"We need better sex education in schools" : Sex Siopa's Shawna Scott

"We need better sex education in schools" : Sex Siopa's Shawna Scott

7 months ago

"Many students are only hearing the most basic biology when it comes to sex."

When it comes to sex education in Ireland, do you feel that your child is being taught everything that they need to know?

Are they being fully informed on how to take care of their physical health, both sexual and otherwise?

Recently I spoke to Shawna Scott, founder of Irish sex boutique Sex Siopa, about what inspired her decision to start her own business, Ireland's sex education, and the changes she would like to see regarding the stigma around sexual health.

For anyone that doesn't know you can you tell us a little about yourself and how your business started?

"My name is Shawna, I'm originally from the United States but I've been living in Ireland for well over a decade at this point.

"Started a sex shop wasn't always in my plans but on a trip home to the States I came across a sex shop across from the college I dropped out of and it was a real light bulb moment.

"It didn't look seedy or have tinted windows, it was bright and inviting with beautiful displays. I hadn't seen a sex shop like it before."

"I wanted to create a place that had safe products for both sexual pleasure and sexual health, as well as a great customer experience, and that's when Sex Siopa was born."

As well as sex toys you also stock sexual health products too, don't you? I won't lie, as a parent I was really impressed to see you stocked Kegel balls and they might be going into my shopping cart.

"Yes, I also have a Health & Wellness section on my online shop that includes menstrual cups, kegel balls and dilator kits.

"Dilators are really helpful if you have a condition that can make sex feel painful such as vaginismus and endometriosis.

"Kegel balls on the other hand are a great way to strengthen and improve your pelvic floor muscles, especially after you've had a baby"

"I feel it's very important to stock health items as they can be difficult to source and are often very expensive when they can be sourced. I try to keep my stock at prices that make health items more available to people that need them."

While in secondary school I felt there was a lot left out of the sexual health packet.

Now as a woman in my thirties I'm still playing catch up when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of not just my private parts but also other health matters like checking my breasts, which was never covered in my all-girls school.

Do you think a lot more needs to be done in Ireland, especially regarding young people, when it comes to sexual health education?

"Absolutely! It still amazes me when I got to talk to college students fresh out of secondary school and finding out that there are still some schools, in this day and age, that aren't giving their students any kind of sexual education.

"Many students are only hearing the most basic biology when it comes to sex and pregnancy but there's very little talk about consent or LGBT+ sex.

The curriculum hasn't been updated in a very long time and it really needs to be.

"Teenagers aren't being given the proper vocabulary when it comes to talking about their anatomy or looking after themselves. Everyone should know as much about their body as possible, not just for their sexual health but for their health in general.

"Don't get me wrong, things are improving like the HSE pilot programme for Sexual Health 24 to provide free at home STI testing.

"You don't see anything like that in the States because everything is privatised, so while there is progress to be made I feel like Ireland is making more steps than some places."

You can find out more about Shawna and Sex Siopa here.