YouTuber, influencer and leading sex expert Hannah Witton is the cool older sister we all need. From dealing with periods to losing your virginity, she knows the score and she is definitely not embarrassed to talk about it. In fact, that’s kind of her thing. At just 25, she’s already racked up over 250,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel thanks to her weekly videos all about sex and relationships and, luckily for us, she decided to write a book about it too.
Doing It covers everything you’ve ever wanted to know about sex. Healthy relationships, consent, body image, periods, contraception, STDS and all of the nitty gritty details; it’s all in there. Sex education, or lack of it, is a big deal and Hannah has set out to break down the barriers of awkwardness and embarrassment to get us all talking about it openly.
I’ll be honest; I thought I knew everything there was to know. Spoiler alert: I didn’t. But thanks to Hannah I now feel totally clued up.
As her new biggest fan, I caught up with her to talk writing books, sex, periods and more…
Releasing your first book must be super exciting. What made you take the jump from vlogger to author?
“It is super exciting! I can’t quite believe it’s actually happening now after all the work that’s gone into it. The idea of writing a sex and relationships education book just made so much sense to me. I’ve made loads of videos on different topics and written blog posts, but this was a chance to get it all down in one place.”
As you say in the intro of your book, you’re kind of obsessed with sex education. What makes it so important for you?
“I think the taboo around it makes it really important, because we have to break down those barriers. I’m just fascinated by relationships in general and how we relate to one another, and our own bodies and sex and sexuality very regularly comes up in these situations.”
What’s the biggest sex myth you’d love to bust?
“The myth that if you’re a girl sex will hurt the first time. It just makes young people scared of sex before they’ve even experienced it, and it won’t necessarily hurt.”
From losing your virginity to the big O, you’re seriously open about everything sex-related. Is there anything you’re embarrassed to talk about?
“Nothing I’ve come across so far!”
Listening to a teacher talk about sex is a lot people’s worst nightmare. Do you remember your first sex ed lesson?
“Yes! We had one in year 5 or 6 of primary school where they showed us a video about erections and periods. And then when we were in secondary school the nurse came into our PHSE class and taught us about different kinds of contraception and how to put a condom on a test tube.”
What would you say to anyone with a burning question that they feel awkward about asking?
“Write it down and ask multiple people! No-one knows everything about sex so you may even ask adults that don’t know the answer. Google can be your friend. Organisations like Brook have so much information on their websites so it doesn’t even have to involve speaking to anyone.”
What’s the major thing you wish you’d known about sex when you were growing up?
“I wish I’d known that female masturbation wasn’t gross and it was normal.”
Consent is a big deal and you dedicate a whole chapter to it. What’s your advice to anyone who’s unsure of what it means?
“Consent is basically making sure everyone is down with getting down. It is absolutely necessary to know this before you continue shenanigans.”
Yours isn’t the only voice in your book – you also feature a lot of LGBTQ+ contributors. Why was this so important to you?
“I felt like I couldn’t accurately speak on the experiences of LGBTQ+ people and I didn’t want to make assumptions, generalisations or speak over them. I think it’ll make a huge difference to young LGBTQ+ readers hearing the voices of people like them who they can relate to.”
What do you want readers to get out of your book?
“I want them to get a sense of self-confidence out of it around the topics of relationships and sex, so they can go forth in the world and have healthy relationships with other people and themselves.”
Could you tell us the story of your first period?
“I started my period after watching Freaky Friday in the cinema with my mum! I went to the toilet and saw that there was some blood in my knickers. I knew exactly what was happening so I just grabbed a load of tissue paper, shoved it in my pants and when we got home I told my mum.”
If you could tell your 14-year-old self one thing, what would it be?
“What the clitoris is, and where to find it.”
Doing It by Hannah Witton is out now. Grab your copy here.