Sex. It’s one of those topics that can make people cringe, or feel really uncomfortable. It’s a thing that some parents might dread talking to their kids about, or that their kids might be too scared to ask about. For a lot of young people, they don’t even want to ask their friends about it, for fear of seeming uninformed. As a result, people learn about sex through pornography (an obviously inaccurate representation), or second hand experiences relayed by people they know. In the same way that some can struggle to talk openly about sex due to society deeming it a ‘private’ topic, a lot of young people, particularly young men, struggle to talk openly about relationships, dating and their emotions.
The Line want to change that, and remove the stigma that surrounds honest discussion about sex, dating, relationships and emotions.
The Line is a government backed campaign under the organisation Our Watch. It intends to support young people in developing healthy, respectful and equal peer and intimate relationships through talking about what’s ok, what’s not, and what ‘crossing the line’ looks like.
The web series, created with Melbourne based content agency (and full disclosure, our mother company) Department of the Future, features a diverse group participants between the ages of 16 and 21 sharing their experiences and opinions relating to the questions asked of them. Jilly Charlwood, Director of Marketing & Communications at Our Watch said that their research has “shown that young people often struggle to know where to draw the line when it comes to sex, dating and relationships. By asking questions (relating to these topics) that are often considered awkward and off-limits, the series supports young people to openly explore what’s ok and what’s not when it comes to interpersonal relationships.”
Our modern culture puts so much emphasis on sex, and we see it in music, advertising, film, and TV. Even with all of these depictions of sex that permeate in the media, the majority of it is generally glamorised and not at all realistic, which is the same problem posed by pornography. Misinforming young people about what good sex is, and elevating the importance of sex can damage self esteem, and self worth. Equally dangerous is how much young men struggle to discuss their emotions – this sort of repression can lead to them forming unhealthy relationships and becoming closed off individuals. Through their work, and with the help of ambassadors such as footballer Marcus Bontempelli and singer Tia Gostelow, The Line hope to open up the conversation, and help young people form a broader, more informed viewpoint on these complicated issues.