White Lies

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“Studies show that making out with your significant other before class helps you focus” – a lie told by Tarjei Sandvik Moe as Isak Valtersen in SKAM

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World Wide Woven Bodies

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At the end of the 1990s the Internet comes to Northern Norway and coincides with the sexual awakening of Mads. The introduction of pornographic images into his life complicates his relationship with his parents, and their house becomes a minefield filled with uncomfortable interactions.

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Gender Rules? Let it go!

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A video of a father and son, dressed as Frozen’s Elsa and dancing to her signature song Let It Go, went viral this week. Norwegian comedian Ørjan Burøe posted the video on Sunday to his Facebook account. It shows him and his four-year-old son, Dexter, wearing Elsa’s iconic blue dress and performing delightful choreography.

Burøe told CBS News that, to Dexter, ‘Elsa is a superhero’. In explaining why he posted the video, and joined his son in the first place, he said: ‘It’s important to teach children you can do whatever you want to do. It’s important to embarrass yourself and let go.’

What good Sex Ed looks like

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Jansrud is a Norwegian celebrity and the host of the state-funded educational TV series Newton on Norway’s NRK TV. Among other things, Newton aired a segment on puberty featuring Jansrud frankly discussing (and demonstrating) such topics as kissing, masturbation, and how to give a hickey.

The segment begins with Jansrud explaining that puberty “gives you a new body that can make children if you have sex—otherwise known as fucking, screwing, shagging, getting it on, or making love”.  Jansrud then demonstrates where the clitoris and the sensitive nerves on the penis are located, on both live and rubber models.

“Now, what everyone starts with sooner or later, but rarely talks about, stroking your own sex parts. To masturbate,” she says. “Both the clitoris of the girl and the head of the penis on a boy is full of nerves that make it pleasant to touch.”

She then lubricates the vagina before demonstrating penetrative sexual intercourse on the rubber models, as well as how to use a condom. “For it to be pleasant, it’s vital that the vagina be moist enough,” she explains.”For the woman, you also have to rub the clitoris.” Jansrud caps off the segment by showing viewers her pregnant belly. She found out she was pregnant on the air in February, and she plans to turn her pregnancy into a recurring segment on the series in the coming months.

This isn’t the first time that Newton has taken such a frank and educational approach to sex. The series landed in hot water on Facebook when the social network deleted a clip of Jansrud demonstrating where the uterus and fallopian tubes are located on a woman’s body by painting the organs on a naked model’s skin. Another clip showed Jansrud explaining menstruation by filming the blood trickling down a live model’s legs.

Such a straightforward approach to sex education seems to be par for the course in Nordic countries. A few years ago, a Swedish TV children’s cartoon segment featuring a dancing penis and vagina went viral. The video featured the lyrics “Here comes the penis at full pace” and “the vagina is cool, you better believe it, even on an old lady.”

Unsurprisingly, Newton’s segment has been heavily criticized on a handful of foreign blogs, whose writers seem to think the it’s borderline pornographic and prurient. This is despite the fact that Jansrud also touches on such important issues as homosexuality, the age of consent, and the need to use contraceptives. She’s also quick to assure teens that “there’s no need to rush into having sex. It’ll happen soon enough.”

Sex-positive Norwegian commenters are applauding Jansrud for speaking about issues, like masturbation and penetrative sex, so frankly. “Great series, that I wish I would have seen when I was in school!” one commenter wrote, while another chimed in: “I am genuinely proud of the fact that Norway is leading the way here”.

Perhaps other countries should take a page out of Jansrud’s book and take a similarly frank approach to sex ed, or maybe we wouldn’t have things like chlamydia epidemics at public high schools in America to deal with.