For those weary of high-school sex-ed teachers who turn red at the mention of “masturbation,” the Midwest Teen Sex Show provides a comically candid alternative to ‘bird and bee’ euphemisms. The video podcast, created by Guy Clark, Nikol Hasler and Britney Barber, all in their twenties, was launched in April 2007 and promises to provide “sex edutainment“—sex education that isn’t boring as hell.
Clark, the brainchild behind the show, produces and directs every episode. Hasler who acts as the program’s pleasantly wry host, is a mother of three who manages the offices of an online vegan company and teaches creative writing. She met Clark in high-school, and agreed to sign-on as host once he sold her on the idea. In a September 2007 interview she said, “I like teenagers because they are still learning to be adults, yet they have the sense to still be children.” Barber, an actress, successfully auditioned for the role of the “funny, sexy, girl,” performer and now plays the wacky, audacious character that stars in the zany skits featured on the show.
The show puts a quirky yet informative spin on issues of teen sexuality moving beyond the standard “sex sells” mind-set of pop culture teen programming found on ” The Hills” or ” Gossip Girl.” While the topics, from ” contraception” to “ the first time,” can sometimes zip past a PG rating, there is nothing overly bawdy or scandalous about the content—so porn seekers, surf elsewhere.
The structure of the three to five minute episodes is generally consistent, with Hasler introducing a topic such as, The Older Boyfriend, and Barber playing lead actress in a skit that illustrates just how creepy 25-year-olds who like teenage Lolitas can be. In the Abstinence episode Hasler assures teenagers, “If your not having sex your not getting a sexually transmitted disease, no matter what you’ve read about toilet seats.” Barber then demonstrates a slew of alternative activities the abstainer can enjoy– Parcheesi anyone? The ladies explore the tortures of high-school locker room nudity in the Gym Class episode, ending with every boy’s fantasy– a lesbian shower scene.
Together the hosts give the show a hilariously rich quality, without taking away from the seriousness of the themes they address. Additionally, both the subject-matter and characters are hugely accessible and designed to connect with everyday teens, rather than Beverly Hills socialites, or blossoming celebrities.
The Birth Control episode, in which Hasler cites the “pull and pray,” as the “reason she has two of three of her children,” offers up advise on the many ways to make love, not babies.