cover of S.E.X. by Heather Corinna (Scarleteen)

S.E.X. by Heather Corinna (Scarleteen)

Book Review:  A  book for teens about everything they could possibly want to know about sex from the founder of the Scarlateen website.

Book Review

S.E.X., second edition: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties by Heather Corinna is the book that tells teens everything (and I mean everything) they need to know about love, sex and relationships.

This book covers everything that teens need to know about love, relationships and sex. It covers a range of topics that are relevant to the sex education of teens: gender, sexual orientation, masturbation, self-esteem, sexual intercourse, sexually transmitted infections, contraception and so much more.

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Ideal ages

S.E.X., second edition: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties by Heather Corinna is ideal for teens aged over 14 years of age.

Buy a copy

You can buy a copy of S.E.X., second edition: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties by Heather Corinna from Amazon or Book Depository.

You can find more books like this in my extensive list of Sex Education Books for Children.

Video book review

Read the video transcription

Hi, I’m Cath Hak and today we’re looking at S.E.X., the second edition: The-All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties by Heather Corinna.

Corinna set up Scarleteen, an American site for teenagers to find sex education. It has lots of great information. Everything on there is written in an open-minded yet non-judgemental way. This site doesn’t tell teenagers what they can and can’t do; they’re giving them the information and letting them decide.

Now, S.E.X. is a massive book, and this is only the second addition. If you want to buy it for your child, I suggest you do so around the age range of fourteen to sixteen-years-old. Even then, I think fourteen is too young as this book is for people in their late teens to early twenties. After all, the brain doesn’t fully mature until you are twenty-five.

Corrina stuffed this book with plenty of useful information, so it is hard for me to show it to you. But, let’s start with the ins and outs of sex with partners.

Corrina continues to talk about sexual activity, pregnancy, STI risks, and what kissing is. Premature ejaculation, mutual masturbation, dry sex, and manual sex are a few more things she talks about. There are also boxes of information on the side which tell you interesting facts unrelated to the main points.

With the page I’m looking at, there’s plenty of information to read. Some slang is used, but proper terminology is used a lot. Depending on where you live, this slang could be confusing to you, though.

This book is also very transgender-friendly. When she talks about females and males, she doesn’t use phrases like, ‘Girls have a uterus.’ Instead, she says, ‘People with a uterus,’ or ‘People with a penis.’ Society, in general, has come a long way with identifying the differences between sex and gender. So, asking someone if they have a uterus or penis compared to asking if they identify as female or male.

Corrina is very good at talking about subjects like this in a non-judgemental way.

Also, while this book is for teenagers to read, it can be extremely useful for parents. While I’m not sure about you, even though I worked in an STI clinic, I have no idea what the recent developments in STI’s are. Things change, new infections appear, or our screening gets fancier.

The way people behave change, and so many adults don’t use condoms anymore. If you’re in a long-term relationship, chances are you don’t use condoms. The ones out now are also very different to the one’s many parents used to use. It is hard keeping up to date.

Abortions are a great example. How many of you know you can now just use a pill to terminate a pregnancy? There isn’t any medical procedures or operations needed to do so now.

But I do think this is a book the entire family could use. You could have it sitting on the bookshelf in case anyone has questions or wants to bring up a conversation. Maybe your children hear something about pornography, and you think, “Oh shit, how do I talk about that?” Use this book. It does have useful ideas and appropriate language.

This is a great book that my kids and I will be reading. Though we are another two years off bringing this one up, there should be a new version out by the time they’re ready. Even if your child is too young, in the twelve to the fourteen-year old range, it’s not too early to buy it. I think it’s a great idea to have a read of the book yourself. Because, as parents, we need to stay up to date with everything.

Even though I’ve worked in an STI clinic, Contraceptive clinics, Women’s health, and Sex therapy, I can guarantee that it will all be different in a few years. Even experts need to stay up to date.

S.E.X. by Heather Corinna is a fantastic book that you should get.

Have a good one, cheers.


My mission is to create resources that will help you to naturally talk to your kids about sex, all while respecting your personal values.

Which means that inside this website, you'll find lots of resources to help you with talking to your child about love, sex, relationships and growing up.

My Sex Education 101 page includes all of the information on sex education. You'll find lots of different blogposts to help with getting started, on a wide range of different topics.

My Puberty 101 page includes all of the information on puberty. You'll find lots of different blogposts to help with talking to your child about growing up.

You'll find videos about sex ed in my Sex Education Videos resource page that you can watch with your child or to learn more about sex education yourself.

You’ll also find an extensive range of sex education books for children, for kids of all ages. There's even some books in there for parents! 

If you're looking for some ideas on how to talk to your child about bodies, How to Talk to Kids About Bodies, will help you to start naming the private body parts and to have shame-free conversations with them about bodies. It is filled with lots of different ideas on how to have natural converasations with your child about their body. 

You'll also find some child friendly anatomically-correct cartoon illustrations of the genitals and internal reproductive organs that are appropriate for children from the age of 3 and up. Let's Look at Different Body Parts is a printable that will help take the awkward out of talking to your child about their body, so they grow up feeling educated, confident, and comfortable in their own skin.

If you're worried that talking to your child about bodies might lead to questions about sex, then you can relax. How to Talk to Kids About Sex, will help you to explain sexual intercourse to your child in a way they will understand. It breaks sex down into simple steps that  take the stress out of explaining!

If you want a printed book to hold in your hands, then the  The Sex Education Answer Book will give you age-specific answers to the most common questions kid's ask parents about sex. Which means you don't need to worry about finding a child-friendly explanation that your child understands. 

If you want the answers to questions about a lot more than just sex, then Sex Ed Quickies is your best option. It has answers to 300+ questions  that kids commonly ask parents,  including how babies are made, sexual intercourse, body parts, puberty, relationships, pregnancy, birth, masturbation, sexual diversity, gender, pornography, STIs, contraception and much more.

About the Author Cath Hakanson

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.

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