More people need to have mindsets like Hannah’s. I absolutely loved this book, and I feel like me and Hannah are cut from the same cloth; I didn’t agree with absolutely everything, but I did appreciate every word on every page of this book. There is no question in my mind, when the day comes that I have young teenage children – they will be reading this book.
Throughout my teenage years I saw many of my friends experiencing things that just weren’t healthy – and anyone who knows me well will know I had an experience of a very unhealthy ‘relationship’ through most of my teen years. My experience made me stronger and more aware of what I deserve and don’t deserve, but that doesn’t mean that how I was treated was okay. It was during this chapter that I decided that my children will read this book – I never want my children to not understand what they should have in a relationship and I feel like Hannah’s writing will help educate them so, so much. I also spent 2 years being single and at first I found it very difficult (and not just because I was unwell); it was a lonely time and due to bad health I lost a lot of friends. But, being single helped me learn who I am and I’m a lot more comfortable in myself after that time. I think the only thing I really didn’t agree with was Hannah’s emphasis on friends… friends are of course important, but as someone who’s more of a lone wolf (yes I know I talk about wolves too much) I found this emphasis a bit upsetting – friends can help you find who you are, and help stop being single being a bad experience – but, for me it was my books that helped me the most; I found myself and what I’m interested in through reading… and books can’t desert you when you’re in hospital. I also loved the break ups section because I think a lot of people need to realise that break ups just aren’t very nice, but they do get easier.
This chapter is so important. I love that Hannah answered all of thetypical losing-your-virginity questions; another reason why I will make sure my children read this book.
The sex ed section of this book was hilarious and I loved hearing about Hannah’s Nudy’s experiences! I also learnt some stuff too (so did my mum after I read some bits to her).
Again, I learnt some stuff from this chapter, and I got some answers to questions I didn’t want to ask any LGBTQ+ individuals through fear of offending them (I also wasn’t sure what the Q stood for!) Reading the passages by trans, gender fluid, queer, bisexual and asexual individuals was really refreshing and I pray that one day things like this will be taught freely in schools. I think of myself as being accepting and educated about LGBTQ+ individuals, but I definitely learnt some really interesting things. I am so, so pleased Hannah asked these people to tell their stories.
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. This whole chapter was a dream to read. I’ve had a few arguments recently about what consent means and it feels good to know that what my thoughts are match with the law. This chapter was another one that reinforced my want to get my (future) children to read this book; I want my children, regardless of gender, to know when someone isn’t giving consent and that it’s okay to withdraw or not give consent. There are a lot of people (on the internet) who try to deny what the laws say and I hate it. I’m sure this chapter will change a lot of people’s lives. I think the part of this chapter that made me think the most was the part by Rikki about deaf relationships and consent – I found the notion that some people think deaf people don’t have sex very strange, but I never thought about how consent works in deaf/hearing or deaf/deaf relationships. Huge thanks to Rikki for the education.
Like Hannah’s experience, when I was a teenager we didn’t really talk about female masturbation – boys could talk about it for hours but if a girl mentions it she was shunned! It was seen as gross and unlady-like, and I’ll admit to lying when asked if I did it when I was a teenager. I’ve never been someone who does it very much, but I am happy to admit I do it now that I’m older and aware that it isn’t something to be ashamed about. I loved the segment of this chapter where Hannah’s friends had submitted their own masturbation experiences – there was one that matches mine quite well and it was reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who experiences are like that!
Again, this was something discussed a lot by male teenagers and I can confirm that it gave a lot of them a false idea of what sex is really like. I don’t think it was ever an issue with any of my partners, but I know that some of my female friends were made to feel inadequate because they didn’t match up to their boyfriend’s porn-fantasies. Now that me and my friends are in our 20s I don’t think it’s much of a thing amongst us and our partners, but I know it definitely caused issues as teens. I love that Hannah admitted that porn is for everyone and that it isn’t dirty – this is so important. I’ll definitely be checking out Erika’s work. Also, the bit on porn addiction was really interesting – I knew it existed but I didn’t know anything about it, so a big shout out to Oliver for sharing his experience.
Bodies and Body Image
This is something that past me needed and current me is happy to have read. I am a lot more comfortable with how I look as I’m older now and have tattoos, but as a teenager I was very insecure because I was incredibly thin; people envied my size but I hated it. I’m not that thin anymore, but I think I would have been a lot happier if I’d had this chapter to read when I was 15. P.s. loved the drawings!
The “What is ‘real’ sex like?” bit was wonderful. I had no idea what real sex was like before I lost my virginity but six years later (wow I can’t believe it’s been six years) I’m still learning (and so is my boyfriend).
Surprisingly, I actually learnt some stuff from this chapter! There were some types of contraception I’d never heard of so it was cool to find out about them.
I liked reading the story about someone who had had chlamydia; it was interesting, but also made me angry at the asshole liar. It’s also nice to know I’m not the only one who has made partners go to a clinic to get tested!!
Again, a really informative chapter that I wish I’d had access to as a teenager – I definitely would have thought twice about taking/sending pictures if I’d been more aware of the consequences. This chapter isanother reason my children will be reading this book.
This is a chapter all women should have access to (and guys too). Such an important message for teenagers to understand.
If you’ve got this far, then well done to you for your persistent reading… as you can probably tell I adore this book. I relate to Hannahalot and feel like we could be great friends. Despite being one of the last of my friends to lose my virginity I’ve always loved talking about and hearing about sex. I think it’s just an important thing to talk about and it should never be frowned upon. I want every teenager to read this book – if I could afford to I’d be sending copies to every school in the country.
Hannah, you have done something incredible with this book and I really hope it’s only the start of these kinds of conversations. I don’t just think, I know that this book will make a huge difference to a lot of lives. I may not be a teenager anymore but you’ve helped me in several ways. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.