it happen,” he asks. “Before we got together” the girl replies. Erm, what? Don’t worry, this confuses Otis too. But this couple is Christian, which means there was an unspoken assumption they’d keep themselves for marriage. “Before he joined our church, he had a very different lifestyle – so I’ve recently discovered,” our girl explains. Well. How do you get around that?

Otis’ Advice:

Charlie can’t change his past, and what’s important is who he is now. We all mess up. It doesn’t mean we’re bad people.

What our expert has to say:

It can be tricky to accept someone’s past – even more so if you have learned to mistrust others. if we have learned that others can cheat and hurt us our brain tries to protect us and say “Hey! he will do that too! Try to take a step back and ask yourself whether you‘re basing your mistrust on your actual relationship or on your experiences in previous relationships. Get opinions from trusted friends and family – other perspectives are often helpful. Maybe your “truth” is just one way of looking at things, and not necessarily the facts.

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