Play-Doh Penises and Vulvas

If you’re a Bish fan then you’ll know that I don’t shy away from using real and illustrated images of genitals on my resources and also at , my website for young people. I think that being open and honest about sex and relationships is key to good sex education and part of this is being honest about penises and vulvas, how they function and how they can give us pleasure too.

However not everyone likes to be confronted with pictures of genitals. Our own sex education (distilled through cultural and societal negative values about sex and relationships) can make us think that pictures of genitals are weird, scary, dirty, strange, off-putting etc.

So with this in mind I was running a session with parents of kids with learning difficulties about understanding genitals and how to talk to their kids about their anatomy and to learn the correct terms.* Before blundering in with my enlarged illustrated pictures of genitals, I got some Play-Doh**  out and asked everyone to try and model some genitals. Which they did!

My attempt the night before

It was a bit of a giggle and a great way of introduce the topic. I’m sure loads of sex educators have done this before (I’ve always wanted to do it but never got round to it) but if you haven’t I would encourage it.  The parents in particular liked it and thought that it would be a very useful way of teaching their kids about anatomy, a very empowering and non-threatening way of introducing the topic. It’s also interactive and tactile.

Have you done this? Had any success with this approach or something similar? Share below or on twitter @bishtraining

*it’s thought that if young people with learning difficulties can use correct terms to describe their genitals then this can keep them safer from would-be abusers as it flags up that they have had sex education and are more likely to be empowered around their body autonomy

** Other modelling clay is available.