Drawn to Sex: The Basics by Erika Moen & Matthew Nolan is a book for adults that is also a great way for older teens to learn what sex is all about.
As a sex educator (who understands that teens are curious about sex) and as a parent (who doesn’t want her kids learning about sex from porn), I am a HUGE fan of this book. It is a book that has been written for over 18s, so it is extremely explicit in regards to the images and information inside. You definitely want to watch the video review and see what’s inside before you order a copy.
So is this a book for kids? Not for kids but definitely for older teens who are already sexual or who are starting to think about sex as something they would like to do. It is a sex manual in that it does teach you how to ‘do it’ BUT is also about consent and respecting your partner. The information is accurate and correct, and the illustrations mean that it is difficult to misinterpret the information, as it literally shows you what happens. It is also very inclusive and considers the fact that you might be attracted to someone with a penis or you might be attracted to someone with a vulva or you might be attracted to both of them. There are lots of different body shapes, people in wheelchairs, transgender or gender diverse people and more.
Books like this are needed, as more and more teens are turning to porn to learn about sex. This isn’t ideal as it isn’t everyday sex and the focus is on the act rather than the relationship. So we need an alternative that teens will want to read, something that will stimulate them and make them sit in a chair for 2 hours glued to the book (like my kid was). This book is that alternative.
And yes, it is explicit but your teen will be fine with the information in it (and they will think you are a pretty cool and open parent for giving it to them). They probably know a lot more about sex than you think they do. And the information in this book is just what they need. So make sure you have a look at it yourself before handing it over and let them know that they can come and chat to you about anything they read in it. And if you don’t know the answer, be honest and tell them that, and then go find the answer (or email me instead, LOL). Remember, the emphasis with sex education is on being the sort of parent that kids want to talk to. It isn’t about knowing everything and getting it right – it is about being approachable! Books like this make our job as a parent, a lot easier!
It isn’t very often that I rave about a book, but this book deserves it. I see it as a way for teens to learn enough about sex that they won’t need to turn to porn to fill in the gaps.
Drawn to Sex: The Basics by Erika Moen & Matthew Nolan is ideal for older teens who are curious about sex or who are already sexually active.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
You can find more books like this in my list of Sex Education Books for Children.
You can also watch a video review below.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. To find a better way to talk about sex, you can join my community of parents and visit my shop for helpful resources.