The Fundamentals

With funding from the charity Saving Lives and the Bassetlaw Placed Based Partnership (local NHS CCG) we have developed our first set of five short films (around 6 minutes each). 

We called this film project, ‘The Fundamentals,’ after reading and reacting to the 400 plus comments and questions that were placed in our specially designed boxes in 6 local Academies in September 2021. Understanding the complexities in sex and relationships must start with a basic understanding of our bodies, how we look after them, and where to go to seek help when we’re worried. These simple (fundamental!) concepts are where we need to start!

In the coming weeks you will see the launch of our one-hour lesson plans (for year 9-10 upwards) and student factsheets to accompany each of these videos. We are working extremely hard with the PSHE Association to obtain their ‘Quality Approval’ mark for this whole project. We are very close to lift off! Please watch this space for the release of these lesson plans.

This journey with the epic Dr Naomi Sutton has been a labour of love for both of us. We have completed it to date entirely free of charge and have been delighted and proud to do so.

We thank the wonderful charity Saving Lives and our local NHS commissioners for their amazing support and belief in us. 

This is the beginning of a new and supremely worthwhile venture. 

Come March 2022, we commence filming our next 5 videos aimed at slightly older students (year 11 upwards) on the myths around contraception, how to pick the best one for you and the importance of men taking responsibility and sharing decisions along the journey!

We thank you all so much for your amazing support. Some teachers have been kind enough to offer their feedback on these films. We welcome all feedback whenever or wherever you choose to give it. Choice, consent, confidence folks!!!

‘I think the films are perfectly pitched in duration, content & delivery. They will definitely be a useful tool with our young people.’ Leona Ashley Student Welfare Manager, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, Tuxford Academy.

‘These films are the best I have seen in 23 years of teaching, it is vital we get something of this quality out to all the students we can.  So many students come to us with so many misconceptions. After lockdown so many will have missed vital PSHE coverage and will have even more misconceptions. Kennedy Taylor-Camm, Head of English, Lincoln UTC.


Filming Begins!!!!

It took some work to get us to the point of filming, but on Friday we made it to the start line!

Jordan Carroll

I don’t think I shall ever eat kefir again and I had quite forgotten how slippery a condom is, especially when wearing a pair of beer goggles! But heh, we wrapped our first five short educational videos (titles below), in the safe hands of the fabulous Jordan Carroll.

The five film titles due for release in January 2021:

Penis Pressure. Vulval Vexations. Sex Script: Consent. Period Dramas. Sexual Health Check. 

Each film will have an accompanying one hour lesson plan and student fact sheet. The films will be available to see and share for free, and the lesson plans will be available for a small one-off charge. The funds generated will serve entirely towards producing the future film content.

We are calling this set of films, ‘The Fundamentals,’ in the hope that we are able to reassure young people on key issues such as penis and vulval health and hygiene, periods, sexual health, consent and much more. Our next five films planned for February 2022, will take the students on an onward journey through more complex themes and concerns. All of these films will continue to be produced on the back of the actual questions and worries that young people report to us in our day jobs and through our information gathering boxes that are in local schools.

Naomi (Dr Sutton!) and I giggled our way through filming day changing from one T shirt to the next until our shoulders ached; Saving Lives, Populations Matters, Eve Appeal, Fempowered and of course our very own You Before Two threads.

Some editing awaits and likely a fair amount of discomfort as we wait to see what the young think of them! But the journey is already a joy and we are learning as we go.  Thank you to the fabulous hundreds of students who have given us their questions so far. We hope we can provide some answers and ‘bust some myths.’ (Dr Sutton’s phrase that I heard more than once on Friday!). YEY, let’s do this!

Childfree – a choice not a loss

Earlier this year I hosted a chat with some fabulous colleagues and the indomitable Maxine Trump, producer of To Kid or Not to Kid.

Not only was it a great big sisterhood shot in the arm, but it was also the beginning of a plight that one childfree film-maker and three mother-doctors decided could not end there!

Earlier this month we completed our collaborative letter to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to ask them to do two things. Firstly, kindly read our letter and consider changes the medical profession could make to how a childfree woman is managed in a clinical setting. For example, encourage/educate doctors to move away from any talk of ‘regrets’ and instead lean more into personal choice and shared management plans, with a focus on what the woman wants, rather than what the woman should want according to societal pressures and norms. It is clear we still have some way to go with this when we listen to childfree voices. Secondly, we are asking the Royal College if they will consider hosting an event around Max’s wonderful film.

Personally, what struck me most about it, watching both as a doctor and a mother, was the balance. I feel it must be very hard to create a film that is both utterly compelling, but at the same time totally devoid of coercion. This film does that.

But don’t listen to me. The film says it all. Please watch it. Or just take a few minutes to watch the trailer below.

Thank you to Dr Amy Kerstein (GP) and Dr Georgina Fraser (Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist) for their work both on the night of the panel and contributions to our letter in support of the childfree woman.

Let’s talk about sex…

Who would have thought that putting boxes to collect questions in all local schools would generate the response we have received in preparation for our film project next term!

We have been overwhelmed with sensible and thought-provoking queries from students aged 13 to 15 years.

This is far and away the most excited I have ever been for a work project. To be working with the brilliant and gifted Dr Naomi Sutton is something I am particularly thrilled about. Learning and educating at the same time is what medicine is all about. ‘Watch one, do one, teach one,’ was the mantra we were raised on at medical school. I’m not quite sure we can fully apply this theorem here without doing ourselves some sort of injury, but we are certainly going to enjoy the challenge!

Bring on September! If you have any other issues you want us to explore around sex and relationships, plant them here. We will share them anonymously and aim to answer your questions as best we can.


Happy? Earth Overshoot Day. August 22nd 2020.

Sometimes we need a sobering thought. Without any wokey word crafting.

Earth Overshoot Day. Is this concept as new to you as it was to me? Like many things associated with the  environment, what is known cannot be unknown. No amount of pretending or posturing or looking the other way can detract any of us from an issue that is wholly, intimately and intrinsically linked to our very existence.

A definition in a language I can understand:

Earth Overshoot Day lands on August 22 this year, 2020. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year. For the rest of the year, we are maintaining our ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

At a time of established economic recession on the back of an established global pandemic, we are suddenly faced with a depressing platter of consequences akin to the witchetty grubs crunched between celebrity teeth.  Do they choose that or the kangaroo testicle? Much like the tragic thread that joins grub to testicle to celebrity, thankfully a visual circus we can turn off (before actually being sick!), there is another less erasable thread that joins planet to pandemic. For the non-science buffs among us, did we know that the more humans that encroach onto the environment of animal and plant species, the more likely we are to be impacted by zoonoses like covid-19 (viruses originated in non-humans that jump to humans making them ill)? The more species we eradicate by our crawly encroachy (my word) behaviour, the less these non-human species can eradicate the viruses in their own kingdoms, meaning these viruses are more likely to invade ours. The human kingdom is being quietly, tirelessly, thanklessly protected by an army of animals and plants and yet we do so little to protect them in return?

This makes me fearful of covid-20.

UNLESS. UNLESS. We slow down.

And I don’t mean harp back to the days of horses tugging ploughs (sigh) or travelling everywhere by foot and bike (however we know we could all walk, run and bike more?). I mean learning to obtain more from less. The current situation is highlighted below using maths I can understand, taken from the Population Matters website (


With one million people being born across the globe every 4-5 days and an estimated 1/2 to 2/3 of these children unwanted or unplanned, what on god’s earth are we doing?

CHOICE is key here. And for those who are not given choice, through no fault of their own, it is the capitalist world’s DUTY to clear as much space and time as possible to facilitate choice. Just take a look at the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation bringing millions of women in developing countries contraception and family planning education, or their work on vaccines, to see the good that vast wealth (and immense energy and vision) can deliver. I can also recommend Melinda’s book ‘Moment of Lift.’ An enlightening account of how simply throwing money at problems isn’t the answer to long term empowerment of local communities.

Listen to the voice of Nina Steele who dispels the ‘myth’ that having children protects you in later life as they will always look after you. This is already proven to be nonsense as so many of our elderly in this country are isolated and relatively forgotten by their children, who are too busy to look after them as they had hoped, or lack the wealth to support them in the way they’d prefer to. That is not to say that the good intentions aren’t there in the most part and we are all doing our best. But we need to look at the reality.

Yes, we can do some most excellent things like sign up to the plight of the brilliant Anna Hughes, author, cyclist, campaigner and director of ‘Flight Free’.  I salute you Anna and all your flight free comrades. Make the pledge to be flight free in 2020 or 2021?

But if like me, you are a weaker mortal and don’t feel this is something you can keep up life long (I can and do however, now think much more carefully about any flight and will seek an alternative where humanly possible), then please join the mission for only the ‘wanted child.’ Let us not sentimentalise large families going forward. Something that can pile pressure on women and most definitely, the planet. A small family need not be any less happy or supportive than a large one. Implying anything other than this, in this day in age when medicine is so good, life is so long, money is harder to make and natural resources and plant/animal species are rapidly dwindling (already decreased by 60%), is surely questionable?

And to finish on a man who can say more eruditely in one sentence, something I could never match in a hundred..

“All our environmental problems become easier to solve with fewer people, and harder – and ultimately impossible – to solve with ever more people.”

– Sir David Attenborough, Population Matters patron

WATCH THIS VIDEO (7 minutes)




Please watch this film by Maxine Trump now available to purchase.

It was a privilege to be asked to be part of the launch of this magnificent film in the UK this week. Rubbing screens with Leilani Munter and Nina Steele is not something I will forget in a hurry. Not to mention the extraordinarily brave (although she won’t let you call her that) and innovative Maxine herself.

I’m taking this film and the short films inspired by it, to schools from next week. I am so excited to hear what others think when they watch it.

And to what I think? Please watch the Q&A session  that remains available on Facebook from the
launch night on Tuesday. Or just read here, that I loved it. Every little piece of it. Women never cease to amaze me and this film reminded me of why. If I ever judged a woman for not having a child, I certainly never will again. In a world where 1 million people are being added to the global population every 4 days and between 1/2 and 2/3 of children born across the planet are unwanted and unplanned, how could we ever lay down judgement?  Women that either by no fault of their own (the ‘child-less’), or by a deliberate act of consideration to themselves and the world around them, choose to remain ‘child-free,’ I feel, should be admired and supported. Why would we ever judge them? It is both absurd and cruel. And the biggest misconception we could ever apply to the woman without a child is that it was an easy decision or journey to get there. As the film illustrates, it is a journey full of inner and outer tumult and conflict. And to those women that made the decision overnight and have never looked back I salute you with equal vigour!

Blessed are the children that live around the child-free woman. This was another wonderful message that I took away from the film. Maxine’s beloved nieces and nephew clearly feel in awe of her dogged determination to listen to her heart, no matter how painful. What an inspiration and support that must be to those children as they start out on their life journeys.

Good on them. All of them. Moved beyond measure. WATCH THIS FILM.

Sex and the Planet

If this is a new topic to you, I will keep it brief. IF we carry on reproducing at the rate we are doing at the moment the planet will no longer be able to sustain us. This is an undeniable fact which we ignore at our peril.

Given that 272 million women across the world currently have no access to family planning and are having unplanned, unwanted pregnancies against their AND it is thought that 50% of babies born across the world are also unwanted or unplanned, then we have never been in a more important position to make change. Good access to family planning services and teaching young women what we mean by the planned wanted child is vital. At You Before Two this concept is interwoven with tact and care into our workshops.

We show our students this excellent short video produced by Population Matters.

And whilst on the subject of excellence, it brought me a lot of satisfaction proposing Professor John Guillebaud to appear on TED. I feel sure I was one of many who did so. I had had the privilege of seeing this presentation before it was filmed for TED and it completely blew me away.

See what you think to his talk Sex and the Planet!

Not only an academic, but a total sport too! Here he is sporting one of our bracelets (pre-covid!) at the Population Matters Conference 2019.

The inimitable Bella Lack

This extraordinary young woman needs very little introduction. Please watch her.

Please click on the picture to watch her speaking in 2019- at the ‘Every Choice Counts’ Population Matters Conference.