Sex Education Season 2: #MeToo Trigger Warnings – A helpful guide

If you’re stoked for Season 2 of Netflix’s Sex Education, because you, like me, have been waiting a year for its release, you’ll want to get right on that. But if you’re triggered by discussions of sexual harassment and assault, you should be prepared for a major story line on this topic.

Now, I still think you should watch the second season! I’d hate for you to miss out on all the other great elements of the show for fear of being triggered. Since I personally am not triggered by this, and I wanted to watch the show twice through anyway, I’ve taken this small task upon myself. I’ve made a trigger-free watch guide in the hope of making this season possible to watch, even for those of us who have this particular trigger.

General guidelines: This guide will be most helpful if you are watching with another person who can tell you when to look away and when you can look back. However, it will also work if you’re watching alone and keep a close eye on the time.

Disclaimer: Please take everything written here with a grain of salt. These are not my personal triggers, so I can not guarantee 100% that the list I have provided will let you watch completely trigger free. I did my best but I might have missed something. I therefore encourage you to watch with a supportive friend or someone who has already watched the episodes who can help you through it and be there for you just in case.

What’s in this guide?

  1. A timeline of relevant scenes to skip, down to approximate minutes:seconds with trigger-free scene summaries so you know if there’s anything important you missed.
  2. Technical terms for the event and themes.
  3. Not trigger free: A dry, vague summary of the event and relevant issues the story raises.

If you are not sure if this particular story will trigger you, my recommendation is to have someone you trust read list element 3 above so you can suss out the severity of the event.

Additional trigger: Self Harm. There are two scenes which could be triggering because of self harm, and they are:

  • Episode 1: 32:07 – 32:40
  • Episode 6: 31:35 – 34:03

Timeline

Episodes 1 & 2

  • Clear. Line begins in episode 3.

Episode 3

General guideline

for this episode there is a helpful visual to cue when you should look away and plug your ears: any time you see Aimee carrying the pink cake.

  • 2:10 – 2:30 Intro. nothing really happens yet, Aimee sees the perpetrator.
  • 3:19 – 4:15 The incident.
  • 10:49 – 11:40 Cue: You will see Aimee carrying the cake but you can wait until Otis leaves before looking away. Safe when: you see Eric and Otis in the library. Summary: Aimee tells Maeve what happened. Maeve encourages Aimee to report the incident.
  • 15:34 – 17:10 At the police station. Safe when: you see Jackson
  • 24:16 – 26:22 Visual cue: Maeve and Aimee in an interview room. Talking to the police officer.
  • 28:37 This bit is clear. You see Aimee and Maeve getting a ride home with the cops, and there’s a cute lizard.
  • 31:44 Also clear. Continuing on the drive home, Aimee and Maeve discuss other story lines from the series and it is worth watching this bit.
  • 38:19 – 40:35 Cue: in the car, the cop asks, “is this you?” Aimee arrives home. Her mom is drunk and asks Aimee about her day.
  • 43:05 – 43:35 Visual cue: the bus. Aimee’s PTSD theme begins.

Episode 4

  • 5:35 – 6:20 Visual cue: the bus. Aimee has PTSD

Episode 5

  • 6:21 – 6:50 Visual cue: Aimee getting her shoes from the closet. Aimee has PTSD
  • 23:50 – 25:14 Cue: Steve opens the door for Aimee. Aimee has PTSD. It is worth noting that Steve is a loving, supportive partner to Aimee at every step of the way.

Episode 6

  • 35:50 – 36:27 Right after Otis: “Ah ha ah ha you want some vodka.” Aimee PTSD. What you need to know: Aimee breaks up with Steve.
  • 45:02 – 45:13 No explicit mention, but you see Aimee walking home alone and she’s sad.

Episode 7

General guideline

The main trigger scenes in this episode happen when the girls are in detention. Visual to cue when you should look away and plug your ears: when you see the girls hanging around on the green couches. Not all the scenes in this setting are triggery, just the ones that happen after 29:10. Exception: the first PTSD mention does not have this aesthetic.

  • 7:14 – 7:40 Aimee PTSD. Immediately after Maeve says “Aimee guess what?”
  • 29:41 – 30:13 When Olivia says “It just got interesting.” The girls are in detention, Maeve and Ola argue about Otis. Aimee is triggered and says what triggers her.
  • 31:05 – 33:45 SKIP THIS SCENE. Cue: After Jean (on the phone): “Can I come see you?” All you need to know is: The girls all share their own personal #metoo stories. The specific gory details are not important to the overall plot lines. It’s a beautiful scene, it contributes to the show and covers a wide range of experiences. You see the girls bonding and supporting each other and expressing their strongest selves. It’s important for people who don’t know much about this, or are skeptical of the validity of the #metoo movement – to watch. But if you’re the victim? It’s not directed towards you and you are under no obligation to see more of this. Safe when: “You know who loves ginger nuts? Eric Clapton.”
  • 40:16 I think this segment is safe to watch, but here are some things you should be prepared for: Olivia delivers a fun and interesting line that includes the phrase “non consensual penises” and that’s it. Then we have the smash scene. This is worth watching in my opinion because it is empowering and cute and badass, and personally I really enjoyed it. There is one brief mention of the trigger material, and here are the cues: Aimee says “I’m angry that I’m not good at baking cakes.” And then delivers another line about Steve. Then, in her third line, the incident and PTSD are referred to: **TW** “I’m angry that a horrible man ruined my best jeans, and nobody did anything, and now I can’t get on the fucking bus!”
  • 46:47 The girls show solidarity and support each other. To help Aimee through her PTSD, they all take the bus together.

Episode 8

  • Clear. Does not contain these specific triggers.

The Event

Technical terms for what happened: sexual misconduct. Basically, something of a sexual nature happened without consent.

Summary: Aimee is taking the bus to school when a stranger masturbates next to her.

The PTSD Theme

After the event, Aimee suffers from PTSD.

She is affected in the following ways:

  • She can’t take the bus
  • Sees/hallucinates the perp in random places
  • she struggles to be intimate with Steve

If you found this helpful, please let me know. Feel free to share. If you have a time correction or something I missed, please let me know.

Enjoy all the rest of the brilliance of this show!

20 Ways TVD Vampires Are A Fantastic Metaphor For Highly Sensitive People

Damon: life sucks when youre ordinary

The Vampires in The Vampire Diaries aren’t just ridiculously sexy undead creatures who drink blood. They’re faster and stronger than the average human being, and they have super hearing. And yes, they burn in the sun (or, most of them, anyway.) But what is it about these particular vamps that makes them so…compelling?

People in my life can not believe I watch TVD. And they’re right. There’s a lot of pretty gruesome violence that goes on in the show. As a highly sensitive person, I’ve always steered clear of strong images and especially violence, because it affected me too strongly. A single image from a movie could give me nightmares for weeks. So how on earth can I manage The Vampire Diaries? And why do I love it so much?

I’ll keep the answer to how I can tolerate all the violence for a later post. For now, let’s talk about my favorite theme in The Vampire Diaries: Heightened senses. Everything is magnified. Vampires experience everything to the extreme – and I relate to this on a deep level.

1. Senses are heightened.

everything is heightened

2. Senses operating at super-speed.

Sometimes we can really be uncomfortable in our own skin.

Stefan: I mean she's uncomfortable in her own skin.

3. Anger becomes rage.

There are good things and bad things about being a highly sensitive person. It’s usually not a cake-walk, and we don’t exactly get the benefits of super-strength and speed.

Beautiful things are more beautiful.

You live more intensely. Love more powerfully.

Anger becomes rage.

When you’re sad, you’re in despair.

Grief, loss…can cripple you.

anger becomes rage

4. It sucks.

Sometimes just the fact that we feel can really suck.

Damon: I feel, okay? and it sucks

5. We don’t do anything half-speed, and that includes falling in love.

Rebekah doesn't do anything half speed and that includes falling in love.

6. Don’t underestimate the allure of darkness.

It’s so much easier to fall into the darkness, to give in to the part of you that wants to be numb and shut down.

don't underestimate the allure of darkness

7. Sometimes the trivial things are not so trivial at all.

Like getting out of bed.

(Note to TVD fans: yes, I realize nobody in this particular quote is a vampire. You know what I’m trying to say.)

8. One minute I think I’m fine, the next minute I feel like I’m dying.

Life can feel like a roller coaster, constantly flitting between extremes. We want to be okay so badly, but things can change so fast, and something as simple as the temperature in the room rising a few degrees can make us want to jump out of our skin.

one minute I think I'm fine the next i feel like im dying

9. So sick of crying.

I'm so sick of crying And it’s not always from sadness or anger, sometimes I’m crying from allergies, or tiredness, or because someone is talking to me and that’s making me anxious even though inside I feel fine.

10. We. Feel. Everything.

Oh, man. What I wouldn’t give to be able to flip my humanity switch some days.

11. Sometimes hope really is the only thing that keeps me going.

12. There are times when it seems like all you feel is pain.

13. Fear of regressing.

Always standing on the edge of the pit you just climbed out of. The pain being with you all the time. The fear that one day you’re not going to want to fight anymore. Yep. Been there, Stefan.

14. It’s completely normal.

TVD also offers answers and affirmations. First: Your emotions are heightened. I promise you it’s completely normal.

15. Keep fighting and remember you’re not alone.

keep fighting love

16. Accept yourself exactly the way you are.

I can't change who I am.

17. Once you can hurt, you can love.

And sometimes we have to ask, what is the point? What do we gain from all of the pain we feel? What’s the point? And here’s Lexi with an answer: Love. That’s the point.

once you can hurt you can love

18. You tell yourself that you’re strong enough.

And what do we do? How do we get through a day when everything is extreme, regular city noise can be deafening and a faint winter sun can blind us?

You tell yourself that you’re strong enough.

And you make friends who are there to remind you in case you ever doubt it.

 

19. Don’t sit back and wait for the good parts to happen. But forgive yourself for trying to be happy during the bad parts.

20. But at the end of the day, we would never trade places with someone else.

Damon: life sucks when youre ordinary

I love this show. I love both of its spin-offs. I hope it lives at least as long as its oldest characters.