Photo by Karl Heinz Hernried on Wikimedia Common


Sex Ed in the 2000s

A catchment for pedos and closet gay men

Human Parts
Published in
3 min readApr 19, 2024


Triangles are all you see at high-school. Nothing but triangles for five years. So why have I never been woken up by a phone call from a friend at 2 in the morning— drunk, vomit in her hair and crying because she can’t work out the length of one side of a triangle? I wish it would happen because it might justify the five acne-ridden years I spent with a scientific calculator in my hand at high-school.

When I do get the drunken call from a friend breaking-down on a curb at two a.m. it’s because her boyfriend is being weirdly distant with her at a house-party and spending the whole night on the sofa talking to a Spanish girl called Alejandra who he says is an ‘old friend’. And I have no idea what to say to my friend. I’m this deer in the headlights.

My point, anyway, is that there’s a sharp drop-off in the incidence-rate of triangles after high-school. They go from being everywhere to basically not existing. And sex fills the gap. Sex and talking about sex — and the ratio’s about 1:25.

School kind of covered this stuff in Health Class. In Year Nine we had an anonymous box for questions we could write on slips of paper. I remember Mr Davies — a gruff swimming teacher who wore his P.E. whistle even in Health Class— cringing over every question.

At my school they always managed to find the least qualified teacher for the job. They literally grabbed the nearest person who wasn’t in prison for a sex-offence at the time and threw them in front of us. So now, as a result, all I have to help navigate the complicated world of sexual politics is a jar of crap.

In Year Ten we had this bizarre teacher for Health, Mr. Thomas, who was a health-food surfer and definitely gay but it was painfully obvious he was locked in the closet. And I’m definitely not anti-gay — I’m not even anti gay people in the closet — but I do kind of think that you should probably find somebody, anybody really, who’s come to terms with their sexuality to teach kids about theirs.

So one day in Health the theme was ‘What is love?’ and Mr. Thomas told us a story about how him and his girlfriend were Buddhists and they recently went to a monk because they were having relationship problems — probably because he was this massive homosexual.

So they see this monk and the monk tells them they should both do a crap in a jar, fill it with salt water and give it to the other one as a present. This isn’t a joke. He told this to us. The whole class was retching. The monk told them how when you love somebody you love everything about them — even their faeces.

So that’s my education. No wonder why when I’m stuck in some horrible thought-loop of my own insecurities and doubts — which is how I spend most of my time — I pull out a piece of paper and I draw some soothing isosceles triangles.

Five years of high-school and I can think of love and sex on the one hand as a jar of crap or as the neat, uncomplicated world of the triangle. Nothing messy, nothing leftover, no horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach that you’re living a gigantic lie. It’s a fantasy world for sure, but at least it’s not a jar of crap.



Human Parts

Howard McKenzie-Murray writes for theatre, screen and short-stories covering childhood, love, neurotic inner monologues and God