So today was my last day working as an editor for
TheSite.org. I’ve been working at the charity for FIVE YEARS and I cannot
believe how much things have changed since then. I started as a junior
journalist, writing a book called Soulmates on my commute in…and my oh my where
things have gone from there.
TheSite.org is an incredible place for young people. It
gives advice and support about every single problem you can possibly imagine
growing up. And, to mark the end of my time here, I’m sharing the work I did
there that I’m most proud of.
Porn vs Reality
Porn is an unavoidable part of young people’s lives and you
see the consequences of it when you work at a youth charity. From boys worrying
their penises are too small or they’re struggling to get turned on by ‘real’
girls– to girls feeling pressured into doing sexual acts they’re not ready for,
or feeling like their boobs aren’t big enough. Combine that with a lack of sex
and relationship education at school and…well… quite frankly it’s a mess.
So, I wrote the script for this video ‘Porn Vs Reality’. The
video went viral within a day of upload and is now a recommended teaching
resource for secondary school students. This video also made the front-page of
a right-wing newspaper who declared it the death of humanity. Note: This usually means you’ve made A Good Thing 🙂
My vagina looks like
It’s a truth not-very-universally acknowledged that girls
worry their vaginas look like turkeys. In fact, not a day goes by at TheSite
where we don’t hear from someone worrying their vaginal lips are too big and
flappy (thanks again, porn!) It got to such epidemic levels, that I managed to
convince Vlogging GODDESS Hannah Witton to put a turkey hat on and set things
Panic Attack Monster
TheSite is such an incredible resource for anyone
experiencing mental health problems. I learned so much and it fed into my books
so much – particularly self-harm and anxiety disorders. We also did an amazing
project on Anxiety and Depression funded by Comic Relief, that ended in our
Panic Monster campaign – aiming to raise awareness and reduce stigma of panic attacks.
Bodies don’t behave. And young people are more likely to
google their…unusual symptoms than ask friends. So I have spent the best part
of five years writing about smelly willies, hairy nipples, missing periods,
swollen ballsacks, tight foreskins, and ingrown bikini hairs. I’d like to thank
the amazing Dr Ranj, who was always happy to offer some medical insight about
all these – usually during an explicit phonecall before 10am.
A real highlight for me was getting shortlisted as Sexual
Health Journalist of the Year for my article about condom-related erectile dysfunction
(otherwise known as ‘The Condom Flop). Photo of the Editorial Team at the Sexual Health Awards with Dr Ranj below.
So, what next?
It’s been the most incredible five years. Working at TheSite
has – without a doubt – made me a better writer, and mostly just a better
person. My colleagues have been amazing and inspiring and I’ve enjoyed every moment of my time here. But the Spinster Club trilogy is getting so
exciting that I really don’t have the time to spin both my TheSite plate and my
authoring plate anymore. But I hope to continue working with them ad-hoc, both
as a writer and as a relationship advisor. And leaving is giving me time to write
A Very Exciting New Book
So goodbye TheSite! It’s going to continue to be such a huge support for young people, long after I’ve left. Growing up isn’t always easy, but this website really does help.