New for 2023, a major update to the BISH Leaflets resource. 24 leaflets covering a broad range of RSE topics, ideal for working with young people in one-to-one or small group settings. Designed for sexual health services, C-card schemes, and outreach projects.
In the last 9 years, language has changed, I’m a better educator, and I’ve got a lot better at drawing too! In one way or another I’ve been working on these leaflets since 1999.
The History of BISH Leaflets
I first developed them for working with young men in various sexual health drop ins. Over time I realised I needed a resource which I could use to help explain something to a client and then fold up and put in their condom bag. I found that the resources available at the time weren’t really in a style which suited the young people I was working with. I needed something which I could get onto two sides of A5, with illustrations.
On the various projects I was working on, as I developed as an educator in response to the kinds of questions I was getting from young people, I developed more leaflets. When I got to about 10 leaflets I started to more formally introduce people accessing the service to different topics. This ended up being a kind of RSE course, so each time a young person attended they’d get a different leaflet.
This opened up new spaces for them to ask different kinds of questions, to chat about things that they might not normally get to chat about in a sexual health setting. Things like actually enjoying sex (which I was finding a lot of men and women were not doing), consent, gender, communication. I was beginning to find that young people were coming in as much for these leaflets as the condoms. Groups of young people would travel long distances to take part in their own RSE over the course of many weeks. They really valued someone being able to calmly explain a topic with a leaflet to back up the information and resources being provided.
What these sex ed leaflets do
These A5 bits of paper were acting as really valuable technologies of the self. A piece of paper gave us the focal point of having a conversation about sexuality in a similar way that intently watching a float when fishing gives the youth worker and the young person the possibilities of talking about their lives. The materiality of the paper does something here. Just as being able to fold it up and put it in their condom bag gives them an ‘extra’. As well as an opportunity to read it at home when they might have more time and space and comfort. I initially called these leaflets ‘bite size chunks’ because I was finding that they just really valued little bits at a time. It also encouraged them to come back to the service and to voluntarily build the relationship with me (which they did).
When we think about the relationships and sexuality education we all received and how much shame and stigma this installed in us, I was finding these leaflets to be really quite transformatory. Of course, this also really helped to transform my practice too. Through the hundreds and hundreds of conversations over the total of 13 years of working in these settings, with these leaflets, I learnt how to make these kinds of resources and what might work. I also had to do my research and get a lot better at drawing, writing, and designing resources. I also got better at holding the space, asking the right questions, paying attention to the vibe, getting my tone of voice right. All of this was facilitated, or helped to emerge, from having leaflets like these.
The leaflets led to the website
Eventually, when I saw young people with their Blackberries, I realised that I should probably start a website, which is when BISH started. The website began by me putting the content of my leaflets on a wordpress blog. Once I ran out of leaflets I started to upload other bits of content too. Eventually the funding was cut for the last of my (very successful) face to face projects and I began working online. If I was working in a sexual health service, or in any kind of one to one work or small group work, I would have a set of these leaflets photocopied and ready to give out. I would also have the BISH Activity Book to hand too, as these have more interactive worksheets.
How to use these RSE leaflets
So this is a long way of saying that this is what the BISH Leaflets were designed for, working with young people who want some answers to questions, or some resources for them to make sense of sexuality and relationships for themselves. So they are great for health advisors, outreach workers, youth workers, counsellors, ISVAs, IDVAs, or anyone doing work with individuals over 14 who would value a bit of one to one RSE.
Each leaflet is A4 size, with enough space to print them back to back on A5. If you need to print them on A3 that should be fine as the resolution is 300dpi. This means you could also have them professionally printed too if you wanted.
Each purchase of the BISH Leaflets Download gives you a licence for you to use this for your work. You can print off as many copies as you like to use in your own work (copies shouldn’t be resold without my permission). Please don’t share the file electronically with anyone else. If you have any questions about this do let me know, I’ll probably say yes.
The relationships and sexuality education leaflet topics
Sex and Gender
A Guide to Relationships
How’s Your Relationship?
Should I Have Sex?
How to Ask
A Guide to No
What Sex You Might Want and How to Talk About It
How to Have Sex
Booze and Sex
Communicating During Sex
How to Enjoy Sex More
Have Amazing Sex Without Having ‘Sex’
A Guide to Masturbation
Sexual Health Services
Condoms and Dams
Penis and Balls
An Educational Guide to Porn
Porn and You